Inexplicably, Americans trust Google more than Apple to keep their data safe

A new survey suggests that Apple may still have some work to do to gain trust of the hoi polloi. The survey asked 1,025 Americans about security, encryption, and their own personal views and habits.

Chris Matyszczyk for ZDNet:

55.5% believed that their data was safe if it was encrypted in the cloud. Oddly, 65.2% agreed that hackers could access confidential data even if it’s encrypted.

Perhaps, though, you’ll be most moved by the answers to the question: “Which company do you most trust to encrypt your data?”

You might imagine that Apple, with its hearty insistence on privacy and encryption, would be the Miss World of this category.

Instead, it was Google. Followed by Apple? No, it was followed by Amazon, and then Apple… [42.6% for Google, 38.3% for Amazon, and a mere 36.7% for Apple].

MacDailyNews Take: What did we just write earlier this morning? Oh, yeah:

“It’s amazing that privacy champion Apple continually gets lumped in with the likes of privacy-trampling Google and Facebook. It’s also illustrative of Apple’s failure to get their privacy message out to the great unwashed.”

Apple should be running a massive ad campaign that clearly explains how they stand apart from virtually every other major Silicon Valley company when it come to privacy and monetizing users. Every time there is a breach or an abuse at Facebook, Google, etc. Apple should be ready to pound their privacy message into the general public’s exceedingly thick collective skull.MacDailyNews, April 10, 2018

Apple needs to continue to relentlessly point out how FaceBook and Google make their money: By vacuuming up your personal data and selling it to the highest bidder.MacDailyNews, June 5, 2017

It’s not at all apparent that the general public values their privacy enough or even knows that Apple’s privacy is paramount, but the average Joe/Jane does seem to regard Siri as not too bright, putting into question whether Apple’s commitment to privacy will every really pay off; i.e. translate to increased product sales.

Apple product users seem to value their privacy. Non-Apple product users, by definition, do not value their privacy (or they’d be Apple product users).

So, what’s the inflection point? Do Google and the others need to have an Equifax event befall it for their product users to wake up? Would they even wake up if Google etc. did have a cataclysmic breach? We have our doubts.MacDailyNews, October 5, 2017

Until we see everyday people wake up about privacy, we’ll continue to believe that Apple is serving a niche market of those relative few who recognize the need for and desire the type of stringent privacy protections that Apple offers (outside of China).MacDailyNews, March 21, 2018


  1. I told you Tim Cook was wasting his time pushing privacy and security for Apple. All his talking fell on deaf ears. Despite Google constantly collecting user data, that company is more trusted than Apple. If Apple isn’t collecting personal user data, then what do users have to fear about losing it. I thought most consumers are aware how Google and Facebook make their money, but maybe I’m wrong. It’s possible that consumers think Google just makes money from advertising in a vague sort of way and not aware of how they are able to target ads to consumers.

    Anyway, Apple is not going to get any praise for pushing privacy and security and will continue to get lumped with the data collectors because they’re a big tech company. There would have to be some huge breach at those data collecting companies but even that might not be enough to wake up consumers. They’re still going to go with what they think are “free” services. Consumers see Google and Facebook as the good guys because they don’t charge anything. Apple is the bad one for making all their products expensive.

    1. No, it’s not a waste – people like me (us) care about it. I don’t give a flying f*** about those who either don’t care or buy crap.
      I’ll keep my faith in  until they prove me wrong.

      1. Agreed. Tim, speak it louder. The Mac/PC commercials seemed to coincide when Win users gave a serious look at Apple and security was one of the things touted.

        Security/privacy is a long-run issue for some…Win users are a prime example.

    2. Sad, but true, the vast majority have no clue how FB and Google use their data. They are oblivious that google bots are scanning all their gmail. They are wowed by Google assistants ability to provide services, not knowing its because Google is literally spying on them 24 hours a day. Then there is a very small group that know and don’t care; in essence, they trust Google. They HAVE to trust Google so as not to see themselves as fools. As for Amazon, that company flies under the privacy radar in my opinion. In addition, they are just so good at what they do. Googles services are also good at what they do. The reality is that Apples principles are in the right place, but it has crippled their services. I can tell you that if I traveled more and relied on public transit on a daily basis, I might choose an Android device. But I’ve been a Mac head for 35 years and Android does not fit into my universe.

  2. If Apple would really care about privacy, they would offer tools or let tools like Little Snitch on the iOS platform. Before C(r)ook, we were power users, tech savvy, pseudo-hackers. Nowaday, most people having Apple products are mainstream. They don’t even care about privacy. Apple is just waving the privacy flag but in real, they are like the others; control freaks of their own culture. As a shareholder, I hold on but the magic, for me, is taking over the real control you have on your devices.

  3. I was talking about this recently with people who simply don’t believe Apple is not accessing and using their data even though they say they are not. In the Trump era nothing is believed unless it is a well marketed conspiracy theory.

    1. in other news, my dog got out of my house, ran out in the street and was run over by a car. While it is true that Trump was not driving the car (or was he??????!!!!!!!!!@!) it is totally his fault because he lives rent free in my brain.

  4. The majority do not follow tech, they do not read tech blogs, hence they are ignorant of the issue. To then, a phone is a phone, nothing more. Otherwise, Android would no longer exist.

  5. Maybe that so many apps in the Apple App Store have been found to violate our privacy and Apple’s rules has something to do with people not trusting Apple completely? Plus, it continues to happen. Still I was shocked that the public ranked them as they did. I’ve got to admit, I recently went through all the settings on my iPhone and read several privacy policies, in part, and was a bit overwhelmed and disappointed that I could probably spend the next few years in this and not ever know exactly what was happening on my device with my data. That stinks. The user needs considerably more clarity by every app in the App Store. We shouldn’t have to read the fine print of every privacy policy. Their apps should be forced to comply with the policies We have chosen for our individual devices. I like how Marco Arment worded it. I’m paraphrasing. We don’t collect your data, we don’t want it. It doesn’t happen or something to that basic effect. Perfect!

  6. This seems more to me of users differentiating between privacy and security. Apple tends to lump them together. Many users don’t care so much about privacy as long as the services are useful to them. Those that do care in the non-Apple camp make use of VPNs, password encoders, etc. to control what they ‘release’ while maintaining access to useful services. Apple’s protective stance in some ways hobbles their services as Spark has mentioned above attracting primarily those that find iOS easier to use and/or prefer to not deal to deeply with privacy/security issues.

    Since the question posed was about security It seems to me that many that responded answered in the overall feel of “if I encrypted my data in the Cloud, who has more experience handling (moving/storing/managing) it safely and effectively”. Apple’s inexperience/outsourcing of that aspect is biasing results IMO.

  7. As an ex marketing PR guy as I’ve been saying for years Cook’s PR especially in the early part of his tenure has been dismal. DISMAL.

    Steve Jobs was the PR Marketing maestro and without him (he started losing interest in it when he got really sick) the PR department was a rudderless wreck.

    Exaggeration? Remember the China child labour and suicide issue?
    It was all based on Fake News including Mike Daisey’s ‘eyewitness’ account ( which he later admitted was made up). The suicide rate at Foxconn was LOWER than China in general and college students in the USA (approximate age of Foxconn workers).

    Yet Apple was raked over coals for years until even today newspapers routinely mention Apple workers killing themselves as if it were FACT. All with near ZERO response from Apple PR.

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