Americans trust Google and Amazon more than Apple to handle their personal data

According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll conducted November 4-22, 2021, Americans trust Google and Amazon more than Apple to handle their personal data.

iPhone backdoor

Heather Kelly and Emily Guskin for The Washington Post:

Most Americans say they are skeptical that several Internet giants will responsibly handle their personal information and data about their online activity. And an overwhelming majority say they think tech companies don’t provide people with enough control over how their activities are tracked and used. The survey was conducted in November among a random sample of 1,122 adults nationwide.

According to the survey, 72 percent of Internet users trust Facebook “not much” or “not at all” to responsibly handle their personal information and data on their Internet activity. About 6 in 10 distrust TikTok and Instagram, while slight majorities distrust WhatsApp and YouTube. Google, Apple and Microsoft receive mixed marks for trust, while Amazon is slightly positive with 53 percent trusting the company at least “a good amount.” (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Americans trust Google and Amazon more than Apple to handle their personal data

MacDailyNews Take: Prior to this August, we’d chalk this up to the usual: People being too busy in their daily lives to learn much about which companies are better about protecting personal data and safeguarding privacy, but after Apple’s ill-considered, perhaps-coerced, and still-not-canceled scheme to install backdoors into their products — ostensibly for child sexual abuse material (CSAM), but which could easily be bastardized to look for virtually anything — perhaps Americans are paying attention.

Google et al. only scan images for CSAM on their servers, after upload. Apple, unconscionably, proposes searching through data before it leaves your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and notifying authorities if it’s ever synced with iCloud!

Instead of adding CSAM scanning to iCloud Photos in the cloud that they own and operate, Apple is compromising the phone that you and I own and operate, without any of us having a say in the matter. Yes, you can turn off iCloud Photos to disable Apple’s scanning, but that is a policy decision; the capability to reach into a user’s phone now exists, and there is nothing an iPhone user can do to get rid of it. — Ben Thompson, Stratechery, August 9, 2021

If anything, given Apple’s inexplicable proposal to destroy privacy, by ingraining surveillance into every device that’s impossible to avoid, Apple’s untrustworthiness number should be higher and its trust level lower.

If Apple management has any sense whatsoever, is not hopelessly compromised, and can resist whatever pressure forced them into this ill-considered abject disloyalty to customers who value their privacy and security, the company will end this disastrous scheme promptly and double-down on privacy by finally and immediately enabling end-to-end encryption of iCloud backups as a company which claims to be a champion of privacy would have done many years ago.

Note to Apple’s misguided and/or compromised management: No, we’re not stopping. Do the right thing. Scan iCloud photos if by law you must. We can live with that. If you can’t do the right thing because you’re either too obtuse or too compromised, resign for the good of the company.

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13 Comments

    1. yes, Apple is not anymore the original Apple used to be. Apple today is no different from Google. it’s in the business of tracking in a more sophisticated way, as a way to control its users, together with Google.

  1. Horrifically conceived child porn “guilty until proven innocent by our algorithms – that might not get it right” idea is pathetic. It needs to DIE ON A VINE. I can’t imagine getting an image of my daughter in the pool with Mom and it being incorrectly flagged and sent to authorities. This is insane.

    Okay, here’s the problem overall:

    American’s are truly tech illiterate. We should have technology 101 be compulsory in Jr. High so kids can understand what cookies are, how much surveillance is going on and what is done with their data and how to protect themselves as best as possible… Uh, that would require teachers who understood this and actually taught it during the class instead of exhausting Che Guevara as the next messiah (never mind what he did once he took power of course… “then the pigs became human.”).
    If people own an iPhone, they think the HW device is what’s spying on them – because people are stupid. “Well, the iPhone is probably doing all sorts of things to me and that’s Apple so…” Meanwhile, watch any Dateline NBC and you’ll quickly see just how stupid people are with tech, Google searches and beyond. “I didn’t kill my wife!.” Authorities: “Here’s your search history – How to kill my wife with a rope and hang her… She was killed by a rope via hanging…” People are idiots with tech.
    Apple has done a poor job of exposing bad actors and showing all the pieces they continue to slowly put together to protect their users.

    Now, let’s be clear. Apple itself gleans massive amounts of information on you with their devices, however, they use it for internal market and use cases, and they anonymize it. Google, FB, Amazon, they use it internally and sell the hell out of it to any and all bidders. It’s horrible.

    1. Apple behaves as if they own their installed base and make billions from it. Case in point, $12 B for default search from Google. Mandatory IT services and iOS App Stores are others.

      So though I agree most people are technological morons, you happen to be a sycophantic moron.

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