Is Google Evil? Jordan talked about this last month. At the time, one of Google fanboys’ top arguments was that Google was rated among the most trusted companies in surveys by the Ponemon Institute and TRUSTe. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, they no longer feel the that way.
In their report released today, not only did Google fall out of the top 10 most trusted companies, but it didn’t even crack the top 20. To no one’s surprise, many financial companies took a major hit, as well.
With privacy concerns higher than ever, surveys like these provide great insight into who consumers trust these days. Only 45% of consumers feel they have control over their personal information.
So who are the new faces among the top 20? Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, Verizon and FedEx all made it for the first time. Meanwhile, American Express, eBay, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Nationwide and Charles Schwab, all managed to retain their top 10 rankings.
American Express held the number 1 position for the fourth straight year. The report has only been running for five years now.
As I’m sure many of you are wondering (I know I am)—why did Yahoo! crack the top 20 and Google didn’t?
“Google (and Microsoft) suffer from big brand syndrome,” Ponemon Institute said. “People figure that if you’re big and collecting data, there might be an issue.”
Funny how it takes an economic crisis for people to finally make these assumptions about Google. I guess the rest of us are just ahead of the curve.
It is also interesting to see a company like Facebook make it into the top 20. With all of the personal information available on Facebook, consumers trust the company enough to continue to publish it. Ponemon believes this is a result of Facebook giving users more choices as to how their information is shared.
“It shouldn’t be binary, where you either reveal a piece of data to everyone on the Internet or Facebook or not at all,” he said. “We think people want to share more information, but they want choices.”
The New York Times posted the chart below that compares 2007’s top 10 versus 2008’s rankings.