Survey: Facebook Not Trusted to Obey Law

A majority of respondents to a new poll said they don't trust Facebook with their personal data and an even larger majority say "large internet and technology companies" should be more heavily regulated.

That is according to a national telephone poll of 1,001 registered voters conducted June 11-19, 2018, by the Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit ethics watchdog group.

Facebook has been under a klieg light in D.C. following Cambridge Analytica's access to user information and the news that the social media site also shared user data with tech companies, including from China.

Related: House E&C Leaders Hammer Facebook

The company is also under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over its compliance with a 2011 consent decree related to its protection, or lack of it, of user data privacy.

Asked about their impressions of Facebook, 63% said they "do not trust Facebook to obey the law when it comes to protecting their personal information." If the FTC came to the same conclusion, it could levy hefty fines for violation of the consent decree.

Facebook has said that it believes it has remained within the fourt corners of that decree.

Asked about whether the favored increased regulation of "internet giants," 73% said yes, while only 6% said there should be less regulation.

“The poll results demonstrate that Americans are concerned that internet companies do not protect their data," said CFA executive director Daniel Stevens. "Our elected leaders need to stop dithering and work together to address these problems.”

Amazon and ISPs were essentially tied atop the trust scores with 64% saying they trusted Amazon at least somewhat and 64% saying the same about ISPs. Google was next with 55% and Facebook was under water, with only 31%, while 63% said they did not trust it very much, or not at all.

The margin of error of the survey was plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.