Risk
12/15/2008
04:17 PM
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google No Longer Among Top 20 Most Trusted Companies For Privacy

A consumer-opinion survey found that Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, and other companies outranked Google in trustworthiness and protection of personal information.

Google is no longer ranked among the top 20 most trusted companies for privacy, but Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo for the first time are.

On Monday, the Ponemon Institute, a privacy and information security research company, and Trust-e, a privacy certification service, released their annual "Most Trusted Companies For Privacy" survey.

The study sought opinions from 6,486 U.S. adult consumers about which companies they thought were most trustworthy and did the best job protecting personal information.

Google ranked 10 in the Ponemon/Trust-e surveys conducted in 2007 and 2006. The company didn't comment on why public perception may have changed, but said that user trust remains critical to its business.

"In our quickly evolving business environment, ensuring that we earn and keep our users' trust is an essential constant for building the best possible products," a Google spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement. "We work hard to earn and keep that trust with a long-standing commitment to protect to the privacy of our users' information. The bedrock of our privacy philosophy is to be transparent about our approach to privacy and to give users meaningful control, and we continue to work to put these principles into practice and improve user privacy."

The top 20 companies for 2008 -- 23 actually, due to three ties -- are: 1) American Express; 2) eBay; 3) IBM; 4) Amazon; 5) Johnson & Johnson; 6) Hewlett Packard and U.S. Postal Service; 7) Procter & Gamble; 8) Apple; 9) Nationwide; 10) Charles Schwab; 11) USAA; 12) Intuit; 13) WebMD; 14) Yahoo; 15) Facebook; 16) Disney and AOL; 17) Verizon; 18) FedEx; 19) US Bank; 20) Dell and eLoan.

However, such ratings should be viewed with some skepticism. As last year's survey explained, "... the consumer ratings may not reflect at all the actual privacy practices of the company and its good effort to protect the personal information of its customers and employees. Further, what a company does in the area of privacy and data protection can be invisible to the customer until he or she experiences a data breach and seeks redress or has a question that needs to be answered."

Indeed, the presence in the top 20 this year of Facebook, despite the outcry it faced over the privacy implications of its Beacon advertising system late last year and earlier this year, suggests popularity may weigh more heavily in the rankings than actual practices.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading Tech Digest, Dec. 19, 2014
Software-defined networking can be a net plus for security. The key: Work with the network team to implement gradually, test as you go, and take the opportunity to overhaul your security strategy.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-4632
Published: 2015-01-31
VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP) 5.1, 5.5 before 5.5.9, and 5.8 before 5.8.1 does not properly verify X.509 certificates from vCenter Server SSL servers, which allows man-in-the-middle attackers to spoof servers, and bypass intended backup and restore access restrictions, via a crafted certifica...

CVE-2014-7287
Published: 2015-01-31
The key-management component in Symantec PGP Universal Server and Encryption Management Server before 3.3.2 MP7 allows remote attackers to trigger unintended content in outbound e-mail messages via a crafted key UID value in an inbound e-mail message, as demonstrated by the outbound Subject header.

CVE-2014-7288
Published: 2015-01-31
Symantec PGP Universal Server and Encryption Management Server before 3.3.2 MP7 allow remote authenticated administrators to execute arbitrary shell commands via a crafted command line in a database-backup restore action.

CVE-2014-8266
Published: 2015-01-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the note-creation page in QPR Portal 2014.1.1 and earlier allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the (1) title or (2) body field.

CVE-2014-8267
Published: 2015-01-31
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in QPR Portal 2014.1.1 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via the RID parameter.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
If you’re a security professional, you’ve probably been asked many questions about the December attack on Sony. On Jan. 21 at 1pm eastern, you can join a special, one-hour Dark Reading Radio discussion devoted to the Sony hack and the issues that may arise from it.