More US citizens trust Microsoft with their data than any other tech giant, a Verge survey has found. Despite previous clashes over Windows 10 telemetry, the company placed ahead of Google, Amazon, Slack, and even Apple.
Vox media says the survey covered 1,123 people who were nationally representative of the US. it's confident that its results have a sample error of ±3% at a 95% level of confidence. Microsoft edged just two percent above Amazon, at 75% vs 73%, so take that as you will.
Either way, its strong enterprise offerings and lack of data breaches are likely to have had an impact here, as well as work securing the data of the US Defense Department. In recent times, Microsoft has also taken pains to drum up consumer goodwill by extending privacy tools for GDPR and CCPA to all of its users and focusing less on advertising.
Unsurprisingly, social media companies sat at the bottom when it comes to data trust, with Facebook a solid last at 41%, followed by Twitter at 43% and Instagram at 46. Interestingly, only 38% of respondents said they were aware that Facebook owns Instagram, while just 29% knew it owns WhatsApp. Just 12% were aware that Amazon owns Twitch.
In other metrics, though, Microsoft's competitors shot ahead. Google was thought to have the most positive impact on society, at 72%, next to Microsoft's 66%. While good for security integrity, the company's recent contracts with US military on HoloLens for use in warfare may have impacted this. Interestingly, Amazon hit second place here at 70%, despite a generally degenerative effect on the physical retail industry and concerns over the treatment of its workers. Twitter was thought to have the most negative impact on society, followed by Instagram.
Additionally, fewer respondents said they'd be disappointed if Microsoft disappeared than Google, Amazon, and YouTube. This is likely due to its skew slightly towards enterprises rather than consumer services. When asked which brands they found favorable or unfavorable, Microsoft placed fifth behind Amazon, YouTube, Google, and Netflix.
Finally, 72% of users agreed that Facebook has too much power, yet 66% thought it was okay that it owned Instagram and WhatsApp. 51% thought Google and YouTube should be split into separate companies.
Surveys like this are important to gauge how the general public feels rather than the skewed opinions we usually see from tech-minded individuals. You can read the full report on The Verge.