People don’t trust Google anymore

Google’s corporate motto is still "Don’t be evil", but folks just don’t trust the Internet gargantuan the way they used to.

Google has fallen off the list of Top 20 most trusted companies in the United States that was just released by Ponemon Institute and TRUSTeThe San Francisco Chronicle quotes Larry Ponemon, who conducted the survey of 6,500 people, as giving this reason:

"Google (and Microsoft) suffer from big company syndrome. People figure that if you’re big and collecting data, there must be an issue."

Last year and the year before Google came in as number 10 on the list.

John Paczkowski has an interesting posting "God-Google-Satan: the Oness" at All Things Digital which chronicles Google’s slip in public esteem since 2001 when Wired began a profile by saying, "Everyone loves Google." He explains:

"Sure, everyone loved Google in 2001. But in 2008 they fear it. The Google of 2001 was a fascinating corporate anomaly, a company known for its colorful campus, lunar exploration grants and a cafeteria so good it was profiled in Food & Wine. The Google of 2008 is a different beast entirely. It’s a company accused of privacy violations in the states and abroad. It’s a company whose fast-broadening reach has given it unchecked power. And, it’s a company that last month came within three hours of a Department of Justice antitrust suit."

Spot on, I’d say.

Published by John M. Simpson

John M. Simpson is a leading voice on technological privacy and stem cell research issues. His investigations this year of Google’s online privacy practices and book publishing agreements triggered intense media scrutiny and federal interest in the online giant’s business practices. His critique of patents on human embryonic stem cells has been key to expanding the ability of American scientists to conduct stem cell research. He has ensured that California’s taxpayer-funded stem cell research will lead to broadly accessible and affordable medicine and not just government-subsidized profiteering. Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog in 2005, he was executive editor of Tribune Media Services International, a syndication company. Before that, he was deputy editor of USA Today and editor of its international edition. Simpson taught journalism a Dublin City University in Ireland, and consulted for The Irish Times and The Gleaner in Jamaica. He served as president of the World Editors Forum. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harpur College of SUNY Binghamton and was a Gannett Fellow at the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has an M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.

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