Here's How Much People Trust Facebook

Not much.

27/04/2016 11:59 PM AEST | Updated 27/04/2016 11:59 PM AEST

Facebook houses a lot of your personal information -- profile pictures, status updates, things you "like," a list of people you're "friends" with -- but that doesn't mean everyone trusts it.

Most American adults don't have a lot of faith in Facebook when it comes to their personal data, a new poll from The Huffington Post and YouGov shows.

Twenty-eight percent said they trust Facebook "not at all" with their personal data, 34 percent said "not very much" and 32 percent said "somewhat."

Only 3 percent said they have "a lot" of trust in the social network, and another 3 percent were unsure. 

Perhaps relatedly, the poll also found that people are not eager to broadcast live video of themselves using Facebook's new "Live" feature.

It should go without saying that people hand their data over to Facebook willingly. While the social network often nudges its users to share details of their lives, there's no imperative to do so. People may say they don't trust Facebook, but 1.04 billion of us are willing to use it anyway.

Much of the personal information hosted on Facebook's servers lines up with data people are particularly sensitive about. A recent survey from the Pew Research Center indicates, for example, that people are protective of their phone conversations, text messages and physical location.

Facebook now lets you make phone calls via its Messenger app, which you can also text from, and you're encouraged to use the social network to "check in" to real-world locations. In Pew's survey, around half of all adults said these three types of information were "very sensitive."

While Facebook has recently enabled strong security measures for its WhatsApp messaging service, it has yet to do so for Messenger.

All this to say: If you don't trust Facebook with your personal data, you might think twice about using the company's services that collect such data.

Simple, right?

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted April 22-25 among U.S. adults, including 788 Facebook users, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls.You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error. 


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