Do you think Facebook is trustworthy?
Do you even have a clue what that’s supposed to mean?
No? Neither do we!
Like, say, does it pertain to trusting the company with your real, actual birthdate, instead of lying through your teeth because you’re careful with your privacy and you assume that the company could accidentally leak everyone’s date of birth (it’s happened!)?
Maybe Facebook wants to know if you trust it to keep your data out of the hands of the National Security Agency (NSA), as the Washington Post’s Brian Fung guesses, or whether you trust it to show you only the Farmville updates that truly matter.
Facebook isn’t explaining, but it is asking.
As Fung reports, Facebook asked him and others recently to take a “quick and painless” survey on user experience, in multiple-choice form.
What it asks: how happy you are with Facebook, whether the service is easy to use, if it’s reliable or not, and whether you think it is trustworthy.
Now, obviously, Facebook isn’t the first entity to ask users whether they trust it or not. Plenty of others have done the same (and then gone on to actually share the results).
Fung cites a few polls, including a AP/CNBC survey from last year that found that 59% of respondents said they had “little or no trust” that Facebook will keep their personal information private. (Note that users said they don’t trust Facebook, but they aren’t giving it up, either.)
Another poll, this one done by Reason and published in September, found that respondents deemed both the NSA and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) more trustworthy than Facebook (or Google).
But wait! There’s more!
To top off this mushy trust cupcake with the most sublime cherry of them all, when Naked Security polled users in October 2012 about whether one should trust accurate, truthful information to sites such as Facebook, exactly 92.92% of respondents as of 2 January 2014 had said that the prospect looked like a nice, tall glass of NOPE (all hail the Oatmeal!).
So yes, there’s plenty of data out there on how little faith Facebook users place in the service, however you define “trust”.
But Facebook won’t be adding to that data set, given that it’s declined to share the results of its own polling.
A spokesman told Fung that Facebook does doesn’t share the data it collects from the survey, though it’s happy to get the feedback.
We are constantly working to improve our service, and getting regular feedback from the people who use it is an invaluable part of the process.
That’s nice. But we still want to know the results.
I did the due diligence of asking Facebook if it wanted to elaborate on that statement, but I hadn’t heard back by the time this was published. I will update this article once I get a reply.
At any rate, since Facebook is keeping the results to itself, maybe Naked Security could poll the same question. (You’ll have to decide exactly what “trustworthy” means to you on this one).