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Americans Still Don't Trust Facebook With Their Privacy

A recent survey ranks Facebook behind the NSA, IRS, and Google.

Posted on April 3, 2014, at 2:58 p.m. ET

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

According to a recent poll conducted by Reason-Rupe, only 5 percent of Americans trust Facebook the most to protect their personal information, out of a group of institutions that included Google, the IRS, and even the NSA.

The survey, based off of phone interviews with 1,003 adults conducted late this March, confirms that, despite public attempts by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to advocate for higher government privacy standards, public perception is slow to change regarding the social network. Last September, another Reason-Rupe poll ranked Facebook as the least-trusted keeper of data, behind Google, ISPs, and the NSA.

Of those surveyed in the new poll, Facebook ranked second behind the NSA as the organization "most likely to violate your privacy." Thirty-six percent cited the NSA as the most likely to betray their trust, followed by 26 percent for Facebook. Somewhat surprisingly, Google was cited as the least likely of the listed organizations to violate user privacy, with only 12 percent of respondents choosing the search giant.

The poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, which conducts surveys for Pew. While Reason magazine is known for its libertarian bent, the questions do not seem to be leading in any way. Judging by the small sample size, the results are by no measure conclusive, but do help to illustrate Facebook's long-standing perception problem. The poll comes just weeks after Zuckerberg took the White House to task in an open letter over privacy issues. In the letter, Zuckerberg continued his public campaign against government surveillance, expressing his "frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future."