Germans don’t trust Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok

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A representative study shows that German network users are very concerned about data protection. When it comes to trust, the state, Huawei, Facebook, Twitter and Tiktok do poorly.

Between December 30, 2020 and January 5, 2021, the market research company Omniquest asked 1,000 representatively selected Germans questions about their own perception of data protection. The results are hardly surprising.

Tiktok below, Microsoft above: German trust cannot be explained properly

Which tech company do you trust for your privacy? The answers to this question show a ranking the lower end of which many would have expected. Only 14 percent of those surveyed expect that they can trust the app shooting star Tiktok. Twitter and Facebook are also exposed to significant distrust with 23 and 26 percent respectively.

Trust, look who. (Graphic: Omniquest)

Service providers such as Spotify, Netflix and Zalando are in the midfield. However, Apple’s poor performance at rank 5 out of 10 should come as a surprise. From a purely objective point of view, the company is certainly one of those who take the protection of the privacy of their users – especially with regard to the iPhone – particularly seriously.

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Nevertheless, most of the respondents tend to trust Microsoft (64 percent), Amazon (58 percent) and even Google (56 percent). With 52 percent of the answers, respondents tended to see trust as justified with a view to European providers. After all, more than one in five respondents said that they generally do not trust a tech company when it comes to protecting digital privacy.

At least Facebook could improve its lousy ranking if it offered paid services that would not be allowed to use any advertising or other exploiting methods for private data. After all, every second user would be willing to pay for the service in this case. As the market researchers were able to calculate, with around 2.4 billion euros of potential income in Germany alone, this would be almost exactly double the amount of what Facebook had achieved with advertising in 2020.

The federal government has no leap of faith

In addition to the tech giants, the federal government does not necessarily see itself as having a lot of trust. 58 percent of the respondents refuse to make concessions on data protection, for example in order to improve the contact tracing option of the Corona warning app. Most likely they would still be willing to share any vaccination experiences via the Safevac app of the Paul Ehrlich Institute – provided that they were then used to actually improve the vaccines against Covid-19.

Huawei and 5G are also enjoying considerable skepticism

A similarly large group of 56 percent is concerned about Huawei’s participation in the 5G network expansion. It is unclear whether this can be based on facts or the reporting about Huawei and 5G. In any case, it is noticeable that around half of all Germans have general reservations about 5G and say they do not want to use the technology.

For the vice-boss of the client of the survey, Harold Li from Express-VPN, the reluctance is understandable. The spread of 5G will lead to billions of new cameras, sensors and other smart devices, which would generate many times more data. In addition, smartphone users in 5G networks could be tracked even more precisely. He therefore appeals to governments around the world to ensure “clear privacy protection” before the technology is widely introduced.

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