A survey from Blind, an anonymous workplace social network, has found that Apple has the highest percentage of tech employees that agree with the statement that “protection of customer data is a top priority at my workplace“. LinkedIn and PayPal came in second and third, while Adobe ranked last, with only 64.29% of employees agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement. Overall, 78.13% of the survey’s respondents said they strongly agreed or agreed with the statement, showing that they trust their employees in regards to protecting customer data.
- 93.4% of Apple employees said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement.
- 77.46% of Facebook employees agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, lower than the overall average of all companies.
- 30.9% of Intuit employees strong disagreed with the statement.
What do Facebook Employees Think of Their Data Protection?
Facebook’s employees trusted their employer, the social media giant more than all of the tech employees surveyed on average. While only 11% of Blind’s survey respondents said that they trusted Facebook, 75% of Facebook employees reported that they trust Facebook. Facebook, after a number of privacy scandals, is now facing a 20-year consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The agreement would require that the FTC would oversee Facebook’s practices and privacy policies, according to various news outlets. In the Blind survey, one anonymous Microsoft employee compared Apple and Facebook,
“Seems like [Apple is stating] ‘it’s not in our best interest financially’ to exploit user privacy [unlike] other companies like Facebook and Google.”
The Cambridge Analytica Scandal
Last spring, Facebook was revealed to have given private profile information to Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that worked on the Trump presidential campaign in 2016. The firm, according to a report that appeared first in the New York Times, “harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission”.
Later, in a corporate blog post, Facebook revealed that the information of up to 87 million people was shared with Cambridge Analytica, according to Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s Chief Technology Officer. Given the size of the leak, it is no surprise that the majority of Blind’s survey respondents did not report that they trusted Facebook with personal data.
However, most Facebook employees defended the company, citing its recent actions the company has taken to protect customer data. When asked about Facebook storing passwords in plain text, one Facebook employee said “At no point, by the way, is this not a mistake. It’s obviously a mistake, which is why we fixed it and are notifying affected users.” The Blind survey confirms that, despite their employee’s trust, Facebook is still far away from winning back the public’s trust, and it remains to be seen if the company can shake off its privacy scandals.