Boy, how times change, oh how do they! Never thought I would see the day in a world where both Google and Apple will be less trusted by consumers than Microsoft. But here it is.

A new survey by Ponemon Institute shows that when it comes to privacy protection, consumers have more faith in Redmond. In fact, they have started distrusting both Google and Apple, and both companies now rank outside of the top 20 most trusted companies in America.

Instead Microsoft has now made an appearance in this elite list for the first time and has been slotted in the 17th position.

Apple was ranked 14th last year but now has completely dropped off the list, which is surprising when you consider Cupertino was in a vigorous 8th position, as recently as three years back. Consumers seem to be showing an increasing distrust in Apple’s autocratic methods and tracking issues

Products like Apple Maps have not done anything to inspired confidence, either.

Google’s case, however, is not that surprising. Particularly when you consider the search engine giant was already on a slippery slope — it was ranked 19th in last year’s survey.

The company has had several privacy miscues in the past few years, from Google Street View to Safari tracking, which landed it in hot waters both in the United States and Europe.

In fact, the FTC report from late last year may have also shaped public perception and consumer sentiment for both companies. According to AppleInsider:

“The U.S. Federal Trade Commission… published a report saying that app stores like those run by Apple and Google don’t do enough to protect privacy in apps for children.”

All the while Microsoft has slowly been portraying itself as possessing a more mature attitude when it comes to consumer privacy. And as the recent results show, general public is finally starting to see it.

You can check out all the details in this PDF file from Ponemon.

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  • Robert Kegel

    I think with apple its because of the law suites. How can you trust a law suite happy company that would rather try and take out their competition instead of innovating and beating them? Plus even if you turn off tracking on an idevice apple still tracks you, it just turns off 3rd party tracking. apple knowing things about you is scary.

    A lot of people have hate or love hate with Google. They know almost as much about people as the government. Some people don’t like one company knowing so much about them.

    Microsoft has done things that put people more at ease. In IE they enabled the do not track by default. Windows Phone uses the least amount of tracking software.

  • Sibron

    yup, never trusted Google.