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Most Californians worried about tech firms' data gathering

April 1, 2012 - California

A majority of people in California, where high-tech firms make the world's most popular smartphones, social networks and search engines, are worried about the data collected by the companies, according to a survey.

Most Californians surveyed in the latest USC Dornsife/Times poll said they distrust even firms known for their ardent fans and tens of millions of daily users.

The poll covered 1,500 people in the state, and said they were wary of firms collecting personal information without their knowledge and concerned that personal data could become public or be harvested to sell them products, The Los Angeles Times reports.

The findings of the survey found that 68 o of respondents did not approve of targeted Internet advertising if it meant having their online behavior tracked and analyzed.

The results were consistent with a poll released last month by the Pew Research Center.

According to the report, respondents were asked to rate companies on whether they trusted them to be responsible with personal data.

On a 10-point scale, with zero meaning no trust and ten meaning complete trust, none scored above five, and most hovered around three.

Apple was highest with a mean score of 4.6, followed by Google at 3.8. LinkedIn scored 3.0.

Online video sharing website YouTube was rated 2.8. Facebook was next to last, with a score of 2.7, only slightly above Twitter at 2.4.


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