Google has fallen off the list of Top 20 most trusted companies in the United States that was just released by Ponemon Institute and TRUSTe. The San Francisco Chronicle quotes Larry Ponemon, who conducted the survey of 6,500 people, as giving this reason:
"Google (and Microsoft) suffer from big company syndrome. People figure that if you're big and collecting data, there must be an issue."
Last year and the year before Google came in as number 10 on the list.
John Paczkowski has an interesting posting "God-Google-Satan: the Oness" at All Things Digital which chronicles Google's slip in public esteem since 2001 when Wired began a profile by saying, "Everyone loves Google." He explains:
"Sure, everyone loved Google in 2001. But in 2008 they fear it. The Google of 2001 was a fascinating corporate anomaly, a company known for its colorful campus, lunar exploration grants and a cafeteria so good it was profiled in Food & Wine. The Google of 2008 is a different beast entirely. It's a company accused of privacy violations in the states and abroad. It's a company whose fast-broadening reach has given it unchecked power. And, it's a company that last month came within three hours of a Department of Justice antitrust suit."
Spot on, I'd say.