Big Tech Trust: Survey Shows Wide Range Of Skepticism Toward Silicon Valley Companies And Their CEOs

All About Cookies surveyed U.S. adults to find out how much they trust major tech companies and their CEOs or figureheads — and how that compares to their trust of the government.
We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Big tech companies have penetrated nearly every part of our lives, responsible for modern marvels such as smartphones, social media, same-day delivery, and so much more.

But those same companies are not without controversy, as things like data breaches, environmental damage, and controversial statements from famous executives have muddied public sentiment.

Of course, not all companies and controversies are equal. To get a better understanding of how the average person perceives these kinds of tech giants, the All About Cookies team asked 1,000 U.S. adults how they feel about 10 of the biggest companies in America.

And to take things up a notch, we compared that to how they feel about the U.S. government.

In this data study
How trusting are Americans toward large tech companies?
Which tech billionaires do people dislike the most?
How much do Americans trust large tech companies with their data?
How many people believe major tech companies care about their customers?
Build better trust by protecting your online identity
Advice from our experts

Key findings:

  • Businesses and entities people trust the least: TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and Tesla are among the least trusted, gaining the trust of less than 30% of respondents.
  • Which tech billionaires people dislike the most: Negative opinions are the strongest toward Elon Musk (X), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Bob Iger (Disney), topping out at a dislike rate of 42%.
  • Businesses and entities that are in it for the greater good: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple are believed to genuinely care the most about the well-being of their customers.

How trusting are Americans toward large tech companies?

Before touching on specific topics, the below chart shows how much people trust each of these companies in general. The U.S. government comes in as the least trusted on the list.

Chart showing opinion on big tech companies

While there’s a healthy level of skepticism toward most of these entities, around two-thirds of respondents indicated that they do trust three different companies:

  • Amazon (70%)
  • Google (65%)
  • Netflix (64%)

Three companies are trusted by less than one-third of people, with X only scrounging together a meager 28% who responded that they do trust it, slightly lower than the 29% that trust Tesla and TikTok.

When not considering neutral responses, we found that distrust was highest toward TikTok, as 52% expressed distrust toward the Chinese-backed social media giant.

Every single company, including TikTok, has a higher positive trust level than the U.S. Federal Government, which was included as a comparison point throughout the survey.

Which tech billionaires do people dislike the most?

When tech companies become mega giants, the founders and CEOs of the companies themselves often also become public figures and household names. The downside to that is negative consumer attitudes toward companies can extend to those figureheads — and vice versa.

Data showing the most disliked Tech CEOs

Elon Musk is the most disliked executive in tech according to our survey. 42% of respondents say they’re not a fan, compared to 34% who like him and 25% with a neutral opinion. This is consistent with the rest of the survey results, where two of the companies that people trusted the least were Tesla and X, both of which are owned by Musk.

The only other tech figurehead that more than one-third of people say they actively dislike is Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg.

How much do Americans trust large tech companies with their data?

Today, data breaches are a frustratingly common occurrence, with the data of millions of customers getting compromised by cyberattacks and security failures every year. As a result, consumers have adapted by becoming more wary when sharing personal and financial data with major companies.

Data showing survey results of how many people trust big tech with their data

When it comes to their personal data, people believe Amazon is the best at holding the fort. 59% of people say they trust in Amazon’s ability to stay true to their word, compared to just 17% who feel negatively about the retail giant’s security measures.

On the flip side, less than a quarter of people believe in TikTok’s ability to keep their data safe, while a whopping 60% have distrust in this regard.

With financial data, Amazon again reigns supreme — as 54% of people say they feel good about Amazon’s ability to keep their financial information safe. However, four different companies are distrusted by more than 50% of respondents: Meta (53%), Tesla (51%), X (60%), and TikTok (68%).

How many people believe major tech companies care about their customers?

Customer care and support is a crucial part of running any business, but not every company excels at it. We wanted to know which companies are treating their customers right and which ones are falling short.

Data showing how many people think big tech companies care about their users

54% of people say they believe that Amazon truly cares about their customers and wants to provide them with the best experience possible, compared to just 18% who think the shopping platform doesn’t care about their users. Google is the only other company that more than 50% of respondents believe cares about them.

53% of people don’t believe that X cares about their customers, while 51% said the same thing about TikTok. Those companies also had the lowest percentage of people who said they do believe that the companies care about their customers, at less than 30% each.

By comparison, 29% of people said they believe the U.S. Federal Government genuinely cares about their constituents, with 44% saying this isn’t the case.

Build better trust by protecting your online identity

Regardless of your opinions about these companies and their intentions, here are some tips on how to improve your digital safety and trust that you’re browsing the internet safely.

  • Use social media safely. Educate yourself with the following social media safety tips before logging into your profile and news feeds.
  • Opt for an identity theft protection service. Programs like Aura and Norton LifeLock are considered some of the best identity theft protection services due to their unique features and coverage plans.
  • Browse with a VPN. Virtual private networks (VPNs) are easy to use and offer an additional layer of security when accessing popular sites/platforms.

Advice from our experts

While our study helped us better understand what factors play into consumer opinions, we also had our own questions about brand trust and privacy laws. To find out more, we asked the experts to weigh in. We asked our experts:

  1. In what ways can data breaches/cyberattacks on a business directly impact one's level of brand trust?
  2. Is it still important for tech companies to invest in/support their own ESG (environmental, social, and governance) movements to foster a more positive public perception?

Check out their answers by clicking on their names below.


All About Cookies surveyed 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 or older using a survey platform. Responses were collected in April and May 2024. The U.S. Federal Government was included throughout the survey as a comparison point.

Unlimited Device Protection and Large Server Network
Editorial Rating
Learn More
On Surfshark's website
83% off + 3 months free
  • All-in-one VPN app with 24/7 protection thanks to 3,200+ RAM-only servers in over 100 countries
  • Real-time malware defense, webcam protection, alternative ID creation, ad blocking, and more
  • One subscription covers unlimited devices for your entire household with access to 24/7 support

Author Details
Josh Koebert is an experienced content marketer that loves exploring how tech overlaps with topics such as sports, food, pop culture, and more. His work has been featured on sites such as CNN, ESPN, Business Insider, and Lifehacker.