Consumers don’t think the world’s two largest tech companies are as trustworthy as they used to be. The Ponemon Institute this week released its annual survey of consumers’ rankings of companies that do the most to protect privacy, and neither Apple (AAPL) nor Google (GOOG) made top 20. The exclusion of Google, which ranked 19th in last year’s survey, isn’t surprising because the company’s high-profile privacy miscues have gotten it in trouble in both the United States and Europe.
The exclusion of Apple, on the other hand, is a bit of a surprise because the company ranked 14th in last year’s survey and was ranked as high as 8th as recently as three years ago. AppleInsider writes that the company may have received some bad publicity from late last year when “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 same, this alone doesn’t seem to explain Apple’s fall in most consumers’ eyes, especially since one of the company’s calling cards has long been a closed, tightly controlled system that doesn’t have the same potential security vulnerabilities of Google’s Android operating system.