Trust in Tech

A new survey of global trust in major sectors reminds us that populism is here to stay – and tech rules!

I read an interesting article by Lars Kreckel (Global Equity Strategist – Legal & General) last week abut the annual Edelman Trust Barometer and how it measures the rise in popularism.

Despite the resilient economy and strong markets, what is clear from this report is that none of the four main institutions covered – governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations, and the media – is trusted. No surprises there! Especially when the vast majority believe government institutions serve in their own best interests first and the media contains nothing but ‘Fake News’.

What is interesting is the high degree of trust people place in technology companies, especially as they are now so integrated into our everyday life.

It seems from the survey that people have more faith in big tech than ever. This is even after the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal and the subsequent regulatory action against the tech sector.

Despite recent tech scandals, it appears people don’t really mind about a tech company’s transgressions – shrugging them off as minor hiccups. We continue to use the same apps, shop online, and use location services on our phones. The trust score of the technology sector remains higher than for any other sector.

Food & Beverage67%
Consumer Goods62%
Financial Services51%
Source: 2020  Edelman Trust Barometer

With trust levels in the technology sector so high, it will be difficult to implement tougher legislation as it would not seem a vote winner – unlike the previous vote winners of bashing banks and undermining big oil and tobacco companies.

It is fair to assume that technology companies will benefit from being kept on a very long leash and enjoy considerable freedoms. The outlook for the tech sector looks rosey and people will continue to blindly ‘follow the heard’ like lemmings until there is some kind of major technological meltdown.