Americans have a growing appetite for government regulation of big tech companies in the wake of Facebook’s recent scandals and other data privacy breaches, according to a new survey by HarrisX, a market research firm.
When asked whether big tech should be regulated by the federal government in the same way big banks are, 53 percent of survey respondents said yes. But just 31 percent of those same respondents said they believed the government was capable of passing and enforcing those regulations.
HarrisX surveyed 2,546 adults within 24 hours of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional testimony earlier this month. Zuckerberg went to the capital to answer for the Cambridge Analytica scandal in which a Republican-backed political strategy firm accessed Facebook data from up to 87 million users without their consent. Zuckerberg also fielded questions about how Russian agents have manipulated the platform to influence elections.
Here are some other key stats from the HarrisX survey, which was first spotted by Recode:
- 84 percent of respondents believe that tech companies are legally responsible for the content they carry on their platforms and 83 percent want tougher penalties for breaches of data privacy.
- Sixty-two percent of baby boomers and just 44 percent of millennials believe big tech should be regulated like big banks.
- Respondents don’t believe all tech companies should have the same level of regulation. Forty-nine percent said Facebook should be “heavily regulated” while just 34 percent said Google should. Only 27 percent believe Amazon should be heavily regulated.
Read the full report with additional details about the public’s perception of Facebook here.