Apple, Google tumble off top 20 trusted companies list

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Once ranked as high as number eight among companies most trusted for protecting their customers' privacy and personal information, Apple has fallen out of the top 20 entirely. Google didn't make this year's list, either, but it fell only from its pervious high of 13th place.

The list in question was compiled by the Ponemon Institute, an independent research group focused on privacy, data protection, and information security policy, and published in a new report entitled, logically enough, "2012 Most Trusted Companies for Privacy".

As they have for the past seven years, the Ponemon researchers contacted over 100,000 adults and asked them – among other things – to name the companies they most trusted to protect the privacy of their personal information. Out of that large sample, the researchers derived 6,704 usable responses that provided a total of 39,890 positive and negative company ratings.