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Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-06

While the French worry about the growing influence of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, search giant Google is considered as “innocent as a choirboy”, despite European concerns over its privacy policies, a poll published Thursday showed.

A majority of the French are worried about the growing impact of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, according to a poll published Thursday.

The Ifop survey for French business daily "Les Echos" showed that 57% of those polled were worried about Facebook’s growing influence and intrusiveness. Just 2% believed the site had any “economic benefits”, while only 8% said they found Facebook “indispensable”.

The French are equally concerned about the influence of micro-blogging platform Twitter, with 51% saying that they were worried about its growing popularity.

Ubiquitous web giant Google, however, is highly regarded by the French, despite European concerns about its privacy policies. The new "Les Echos" poll described Google's image as “innocent as a choirboy” compared with the social networking sites.

Only 11% were worried about Google's dominance, compared to 12% for Apple and 13% for online retailer Amazon.

Despite recent action by European data protection agencies over allegations that the US web search company was breaching EU privacy laws, 49% of respondents to the survey said they believed Google represented the best of the web.

Google placed well ahead of rival Microsoft at 6%, Apple at 5%, and Amazon and Facebook with 4% each.

Google introduced a new privacy policy in March 2012 that allows it to track users navigating across services to help it develop targeted advertising, despite criticism from US and European consumer rights groups.

European data protection agencies have since ordered Google to inform uses of what data is being collected and for what purpose.

Date created : 2013-06-06


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