The internet brands that consumers trust the most

Stephan Shakespeare
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<div>THE Tories have said that they will embrace the age of &ldquo;open source&rdquo;, making government information open for &ldquo;mash-ups&rdquo; and even letting patients store their NHS data with commercial companies like Microsoft and Google, rather than with the NHS. This is part of their post-bureaucratic age (PBA) agenda, of which more below. So which companies of the internet age do the public trust the most?<br /><br />The ten most popular online brands whose health is measured by YouGov&rsquo;s BrandIndex are shown in the chart. Amazon outstrips Google,&nbsp;with both a long way ahead of eBay. Over the past twelve months, Google has been pretty steady at +55, while Amazon has actually added three points to +67. EBay has been a gainer over the period, along with YouTube and Facebook, and none of the ten has fallen. The graph shows that while Google is much higher-rated than Microsoft, its lead is narrowing. The graph shows the difference between the two over the past year, narrowing three points.<br /><br />So what is the &ldquo;PBA&rdquo; agenda? It stands for the &ldquo;post-bureaucratic age&rdquo; and it&rsquo;s the Tories&rsquo; big idea for government. It&rsquo;s not eye-catichng, nor readily understood, and not likely to be a vote-winning policy, but readers of City A.M. are likely to be attracted to its fundamentally pro-market approach to reform. In brief: a long time ago, communications were slow, so decision-making was dispersed. With the advent of the telegraph came the bureaucratic age &ndash; communications flowed to and from the centre, which made the centre the source of most power. Now, with the internet, communication and therefore power is again dispersed, moving in all directions: so the market of ideas will take over the running of things. The Tories want to harness rather than hinder that process. Allowing patients more control over the own data is a practical first step.<br /><br />Stephan Shakespeare is co-founder and chief innovation officer of YouGov.</div>