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Guarding Your Privacy

Q. Which companies have the best reputations for protecting the privacy of their customers?

A. American Express retains its top position in the latest annual “Most Trusted Companies for Privacy” (PDF) study by the Ponemon Institute, which conducts research on corporate privacy, data protection and information security issues. Rounding out the top five were IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard and eBay. The U.S. Postal Service took the sixth spot, and is the only federal government agency listed in the top 20.

Rankings are based on a survey of 6,700 consumers. Most companies making the top 20 on the 2010 list have been cited before, but there were some changes: Google, Weight Watchers, Wal-Mart and AT&T were on this year’s list but not last year’s. Facebook, AOL and eLoan fell off the list this year.

In this year’s study, 41 percent of respondents felt they had control over their personal information, down from 56 percent in 2006.

Ask Sid a question about scams, deals and other consumer issues.

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