Americans don’t trust big government — but we love its big data

FILE - In this July 28, 2010, file photo, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley post the health department's first "A" grade award for sanitary conditions on the window of Spark's Deli in Long Island City, N.Y. Fulfilling a campaign promise made by Mayor Bill de Blasio when he was running for office, the New York City letter-grade restaurant system has been revamped by the City Council with an eye toward easing the burden of fines on restaurant owners. The changes will maintain the grading system implemented by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg but are designed to add consistency to fines given out during inspections. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Americans distrust big government — but we do love big data, a new Pew survey reports.

Sometimes we aren’t even aware that the data we’re accessing online comes from the government, like with weather or map apps.

Pew reported that 23 percent of Americans “trust the federal government to do the right thing at least most of the time.” That was up from 17 percent immediately after the recession began. It was 44 percent at the end of Ronald Reagan’s term in the White House.

Almost a third of Democrats said they trust the government. Just 15 percent of Republicans did.

But most of all respondents said restaurant and teacher ratings should be publicly shared online.

Here’s an interesting point: About half of the Americans polled said they don’t mind sharing their location with apps — unless they’re explicitly told the request is from the government.

Find more data and graphics from this study from the Pew Research Center.

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