Worst Company In America Round One: Facebook Vs. Sprint

Here we have a Round One battle between two opponents with peculiar predicaments. In one corner is a website that continually tries to invade your privacy but to which everyone on the planet seems to belong. And in the other corner is the phone company that claims to offer truly unlimited data plans, but which can’t seem to get new customers.

Facebook landed under the Federal Trade Commission’s microscope for its apparent inability — and deliberate unwillingness — to protect users’ private information, in spite of promises that it was doing so. As part of the settlement with the FTC, the site now has to undergo independent audits for the next 20 years to show that it’s not sharing information you didn’t agree to make public.

But that hasn’t stopped the company from allowing app after app to include permissions that grant app-makers access to data that have absolutely nothing to do with the application. Nor has it stopped Facebook from its program of “sponsored” posts, where Facebook takes the mere fact that your friend “liked” a page — even if that person did so merely to post a negative comment — and turns it into a paid advertisement. Not surprisingly, the future of this program will likely end up being decided in court.

For much of the last year, the only news that Sprint has made involves its complaints about — and lawsuit to block — the now-failed merger between AT&T and T-Mobile USA. One would think that in a year when both Verizon and AT&T began throttling some “unlimited” data plan customers, there would be an exodus of wireless users to Sprint, especially since it now has the iPhone.

Maybe it’s because, in spite of Sprint ads touting its unlimited phone service, people know that the company recently got rid of similar unlimited data plans for mobile broadband and hotspot users?

Or maybe it’s because Sprint jacked up its early termination fees on smartphones and tablets from $200 to $350?

So now it’s time to decide whether you want to unlike Facebook or hang up on Sprint.

(Voting for this poll will close at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday March 20.)

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2012 series. The companies competing for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. See the entire WCIA 2012 bracket and schedule of match-ups HERE.