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Bill Bennett


Unisys Security Index: Digital identity fear barrier

New Zealanders are happy using digital identities to deal with government agencies.

Yet, according to the 2018 Unisys Security Index survey, we’re less happy using similar digital identities for financial transactions, paying for things and other commercial applications.

Take the idea of having an emergency button a phone so you can send your location to the police if you’re in trouble. Unisys found 84 percent of New Zealanders like the idea. Only eight percent do not.

Would you support the following

Medical devices reporting to doctors

How about having medical devices send alerts to doctors if there’s a significant change in readings? This could be a pacemaker noticing something happening with a heart or a blood sugar monitor seeing a spike.

The survey found eight times as many New Zealanders like the idea as those who don’t. It appears that we trust the police and health professionals.

A different picture emerges when there’s money involved. Unisys found that almost two-thirds of New Zealanders do not like the idea of personal health trackers reporting information to insurance companies, even if it might mean lower premiums. A quarter are in favour of the idea while the rest are undecided.

Likewise only half the population likes the idea of being able to make bank or credit card payments from a watch. When Unisys asked the same people why they didn’t support sharing personal data, there was a consistent pattern in their responses.

No compelling reason to share

In most cases the answer is “there is not a compelling enough reason for them to have this data.”

When money is involved respondents expressed misgivings about data security. This seems a reasonable response given the number of high-profile news stories about data security breaches. It means that organisations hoping to do business this way have their work cut out convincing customers their services are safe and that their requests for data are always benign.

Andrew Whelan, Unisys vice-president Commercial industries for Asia-Pacific says the last year has been relatively calm in terms of New Zealand politics and natural disasters. So our security focus has been elsewhere. He says: “…Local and global data breaches dominated media headlines and impacted many of us personally – so data security is top of mind.

Government yes, commerce not so much

“The results indicate that New Zealanders are more likely to embrace digital identities to engage with government organisations, especially where there are clear benefits of increased convenience or security.

“But in the banking sector, concerns about data security are hindering the take up of new services such as digital wallets and the integrated financial products that are evolving in the growing open banking environment.

“To overcome this discomfort, service providers must be able to show New Zealand consumers the measures they’ve taken to protect customer data across the entire supply chain.”

This is the second of a series of sponsored posts about the 2018 Unisys Security Index. Click the link for more information about the survey.



4 thoughts on “Unisys Security Index: Digital identity fear barrier

  1. But in the banking sector, concerns about data security are hindering the take up of new services such as digital wallets and the integrated financial products that are evolving in the growing open banking environment.

    Is it concerns about data security or concerns that its going to a private corporation?

    Looking at it in light of the acceptance of dealing with government through digital interfaces it really seems taht most people simply don’t trust private corporations. Which would be fair enough. It’s far more dangerous for private corporations to have private information than governments.

    Governments are accountable to the people – the private corporations aren’t.

    1. I think that’s part of it; people simply don’t trust corporations. But also large companies appear to be more reckless when it comes to looking after privacy and security. And a lot of business models are all about using your data to squeeze money from you.

  2. Hi Draco – for digital wallets and single sign-on to access banking services from multiple providers the research found concern about data security is almost double concern about other issues. eg of the New Zealanders not comfortable with digital wallets, 59% say it is because they are concerned about data security whereas only 19% say they don’t want this organisation to have their data. Other concerns are: 31% are concerned about not being in control of their identity, 28% say its not a good enough reason, 15% fear their data might be sold and 8% just don’t feel comfortable. (Note: survey respondents could chose multiple concerns). The results are similar for the single sign-on for multiple banking services. You can download the full report at http://www.unisyssecurityindex.co.nz

  3. Pingback: Identity Economy: Ein kurzer Wochenrückblick #69 | Identity Economy


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