Survey says public aren’t confident government can protect personal data
More than half of the British public think it would be easier to use government services if departments were better at sharing information, a survey has found.
Covata says it isn't surprising the public are cautious after high-profile data breaches and hacks - Photo credit: Flickr, elhombredenegro
The survey of 1,658 people, carried out by YouGov on behalf data-security company Covata, looked at the public’s opinions of government use of data and related security measures.
According to the results, 51% of respondents said that it would be easier to engage with the government and use its services if departments shared information and data.
However, 57% of respondents said that they did not trust those departments to share such data securely, with the greatest concerns being around the risk of data being leaked or hacked.
An even larger proportion were found to have little faith in the government’s abilities to prevent data misuse. Some 78% of respondents said that they either didn’t know or didn’t believe that the government has the appropriate resources and technology to stop attacks or identify data breaches.
The company, which offers cloud security service,s is using the survey to argue that the government should increase its use of cloud services and stop relying on “IT giants”.
In an open letter to ministers, Covata said that, while the government had made “considerable steps” towards digitising services, it needed to work to reassure citizens that it can be trusted with their data.
It said that it was “perhaps expected”, given the Snowden revelations and news that Yahoo! allowed the US government access to emails, that the public would be sceptical about the government’s ability to keep personal data secure.
To instil confidence, it must adhere to “the strictest security measures” and encrypt all sensitive information by default.
“Strict controls must be in place to guarantee that only authorised personnel can access this information,” it said.
“Who attempts to access which files should be constantly monitored to ensure no breaches of protocol. Departments should make it impossible for files to be shared by unauthorised channels, such as consumer-grade file sharing or cloud-based platforms.”
The letter emphasised that, as the government moves away from legacy systems, it should ensure it uses agile technology from smaller companies. This is something the government has committed to on paper, but a number of studies and anecdotal evidence have suggested this isn’t happening as a matter of course across all of government.
However, Covata did praise the government’s efforts to do this, singling out its move to create the marketplace for cloud services, G-Cloud, as being an effort to “lead the global charge”.
Covata said: “Decisive action and implementation of new highly secure collaboration and communication services will help the Government restore faith in its services.”
Auditors flag up a range of targets missed and benefits not delivered
Lords urge Home Office to widen promotion and ensure EU citizens have physical documentation of status
Ruth Milligan of techUK explains why the government must take the lead to ensure the UK implements a system of digital identities
PublicTechnology talks to Siim Sikkut about why data embassies and ‘invisible services’ are key to country’s technological future
New BT SD-WAN and cyber security services will help the leading chemicals manufacturer and distributor drive its digital transformation
CEOs are adopting a digital first approach to match customer needs. BT asks how they're measuring success
BT shows how to plan and manage your network to unlock the rewards of the cloud
Whether you need mobile devices or fibre optics, cloud services or switchboard systems, with UniCORN you'll have more purchasing power and unlock benefits you wouldn't get alone