UK citizens want more secure digital public services, research finds

A new study has revealed that UK citizens are keener than ever to use digital public services. However, there are significant concerns about privacy and the security of their personal information.

The research report, conducted by Ipsos for Sopra Steria, found that 83% of UK citizens want to access public services via digital channels. Security of data and confidentiality of personal information is the main blockage. Half (48%) of the citizens surveyed are worried about unauthorised access to their data. However, government is considered part of the solution – over half of those surveyed (54%) said increased government involvement could assuage their security fears.

Philip Craig, Strategic Director, Government Sector at Sopra Steria, commented: “No single factor will alter citizens’ experience of government more than digital technologies. They are telling us that the next phase of digital transformation must promote collaboration across departmental boundaries, particularly in health. But citizens want further reassurance that this joined-up government is secure and their personal information is protected.”

Sopra Steria’s report also finds that UK citizens tend to use digital public services less often than other European users. In addition, 75% of citizens in Norway and 70% of residents in France viewed their respective digital public services as being advanced, a higher level than citizens in the UK (64%).

Other key findings from today’s report, entitled The Citizen View of the Digital Transformation of Government, highlight that:

  • 64% of UK citizens describe digital government as advanced, but their experience still falls short of the best of the private sector
  • Nearly three quarters (74%) of citizens say the development of online public services should remain a government priority
  • Citizens want government to invest in the creation of a single portal, that allows access to multiple public services (76% said this was a priority), and greater use of technology and online services for health (49%)
  • Despite the exponential increase in data generated by government, only a third of citizens could cite examples of services that used data and information from other parts of government (notably passport applications and driving license renewals)
  • Nearly half of UK citizens (48%) said they were worried about unauthorised access to their data and over one third (39%) were concerned about providing personal information online

To download the full report, click here.

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