Security fears inhibiting uptake of digital services

More than three quarters of Australians use a digital identity method, a survey has found, but there are also signs that fears around security of personal information are curbing enthusiasm about  digital government services.

Mark Williams

Digital transformation company Publicis Sapient last December surveyed more than 5000 Australians about their perspectives on digital government services.

Ninety-four per cent of those surveyed said they had used at least one digital service, most commonly in relation to MyGov, healthcare, and financial services and taxes, and 81 per cent used a digital identity method.

However 30 per cent said they were concerned about privacy breaches, and 20 per cent said were worried about not being able access personal data.

Nineteen per cent said they were uneasy about their personal data being stored on government databases.

“Despite an overwhelmingly positive sentiment around digital citizen services, privacy and accessibility are inhibiting service usage,” the company reports.

Research shows that Australians don’t fully trust digital government services, particularly in light of recent data breaches and security incidents.

Publicis Sapient

“Research shows that Australians don’t fully trust digital government services, particularly in light of recent data breaches and security incidents.”

However, respondents reported high levels of satisfaction in relation to healthcare, transport and recreation; and MyGov, with 85 per cent being able to identify at least one benefit of using digital identity via my GovID.

It found around one in three Australians expect more digital services to support their needs including voting, mental health and drivers licences.

While millennials are unsurprising the demographic group most likely to use digital services, the survey identified a “surge” in tech adoption among older populations.

Older Australians, along with minority groups, expressed the need for better access to digital government services, and indigenous communities were less likely to use digital health and financial services.

The company’s Australian federal government lead Mark Williams said the survey suggested that Australians are becoming more comfortable with technology playing a mainstream role in their lives.

“Improved personalisation, user-friendliness and accessibility are driving this shift and encouraging more Australians to embrace a digital future,” he said.

“Keeping track of evolving citizen preferences and pain points, will be critical for governments to deliver more connected citizen experiences.”

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