NEWS22 June 2020

UK citizens mistrust Covid-19 app data security

Covid-19 Europe Mobile News North America Privacy UK

UK – Around four in ten UK citizens are willing to share data with the government to stop Covid-19, according to research from adtech company Ogury.

Contact tracing covid tracking_crop

Ogury also found that 60% of the 2,643 UK mobile phone users it surveyed did not trust the government to protect data they share with it, and 41% of all respondents would download the app.

The survey comes as the government abandoned plans to release its own track and trace app based on a centralised model data storage in favour of a decentralised one produced by Google and Apple.

Ogury surveyed 16,000 mobile users in the UK, US, France, Germany, Italy and Spain and found similarities between all six countries in terms of take-up and trust in contact tracing apps.

In Germany 36% of citizens were willing to share data and 60% did not trust their government on data security.

France, which has only just launched its own contact tracing app, 33% were willing to share data to prevent Covid-19’s spread. Belief the French government would protect data was also low, with 63% of respondents stating they did not trust their government to do so.

The US had the lowest levels of trust in its government to protect data, with 67% mistrusting their government’s ability to secure data shared via a contact tracing app, and 38% of everyone in the study willing to download it in the first place.

In Spain 41% were willing to share data with the government and 57% did not trust the government to store it securely.

Italy also mistrusted its government over data security, with 59% having concerns about data security but 38% of the total number of people questioned willing to download a contact tracing app.

Elie Kanaan, chief marketing and strategy officer at Ogury, said: “Trusted consent will make or break the success of contact tracing apps. Trust can be built if clear information on the app’s purposes and the data it requires are shared with the public, along with ultimate control over their data throughout.

“Citizens know their data holds real value, and they will decide whether or not the contact tracing app succeeds long term.”

Ogury’s survey used its own proprietary technology, which is integrated into more than 10,000 apps across the world. The survey was shown to a randomised sample of Ogury’s 400 million opted-in users.