Americans cautious on exchanging biometric data for improved government services

February 4, 2016 - 

Accenture released the results of its latest #AFSFedPulse survey which questioned people about their willingness to share personal information, including their cellphone number, fingerprints or iris scans, in exchange for improved government service.

The findings concluded that citizens have a mixed response to the use of their personal data in exchange for a more streamlined government.

Unsurprisingly, the majority (67 percent) of respondents said they had no problem with sharing their cellphone number with the government.

The younger generation was more susceptible to providing this kind of personal information, with 74% of millennials saying they would be willing to share their cellphone number, compared to 65% of Gen X and 56% of Baby Boomers.

In regards to sharing their digital image with government in exchange for better service, 45% of citizens said they would be unwilling to share this information.

Despite their willingness to share their cellphone number, the survey found that millennials are less likely to provide iris scans or fingerprints than both boomers and the Silent Generation.

More than half of all respondents — including millennials, boomers, the silent generation and gen-Xers — said they would not provide iris scans in exchange for improved government services.

McGuire Research conducted the online survey of 500 Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia residents during the week of January 18.

Last September, Accenture and the World Bank released a report to help developing nations create universal ID management systems, which found that over 1.8 billion adults in developing countries lack an official ID and therefore have no access to essential services.

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About Justin Lee

Justin Lee has been a contributor with Biometric Update since 2014. Previously, he was a staff writer for web hosting magazine and website, theWHIR. For more than a decade, Justin has written for various publications on issues relating to technology, arts and culture, and entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @BiometricJustin.