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9/10 Kiwis want more control of their digital identity


A total of 79 percent of New Zealanders are concerned about the protection of their identity and use of personal data by organisations, according to a research survey commissioned by Digital Identity New Zealand (DINZ).

Andrew Weaver, executive director of DINZ, says there is a public concern and some frustration about how their personal data is shared online.

Change in behaviour is occurring with 73 percent of Kiwis claiming to have made a change to their online behaviour because of privacy concerns, he says.

“Kiwis are seeking greater transparency and control, however seven out of 10 say it's currently too hard to protect their identity and data online.

“Barriers to control of personal data exist. The survey found 85 percent of respondents said there was a lack of transparency, as well as concern in having to share data with so many organisations.

“Additionally, only one in 20 New Zealanders have a fully satisfied experience with registering new accounts. Nine out of 10 New Zealanders find the idea of being more in control of their digital identity appealing.

“There is wide appeal for more permissions over how organisations access their identity data, and the choice to view and manage this in one secure place,” Weaver says.

“There is generally low understanding around how to protect personal information and data by New Zealanders and a general perception by 68 percent of those surveyed that doing so is difficult right now. Education and knowledge around personal identity is a key need for New Zealanders.

“Digital Identity NZ wants New Zealand to be a country where everyone can fully participate in society by confidentially expressing their digital identity. This survey was commissioned in order to support DINZ in understanding New Zealanders perception and awareness of digital identity today.

“We commissioned our partner Yabble to undertake further research in this area. In particular, focusing on the emerging concept of self-sovereign identity.

“At its core, self-sovereign identity is about giving individuals, who are the true owners of personal data, secure and simple to use ways of ‘doing business’ online, without sacrificing their privacy.

“We want to bridge the gap and empower the 54 percent of Kiwis who currently don’t know what to do to protect themselves,” he says.

All these issues relating to digital identity will be discussed at a major national conference in Wellington in August.

New Zealanders consider personal information or data in areas such as a driver’s licence or passport, transactions, contact details, names and addresses, employment details, online browsing, marital status, loyalty card usage, demographic details, photos and videos uploaded, date from apps, social media activity and posts and heritage and ancestry.

Digital Identity NZ is part of the NZ Tech Alliance.

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