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Data Security Tops New Zealand Public’s Concerns

Data Security Tops New Zealand Public’s Concerns Ahead of Natural Disasters and Terrorism, Creating Barrier to Consumers Embracing Digital Identity-based Services – Unisys Security Index™

New Zealanders are very comfortable using digital identities to engage with government, but not when accessing financial services or authorising payments, with data security concerns cited as the top barrier

Wellington, 24 October 2018 – New Zealanders are more concerned about data security issues spanning identity theft, credit card fraud and internet viruses or hacking, than natural disasters or terrorism, and this is impeding consumer take-up of new digital identity-based services – according to the 2018 Unisys Security Index™.

The only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally, the 2018 Unisys Security Index of security concerns of the New Zealand public is 138 out of 300, down from 154 in 2017, returning to previous levels of concern recorded in 2013 and 2014. This is the largest decrease in concern over the last year of the 13 countries surveyed, with New Zealand recording the third lowest index score.

The drop was largely driven by a decrease in concern around natural disasters, with 41 percent concerned about a serious event such as an earthquake, flood or epidemic occurring in New Zealand – down from 51 percent in 2017. Overall concern is higher among women than men, and 18-24 year olds are more concerned than 55-65 year olds.

Top three concerns for Kiwis:
Identity Theft: 53 percent of New Zealanders are extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to, or misuse of, personal information.
Bank Card Fraud: 50 percent of New Zealanders are similarly concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit/debit card details.
Internet Virus/Hacking: 47 percent of New Zealanders concerned.

“While New Zealanders experienced a relatively calm year in terms of politics and natural disasters, local and global data breaches dominated media headlines and impacted many of us personally – so data security is top of mind,” said Andrew Whelan, vice president Commercial Industries, Unisys Asia Pacific.

Data Security Concerns Inhibit Digital Identity Adoption:
This year’s study also examined how comfortable New Zealanders are with using various forms of digital identity to verify a person’s identity to access services online and offline. The majority of New Zealanders (60 percent) are comfortable using various digital identities to interact with government organisations, but support falls dramatically when it involves saving information onto a phone or wearable device, such as in a digital wallet, to enable authorization of transactions (25 percent). Only 33 percent of New Zealanders are comfortable using their
Facebook accounts to access apps. Concern about data security was cited as the main reason not being comfortable with all of the digital identities considered in the survey, except the use of biometrics in airports - where the top concern is not feeling in control of your own identity.

Percentage of New Zealanders Comfortable Using This Type of Digital Identity
Using biometrics such as a facial scan or fingerprint to verify identity when boarding a plane or going through airport security 72%
Law enforcement and border control agencies exchanging biometric data to identify potential criminals 68%
A centralised electronic health record that can be viewed securely online, by authorised healthcare providers 62%
Using a single user ID and authentication to access multiple online government services 60%
Airports, airlines, border security and hotels sharing passenger information to deliver luggage directly to a passenger's hotel 47%
Using a single user ID and authentication to access financial services from different providers (eg banking, insurance, credit) 41%
Using a Facebook account to sign into apps 33%
Saving passwords, payment information and electronic keys onto a phone or wearable device to wave past a sensor to authorise a transaction 25%

“The results indicate that New Zealanders are more likely to embrace digital identities to engage with government organisations, especially where there are clear benefits of increased convenience or security. But in the banking sector, concerns about data security are hindering the take up of new services such as digital wallets and the integrated financial products that are evolving in the growing open banking environment. To overcome this discomfort, service providers must be able to show New Zealand consumers the measures they’ve taken to protect customer data across the entire supply chain,” Mr Whelan explained.

For more additional results and information on the 2018 Unisys Security Index and to download a report on the New Zealand survey results, visit

About the Unisys Security Index
Unisys has conducted the Unisys Security Index – the only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally – since 2007 in order to provide an ongoing, statistically-robust measure of concern about security. The index is a calculated score out of 300 covering changing consumer attitudes over time across eight areas of security in four categories: national security and disaster/epidemic, in the National Security category; bankcard fraud and financial obligations, in the Financial Security category; viruses/hacking and online transactions, in the Internet Security category; and identity theft and personal safety, in the Personal Security category. The 2018 Unisys Security Index is based on online surveys conducted August 19-September 3, 2018 of nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, the U.S. and the UK. The margin of error at a country level is +/-3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence level, and 0.9 percent at a global level.


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