WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2020 — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge and resist control, Virtru, the new standard in data protection, today announced the results of a U.S. study conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Virtru, regarding Americans’ attitudes toward contact tracing technology efficacy and privacy, and confidence in roles played by technology companies as well as government at all levels. With health experts emphasizing the criticality of contact tracing and the need to employ technology at scale, the study found an impressive percentage of Americans (52%) willing to share their medical records, even beyond COVID-19 test status, with government agencies and organizations to help with the pandemic response – even more so, 61% would be more willing if given control over access to their own information. However, when it comes to contact tracing apps created by states and technology providers, less than half of Americans (42%) are confident in the privacy of information captured.
Conducted during the latest surge (July 7-9) among a sample of 2,022 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, the study shows a strong willingness and unity in serving the greater good, but with reservations. Additionally, highlighting some significant generational differences, the reservations focus on the source of enabling technologies, the guidance and policies governing data collection, the ability to verify the trustworthiness of all parties with access, and even broader U.S. political efforts related to surveillance and the privacy of personal information. The high-level insights include:
“As we continue to battle the pandemic, and at a time when trust in each other and institutions is most critical, we’re living in a massive trust deficit,” said Virtru Co-founder and CEO John Ackerly. “While we all love the convenience and access technology has afforded us, our personal information has become an economic engine and even a weapon, and as a result, we have very little control over it. So when we’re asked to give our most sensitive health information over to someone else, it’s understandable to fear that the data may be used and shared beyond what is asked. Boomers and Gen X are jaded because they’ve been burned on privacy too many times, and Millennials and Gen Z have largely grown up in a ‘public by default,’ social media world. A time of crisis like this should be a catalyst for us to change the rules and the game, to not only re-establish personal privacy, but install mechanisms for individual verifiable trust.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Virtru from July 7-9, 2020 among 2,022 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Shannon Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Virtru, we empower organizations to easily unlock the power of data while maintaining control, everywhere it’s stored and shared. Creators of TDF (Trusted Data Format), the open industry standard for persistent data protection, Virtru provides flexible, easy to use, and trusted privacy technologies built on its data protection platform that govern access to data throughout its full lifecycle – from creation to transmission, storage, analysis, and sharing. For more information, visit www.virtru.com or follow us on Twitter at @virtruprivacy.
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CHEN PR for Virtru
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