ID Crypt Global latest research has revealed more than 80% of the British public have taken active steps to deny tech companies the permission to access and use their personal data.
However, ID Crypt Global says it is not enough to abate wide-spread concern about digital identity security and is calling for it to be decentralised.
When we sign-up to and use online technology services, we invariably have to grant them access to a lot of our personal digital identity. The companies then use this data for various, often highly profitable, purposes including commoditising to sell to third parties, predicting future behaviour, and improving the accuracy of targeted advertising.
ID Crypt Global calls for Self-Sovereign Identity
In the face of all of this data harvesting, a worldwide call is being made to introduce what is known as Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI)
SSI, sometimes referred to as decentralised identity, is a model that gives individuals full ownership and control of their digital identities without relying on third parties.
It allows people to self-manage their digital identities, choosing what companies can and cannot access and share, and because it is stored in a decentralised manner, the risk of major data breaches is mitigated.
Consumers taking back control
A survey of 1,250 members of the UK public shows that concern is high while industry insiders say that public trust is low.
72% of respondents say they are concerned about the privacy of their digital identity, while 75% are concerned that the mobile apps they use are utilising data to track their online and, sometimes, offline activity.
The biggest concern is social media, with 47% saying this is where they are most concerned about the privacy and safety of their personal data, while the data we’re most concerned about is our personal contacts (21%), media libraries (18%), and location (16%).
66% claim that they are aware of the kind of data that online sites and apps are gathering, while 68% say that they have actually reviewed permissions before installing a mobile app.
Perhaps most striking of all is the fact that a massive 81% of people have read the small print and then decided to actively deny the permissions that the app is hoping to be given.
CEO and Founder of ID Crypt Global, Lauren Wilson-Smith, commented: “The EU is currently looking into SSI; what role it can play and how it can best be rolled out across the population. Here in the UK, we’re no longer part of the EU so our government would have to take its own proactive approach.”
UK lawmakers and regulators must act
Wilson-Smith continued: “As industry experts in digital identity security, we’ve long hoped that SSI would become the universal norm, and now this survey proves that the general public want and need it as quickly as possible.
“People know about the data grabbing that’s going on, and they know that there are serious problems with the way it has been allowed to happen so widely and so quickly. Consumers can do their best to protect themselves, but they simply do not have the level of control they deserve or require. And it’s well-known that in the absence of personal control or process transparency, trust levels plummet.
“We all have to hope that UK lawmakers and regulators get their heads around SSI as quickly as possible, but in the meantime there are some great service providers out there who are working hard to protect consumers from this greedy, cynical, and risky practice.”
Full survey results and further data tables can be viewed online, here.