|Data protection is a big issue these days, as a number of high-profile security breaches have occurred in both the public and private sectors. But did you know that state-owned bodies are actually highly trusted on this matter by young people? Well, a study by IT solutions provider Logicalis UK has revealed that nearly three-quarters of 13 to 17-year-olds in Britain are happy to share their details with government organisations.
It’s a reassuring vote of confidence in bodies like local authorities and healthcare providers, as we’re warned all the time of the consequences of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands. Some might suffer extreme personal embarrassment, while others might be unlucky enough to have their identities stolen and their details used to commit fraud. But young people are perhaps the most tech-savvy generation of all, so the fact they have confidence in the public sector’s ability to safeguard this information deserves recognition and praise.
Some 57% of 13 to 17-year-olds said they would be willing to share data with public sector bodies, while 16% were very willing to do so. By contrast, just 49% and 8% said they were willing or very willing respectively to share their information with brands.
Young people seem to be particularly comfortable with sharing details about their health, despite the fact this could be the most sensitive personal data of all. Nearly two-thirds said they’d be happy with healthcare providers using their information in an effort to deliver better services. This is perhaps a key point to stress when you’re trying to persuade others to part with their personal data – you’ve got to show how it can be good for them, rather than for you. If they feel their details will be used for a greater and wider purpose, it can be easier to get them to buy into the idea of sharing personal information with you.
But building confidence in your ability to handle personal data involves much more than this – and here are just a few further things you could do to boost your credibility in this area…
Volunteer for ICO inspection
The Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK’s data protection regulator, audits public and private sector bodies to make sure they’re complying with the law. So if you’re confident in your processes, why not volunteer for an inspection? What better way is there to demonstrate to the public that you handle personal data safely and securely? It doesn’t cost a thing, you could learn how to improve your processes even further, and it would go a long way towards making people feel confident enough to give you sensitive information.
Educate your staff
The ICO website offers loads of downloadable posters, postcards and stickers that can remind employees of the need to comply with the law. Additionally you could have mousemats printed with key points that’ll always be to hand on desktops. It all helps to ensure they’re taking enough care when they’re handling sensitive data and might curb some frustratingly common mistakes, like sending information to the wrong person accidentally.
Offer advice to service users
Once you’ve shown you know a thing or two about safeguarding sensitive data, why not share your wisdom with the wider public? Advice on this critical matter could be given out on everything from leaflets and posters to promotional merchandise such as branded USB flashdrives – which lets them practice what they’ve learned straight away.
In this digital age, the nature of data protection is changing all the time, but showing you’re up to speed with this rapidly evolving area can be exactly what you need to win public trust and secure data that helps you improve the service you provide.
Teens ‘trust public sector most’ with personal data, PublicTechnology.net
For organisations, ICO