People would share personal info for better government services, survey says


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In the eternal struggle between convenience and privacy, convenience looks like its pulling ahead, according to a new survey.

The data, collected last month by Accenture Federal Services, shows that a majority of people would be willing to share personal information, like cell phone numbers or fingerprints, for quicker, more personalized uses of government services, such as tax returns, passports or programs like Medicare.

Of the 509 Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland residents surveyed, 67 percent said they would give up their cell phone numbers for improved services, according to Accenture’s data. Sixty-one percent were willing to give their fingerprints for convenience, while 56 percent would give up their digital photograph.

But what if the government wanted something more personal, like a scan of your eye? According to the data, only 35 percent would give their iris scan, while 42 percent would allow a voice-print to be taken for voice recognition.

Millennials are the most likely to give away their cell phone details — 74 percent said they would share their number, compared to 65 percent of Gen X-ers and 56 percent of Baby Boomers. With biometrics though, Baby Boomers were more likely to accept the use of voice recognition or iris scans than millennials and Gen X respondents. 

Of current government workers, 59 percent said they would give away their cell phone number, while 70 percent of those who never worked for the government would share. Generally, government workers were less responsive to increased sharing. 

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Accenture Federal Services, data analytics, Tech
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