Survey: D.C.-area millennials care less about personal data

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Millennial residents of the nation’s capital region seem less concerned about the privacy and security of their personal data than their older neighbors, and even those who work for the federal government are less inclined to support federal spending on cybersecurity, according to a new poll.

Overall, 67 percent of those surveyed by Accenture Federal Services agreed with the statement “The federal government needs to invest in data security, so that citizens’ data are protected.” But among the so-called silent generation — those born before 1946 — 86 percent agree. That proportion falls to 70 percent among baby boomers and to only 63 percent of millennials, those born after 1978.

Interestingly, of those respondents who work or used to work for the federal government, only 56 percent support investment, compared to 70 percent of those who have never worked for Uncle Sam.

Nearly eight in 10 of the silent generation (79 percent) agreed that the federal government needs to inform the public about data breaches “in real time, instead of waiting for months.” But only 56 percent of millennials thought the same. Overall, 60 percent agreed.

Millennials also appear more relaxed about other government data issues, agreeing less frequently than the overall population with the following statement: “The federal government needs to be more transparent about what happens with our data.” Baby boomers (born between 1947 and 1964) and Generation Xers (1965-1978) agree with that statement 62 and 66 percent of the time, respectively. But millennials, at 51 percent, and the silent generation at 57 percent, are less concerned. Overall 57 percent agreed.

The survey of 500 D.C.-area residents was the latest in Accenture Federal Services’ monthly FedPulse surveys and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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