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​​Data Security Tops Australian Public's Concerns, Creating Barrier to Digital Identity-based Services Such as Centralised Electronic Health Records – Finds Latest Unisys Security Index™

One in three Australians are not comfortable using a centralised electronic health record, citing data security concerns and not feeling in control of their identities as top barriers

Sydney, 30 October 2018 – Australians are more comfortable using digital identities to engage with government than with commercial entities or financial service providers, citing data security concerns and not feeling in control of one's own identity as the top barriers – according to new research conducted as part of the 2018 Unisys Security Index™. 

The only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally, the 2018 Unisys Security Index of security concerns of the Australian public is 151 out of 300, a moderate level of concern down slightly from 157 in 2017, driven by a corresponding drop in concern about war or terrorism. It is the ninth-highest level of concern of the 13 countries surveyed.

Younger Australians aged 18-24 years are more concerned than those over 55. Unlike the other Asia Pacific countries in the survey (Malaysia, New Zealand and the Philippines), the level of concern is even for both men and women. However, concern is higher for those on higher incomes, which is the reverse of most other countries in the survey.

Top four security concerns for Australians in 2018:

  • Identity Theft: 57 percent of Australians are extremely or very concerned about unauthorised access to, or misuse of, personal information.
  • Bank Card Fraud: 52 percent of Australians are similarly concerned about other people obtaining or using their credit/debit card details.
  • Internet Virus/Hacking: 53 percent of Australians are concerned about these issues.

War or Terrorism: 48 percent of Australians are concerned about these issues.

"This year's Unisys Security Index shows that Australians are more concerned about data security issues such as identity theft, credit card fraud, internet viruses and hacking than about terrorism, natural disasters or personal safety. This has a direct impact on how comfortable consumers are in embracing digital services that involve sensitive personal information," said Tony Windever, vice president and managing director, Unisys Asia Pacific.

Data Security Concerns Inhibit Digital Identity Adoption

This year's study also examined how comfortable Australians are with using various forms of digital identity to verify a person's identity to access services online and offline. It found Australians are more comfortable using digital identities to interact with government organisations than with commercial or financial services providers. They are most comfortable with biometrics, such as fingerprints or facial scans, used to verify passenger identities at airports (65 percent of respondents) or exchanged between law enforcement and border control agencies to identify potential criminals (62 percent).

While 56 percent of Australians are comfortable using a single user ID and authentication to access multiple government services, only 41 percent are comfortable using the same sort of digital identity to access services from different financial service providers. However, only half of Australians (50 percent) are comfortable with a centralised electronic health record, with 31 percent not comfortable, citing concerns about data security (57 percent) and not feeling in control of one's identity (40 percent) as the top reasons for not being comfortable.


How Comfortable Australians Are Using Digital IdentitiesComfortableNot comfortable
Using biometrics such as a facial scan or fingerprint to verify identity when boarding a plane or going through airport security65%21%
Law enforcement and border control agencies exchanging biometric data to identify potential criminals62%20%
Using a single user ID and authentication to access multiple online government services56%25%
A centralised electronic health record that can be viewed securely online, by authorised healthcare providers50%31%
Airports, airlines, border security and hotels sharing passenger information to deliver luggage directly to a passenger's hotel44%35%
Using a single user ID and authentication to access services from different financial service providers (e.g., banking, insurance, credit)41%37%
Using a Facebook account to sign into apps32%49%
Saving passwords, payment information and electronic keys onto a phone or wearable device to wave past a sensor to authorise a transaction28%50%


"For all of the digital identities we looked at, concern around data security is the top reason for not being comfortable using them. The results indicate Australians have a higher level of confidence in the government's ability to keep their data secure. Even so, nearly one in three citizens (31 percent) are not comfortable with electronic health records due to concerns about data security or not being in control of their identities. And they are even less open to embracing digital identities to engage with banking or commercial entities. This underscores the need for organisations to gain trust and build consumer confidence in the digital services they provide by not only showing how data is protected, but also having a clear and meaningful benefit that offers a compelling reason for people to use them," Mr Windever explained.

For additional results and information on the 2018 Unisys Security Index and to download a report on the Australian survey results, visit

About the Unisys Security Index

Unisys has conducted the Unisys Security Index – the only recurring snapshot of security concerns conducted globally – since 2007 in order to provide an ongoing, statistically-robust measure of concern about security. The index is a calculated score out of 300 covering changing consumer attitudes over time across eight areas of security in four categories: national security and disaster/epidemic, in the National Security category; bankcard fraud and financial obligations, in the Financial Security category; viruses/hacking and online transactions, in the Internet Security category; and identity theft and personal safety, in the Personal Security category. The 2018 Unisys Security Index is based on online surveys conducted 19 August - 3 September 2018 of nationally representative samples of at least 1,000 adults in each of the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, the UK and the U.S. The margin of error at a country level is +/-3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence level, and +/-0.9 percent at a global level.

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that builds high-performance, security-centric solutions for the most demanding businesses and governments on Earth. Unisys offerings include security software and services; digital transformation and workplace services; industry applications and services; and innovative software operating environments for high-intensity enterprise computing. For more information on how Unisys builds better outcomes securely for its clients across the Government, Financial Services and Commercial markets, visit Follow Unisys on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Candi Hindocha, The Impact Agency, 
Tel : 61 2 95195411 or 61 459 104978

Claire Hosegood, Unisys APAC,
Tel : 61 411 253663