A Third of U.S. Citizens Prefer Mobile Access to Government Services, According to Unisys Survey
Survey of more than 2,000 people in eight states shows citizens who prefer mobile engagement want a single app to download for access to all government services
BLUE BELL, Pa., October 12, 2018 – Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS) today released the results of a survey that shows about a third of U.S. citizens (32 percent) want to use their mobile devices to access government services, with more than half of those respondents indicating a preference for a single government-wide app that would give them access to multiple government services using their phones.
The survey, sponsored by Unisys and conducted by YouGov, queried more than 2,000 citizens living in eight U.S. states were surveyed online between May and June 2018 about their online customer experiences with public agencies. The states were: California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.
The survey also indicated that the greatest barrier to online engagement between citizens and government are related to privacy and security. Sixty-nine percent of respondents who said they do not want to share personal data with the government thought it would infringe on their privacy. Two-thirds also said they were concerned about how their data would be used by the government and that their data would not be protected.
"This survey shows a growing acceptance among large percentages of U.S. citizens for connecting with government using smartphones and tablets," said Mark Forman, global head of Public Sector, Unisys. "But the large number of those still reluctant to engage with agencies in this way tells us that governments have to do a better job of letting citizens know their data will be protected and used appropriately for their benefit."
Other highlights from the survey results include:
- Computers or tablets are strongly preferred for more complex tasks such as paying taxes or renewing licenses, and mobile devices are preferred for less complex tasks like obtaining general information or reporting incidents. But citizens also want the option to contact government agencies through their home telephones and in-person; and citizens want a more official presence online than social media for most interactions.
- A large number of people want to see the government share data for limited purposes – specifically, when it strengthens security and facilitates efficiency. Sixty-eight percent of respondents registered some level of support for agencies sharing their personal data to enable law enforcement agencies to identify crime and terrorism. Somewhat smaller majorities are also open to inter-agency sharing when it eliminates the need to repeat the same the information to different agencies (60 percent), and enables government to deliver more targeted programs and services (58 percent).
"These numbers show us the path for the public sector to build trust with citizens, but they must show them exactly what they are doing with their data," said Forman. "Agencies must first focus on safety and privacy, then communication and education, and third on making citizens' lives easier."
For more information on Unisys Digital Government solutions, go to www.unisys.com/digital-government.
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 www.unisys.com.
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Merrie Leininger, Hill+Knowlton Strategies for Unisys, 202-944-5160