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​​79 Percent of the UK Public Supports Technology that Alerts Police to Their Location During an Emergency; Only 41 Percent Want their Whereabouts Monitored Continuously, According to Unisys Security Index™

The UK public largely support sharing personal data with police and healthcare providers through Internet of Things devices, but not if it means losing control of personal data

London, UK, July 25, 2017 – U.K. citizens largely support the security and convenience benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) but voiced concerns around personal data and the security of connected and smart devices, according to the 2017 Unisys Security Index™. The UK survey found: 

  • The vast majority of Brits, 79 percent, support using a button on their phones or smartwatches to alert police to their location during emergencies. In contrast, only 41 percent support police being able to monitor fitness tracker data anytime to determine their location at a certain time.
  • The UK public was divided in its support for IoT healthcare applications, with 74 percent supporting IoT-enabled medical devices, such as pacemakers or blood sugar sensors that immediately transmit any significant changes to doctors but only 32 percent supporting the idea of health insurance providers tracking fitness activity via wearable monitors to determine premiums or reward safe behavior.
  • In addition to law enforcement and healthcare, the UK public registered its support for IoT technology related to air travel, with 69 percent of respondents backing the use of sensors in luggage that communicate with an airport's baggage management system and an app on mobile phones to tell them when their luggage has been unloaded and what carousel it will be on.
  • Just 33 percent of UK consumers said they support using a smartwatch app from a bank or credit card company to make payments, with 49 percent stating they did not support this use case.

Barriers to IoT Acceptance

Most UK respondents who did not support some IoT applications reported that they simply did not want various organisations to obtain information about them. Also, many said they did not see a compelling need for the organisations to obtain the data. Security is also a key factor in acceptance of some use IoT applications. Half (50 percent) of those who did not support using a smartwatch app from a bank or credit card company to make payments said they were most worried about the security of those transactions. 

UK respondents also indicated concerns in how international and domestic intelligence services may abuse these types of technologies, with 49 percent of those surveyed believing that intelligence services can, and will, listen to or watch them via their smart televisions and other smart devices. About a fourth of those surveyed (27 percent) stated that they chose not to buy smart devices for fear of them being hacked, but 61 percent said they backed up personal data to protect themselves from the threat of hackers. Should the worst happen, only 42 percent of respondents said all of their connected devices were fully insured against hackers, either under an individual or home insurance plan, and 63 percent agreed that they would not be able to afford to replace all of their connected devices should they get hacked.  

Salvatore Sinno, Global Chief Security Architect at Unisys, commented, "The combination of people wanting to stay hyper-connected and the growing number of high-profile cyber-attacks and security threats is creating a society with high expectations of technology, but also with high concerns around how their personal data is used and managed. Technology providers need to continually educate and reassure consumers while providing transparency on security procedures and controls to protect users."  

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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 2017 Unisys Security Index is based on online surveys conducted between April 6-18, 2017 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 U.S. and the UK. 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. For more information on the 2017 Unisys Security Index, visit

About Unisys

Unisys is a global information technology company that specializes in providing industry-focused solutions integrated with leading-edge security to clients in the government, financial services and commercial markets. Unisys offerings include security solutions, advanced data analytics, cloud and infrastructure services, application services and application and server software. For more information, visit

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Contacts :

Nick Miles, Unisys EMEA, +44(0)7808 391543 -

Sarah Nadif, Octopus Group for Unisys, +44(0)203 837 3737 -

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