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May 24, 2017

British public sceptical about protection of medical records

It has been almost two weeks since the cyber-attack using the virus WannaCry. The attack was especially damaging to the NHS, disrupting services at 61 organisations. No report of compromised patient data has come forward, yet patient trust in protection of medical records seem to be plummeting. This was reported by UKCloud Health after an extensive survey amongst 2000 adults.

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The research was carried out by UKCloud Health with ComRes and aimed to help identify the extent to which the British public feels concerned about the protection of their personal data and personally identifiable data. The research was carried out before the WannaCry attack, but the attack did show that the level of concern shown by British citizens were justified.

Very worried about health records

A total of 65% of those questioned stated that they were concerned about whether their health records are protected by companies and public services. Over a third stated that they were ‘very worried’. People in London, the East and West Midlands and Wales were the most concerned about their medical information, with each region scoring 69% on very concerned.

Adults age 65 and over were most likely to express concern about their personal data. Younger people, between the ages of 18 and 24, were more worried about their social media content. The difference was to be expected, since younger people are more likely to use social media.

Keeping it between borders

The adults participating in the survey were all keen on keeping their information inside the borders of the UK. The majority, 58%, would trust UK-based businesses with storing their data securely. Non-UK businesses are a lot less popular: only 15% would trust their information with them. One in five of the adults indicated that they think that the British government should always prioritise working with UK based businesses, even if that means it’s more expensive. A larger percentage (55%) thinks that the government should only work with British businesses over foreign businesses if there is no difference in price and service.

The majority (63%) stated that they would be likely to trust secure government networks to store and process personal data. The majority (82%) did state that they believe that the UK government should ask permission before storing individuals data in non-UK countries.

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