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Do citizens trust government to marshall the cloud?
Source: http://www.futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, November 29, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Created: Dec 02, 2010

A recent study has revealed how citizens’ attitudes towards cloud computing and their governments’ ability to regulate the cloud vary globally. Titled ‘Personal data in the cloud’, the study found that citizens in China are 25 per cent more likely to trust their government than the global average.

According to the study by Fujitsu, the Chinese are also 20 per cent more likely to believe that the government should play a role in facilitating data sharing. Citizens in the United States on the other hand are 20 per cent less likely to trust their government with their data.

Among the Asia Pacific countries surveyed, Australia and Japan have the most receptive attitudes to cloud computing and data sharing; 23 per cent and 21 per cent of their respective citizens were labelled as “advocates”, or supporters, of the technology.

Singapore, China and India take the fourth, second and first positions, respectively, of countries with the smaller proportion of advocates (nine per cent; five per cent; and four per cent).

When asked to evaluate the role of government in making citizen data secure, different countries picked different solutions.

Chinese citizens expect active intervention from the government, wanting the authorities to play a key role in facilitating data sharing. In Japan, citizens prefer their government to play a positive yet passive role — keeping data secure and providing advice.

The study identifies trust as the main cause of objection to the uptake of cloud technology. Only 20 per cent trust governments to look after their data.

However, there are certain scenarios in which the benefits of cloud computing were deemed to outweigh its detriments. In Japan, Singapore and Australia, a centralised medical data bank (35 per cent, 46 per cent, and 48 per cent, respectively) and a platform for monitoring the well being of the elderly (38 per cent, 53 per cent, and 63 per cent, respectively) were identified as potential plus points.

Across the 12 countries surveyed, the top solutions picked for government’s role in data sharing were:

  • Impose penalties to keep data secure (1st)
  • Keep laws governing data security up to date (2nd)
  • Create strict laws (3rd)
  • Keep data safe and secure (4th)
  • Not pass on data (4th)
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