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Consumers' Security Concerns: A Barrier for Digital Identity
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:35 AM

New research from Fannie Mae

A standardized digital identify—an electronically verified set of attributes that uniquely describe a person—can improve, simplify, and accelerate identity-dependent transactions, including buying or renting a home. But given the growing number and severity of personal data breaches, many Americans say the risks of having a digital identity outweigh the benefits.

In a new study, Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research team surveyed consumers to understand their perceptions of and comfort levels with digital financial identity and how those views might affect U.S. financial activities.

Key findings:

  • Just 13 percent of respondents said they're interested in having a digital financial identity.
  • Those who are more highly educated, have higher incomes, or are ages 18-34 (Millennials) are only slightly more interested in having a digital financial identity.
  • Many consumers said they wouldn't be more interested in having a digital financial identity even if it meant a quicker, easier, and less costly mortgage application process.
  • Fifty percent of respondents said security and safety of personal information was the biggest concern regarding digital financial identity. The second biggest concern was the use of information for purposes other than what the individual chooses.
  • Roughly half of respondents said large financial institutions or the U.S. government should manage digital financial identities. Those entities are seen as being able to better safeguard information than other organizations can.

Read the full report.