It’s Not Just the Millenials: Voters Demand Digital Security

April 18, 2016 - 3 minutes read

Apple Encryption

A recent study from Purple Insights on behalf of The App Association (ACT) shows that an overwhelming majority of voters support encryption and privacy — to the tune of a staggering 93%.

Thanks in large part to NSA whistleblowing and the recent Apple vs. FBI case, consumers outside of tech have become more concerned than ever about who might be tracking their digital footprints.

This data represents a huge sea change for mobile app development companies, with public opinion swinging dramatically in their favor. The question is, will government policy continue to fall short when it comes to understanding tech issues?

Most consumers trust tech companies more than elected officials

Among those interviewed, the prevailing sentiment was in favor of technology companies increasing encryption and security measures. One in three people interviewed stated that their private information had been compromised through digital channels, a ratio that’s well-supported by the statistical rise in consumer-focussed hacking efforts by criminal groups in the last five years.

Most worried that if “backdoors” were created, they would quickly fall into the hands of hackers. Consumers are well within their rights to be concerned about what could happen to their information if their phone’s operating system was *purposefully*hackable. That’s why Los Angeles mobile app developers have been so vocal in their disapproval of the government approach to encryption in the Apple vs. FBI case.

It’s not just millennials

…But what’s most compelling about the ACT study isn’t just the demand for digital security, but the wide range of demographics that all seem to agree. Political pundits might like you to believe that it’s just “millennials” clamoring for text message privacy, but the ACT study among others show that baby boomers and seniors are just as likely to support encryption, in spite of government pressure to hand over data in the interest of national security.

Statistics were also stable across party lines. For example, when asked if they believed complete privacy on mobile devices was important, 81% of Democrats and 86% of Republicans agreed.

Encryption is a tug of war between hackers and tech companies, with consumer data caught in the middle

When it comes to encryption, the real losers in the struggle between mobile app developers and government policy are consumers. Losing personal data to hackers can have enormous negative consequences, and wastes billions of taxpayer dollars every year.

It’s our hope at Dogtown Media that politicians will begin to listen to mobile developers and the American public on this issue, and start working alongside tech companies to fix the problem rather than pushing against them.

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