Tietoevry's Security Barometer 2022: High trust in Nordic authorities’ management of personal data paves the way for secure digitalization in the region
07 December 2022
Citizens of Finland, Norway and Sweden continue to have high confidence in how their personal data is handled by public authorities in their countries. But trust in how their personal data is handled by companies is decreasing. These are some of the findings in the Security Barometer 2022, a bi-annual survey by Tietoevry.
Trust in government handling of personal data remains high across the Nordic region. Citizens in Finland have the highest level of trust, where nine out of ten people (87%) say they are confident in how their personal data is handled. In Sweden it’s eight out of ten people (78%) and in Norway seven out of ten (69%). In all three countries people are less reluctant than two years ago to share data for the purpose of improving public services.
“I’m happy to see that the fast digitalization of public services, partly caused by the pandemic, has not compromised public perception of the security of services,” says Maria Nordgren, Head of Cybersecurity Services at Tietoevry.
Nordic citizens’ trust in public authorities’ handling of data is in stark contrast to how they feel about personal data handling by the private sector. Approximately 47% of the citizens in Finland and Sweden are insecure about how their data is handled by companies. In Norway, as many as six out of ten people (62%) feel insecure about it. This is 13 percentage points higher than two years ago, showing a clear decline in trust.
“Declining trust in the way companies handle personal data is a serious matter and risks damaging business opportunities, especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises. A high level of trust is crucial for successful digitalization,” says Nordgren.
The Security Barometer also reveals that fear of being hacked when shopping online is increasing significantly in all three countries. The concern is particularly high in Finland, where six out of ten respondents (57%) say they are concerned when shopping online. In Norway concern is increasing the most, from one in ten people expressing concern in 2020, to four out of ten in 2022.
"Data is a resource that can and should be shared, as long as it’s done in a way that is transparent and understandable to users. The Security Barometer shows that companies need to improve their ability to demonstrate how collected data is used. Transparency is essential for increasing consumers’ confidence,” concludes Nordgren.
About the Security Barometer
The Tietoevry Security Barometer is a bi-annual survey that examines the level of consumer trust in relation to online security and privacy. In its third edition, the survey collects consumer views on data security and protection across the Nordic countries. This study was conducted in collaboration with the research institutes Kantar Sifo in Finland, Norway and Sweden in October and November 2022. More than 3,000 respondents contributed to the survey (approximately 1,000 per country).