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Do you trust the government to protect personal data?

33% Yes

67% No

The Big Question is an initiative between Computer Weekly and recruitment consultancy PSD. Each week we put the Big Question to top IT professionals to get their take on a current talking point.

Most IT professionals do not trust the government to protect the data they hold on the public, this week's Big Question reveals.

The poll, which found that 67% are sceptical of the government's ability to hold personal data securely, follows recent press reports that raised further doubts about data vulnerability in government systems, with the claim that "unbreakable" biometric passports were cracked within days by a security expert.

"I guess we can trust the government with protection of our data as much as we can trust banks, mobile companies and online shopping companies," said IT professional Richard Kahoa.

"It is how that data will be used that I think is the main concern," he added.

Other respondents expressed concerns that the government may not be able to attract IT staff of a high-enough quality.

Software developer James Wibble said, "Banks get the best staff because they pay the best money. Everyone else files in behind them. As the public sector is pretty low down the list of top-paying industries, we have to be happy with our data being protected by people who are second best. We need to be prepared to accept the odd mishap."

BCS data security site

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