Ingenia research reveals lack of trust
21 May 2012
Anti-counterfeit firm Ingenia Technology has released new research at this week’s SDW 2012, revealing consumers’ lack of faith in the security of personal and identification documents. It is calling on document producers to continue to embrace new technologies to help protect consumers’ identities.
The survey of more than 2,000 UK adults examined consumer attitudes to the security of the documents designed to represent and protect their identity. It showed that a significant proportion of people do not even consider some of our primary methods of identification including passports and driving licences as secure from forgery and attack. Indeed, 16% of those surveyed thought none of these identification documents could be considered as secure.
Nearly a third of people (32%) said they didn’t consider passports to be secure, while 44% said the same about driving licences. Ingenia says: “Given that these two documents are the most common forms of ID in the UK, and considering the enhanced security features that have been embedded in the latest generations of both documents, these figures make for troubling reading.”
Andrew Gilbert, deputy managing director at Ingenia, comments: “When we think about our ‘identity’ it is very easy to think of our online identities built up over numerous services and networks. However, it would be very premature if we did not still consider physical documentation. Passports, licences and certificates remain a huge part of what makes up our identity, and as a result they remain a major target for criminals and counterfeiters.
“These secure documents, much more than our online details, are what we use to prove conclusively who we are on a regular basis and to gain access to a range of services, provided by both public and private organisations. The fact that such high numbers of people are expressing doubts about their security should be a wake-up call both for document producers and security technology suppliers.”
The research also shows how little faith consumers have in the security of other documentation that is regularly used for identification, such as bank statements and utility bills. For instance more than 86% of those questioned did not consider their utility bill secure.
“As valuable and important as our passport and other ‘high level’ documents like driving licences are, it is clear that our identities are not defined and authenticated by these documents alone,” says Gilbert. “Instead, our identities span a much broader range of items. However, these other items fundamentally lack the security features that have been embedded in items like passports in recent years. So it isn’t hard to see why they are not considered secure either, when bills and statements are often simple printed documents with very few or no security features beyond corporate branding. It seems clear that when it comes to protecting our identities, much more needs to be done to fight back against the counterfeiters.”
Ingenia’s research also highlights how consumers need to be more aware of the potential for their documentation to be used fraudulently. Although 78% of the respondents claimed to have shredded their secure documentation before disposing of it, some people admit to have thrown personal documents out with the regular rubbish (9%) or recycled it with other paper documents (8%).
The full report detailing the findings is available to download here