In an effort to enhance online security and privacy, the Obama administration has proposed Americans obtain a single ID for all Internet sales and banking activity. But a new Rasmussen Reports poll finds most Americans want nothing to do with such an ID if the government is the one to issue it and hold the information.
The Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 13% of American Adults favor the issuing of a secure government credential to replace all traditional password protection systems for online sales and banking activities. Sixty percent (60%) oppose such a credential. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are not sure.
Only eight percent (8%) of Americans would be willing to submit their personal financial and purchasing information to the government or a government contractor to receive a secure government credential for online transactions. Seventy-six percent (76%) would not be willing to submit this information for that purpose. Sixteen percent (16%) are undecided.
Aware of concerns that have been raised in the past about a national ID card, the administration appears to be downplaying the government role in the process but is clearly encouraging the development of a single personal credential to limit the security risks from multiple – and more easily hacked – passwords. Unclear is the role that the Department of Homeland Security, a key mover behind the single credential, will play in the future.
Most adults across virtually all demographic categories oppose the issuance of a single secure government credential for online purposes.
Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans and 65% of adults not affiliated with either major party oppose such a credential. Among Democrats, however, 19% like the idea, 45% oppose it, and 36% are undecided.
But even 64% of Democrats draw the line at providing their financial and purchasing information to the government or a government-designated contractor. Republicans (87%) and unaffiliated adults (79%) are even more adamantly opposed.
Government employees aren’t much more thrilled with the idea than those who work for private companies.
Fifty-seven percent (57%) of Americans are at least somewhat confident in the security of online transactions and banking, including 17% who are Very Confident.
Eighteen percent (18%) of Americans with at least one credit card say they have had credit card information stolen online. But voters believe free market competition will protect Internet users more than government regulation and fear that regulation will be used to push a political agenda.
The latest findings echo suspicions Americans have voiced about the federal government in the past. In fact, 69% of Likely U.S. Voters remain at least somewhat angry with the current policies of the federal government, up slightly from 65% last August.
Just 28% of voters believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed.
The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on April 18-19, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC.
Rasmussen Reports is an electronic media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion polling information. For more information, visit http://www.rasmussenreports.com.