The results of a new survey on e-government reflect a common sense understanding of the Internet in general: the convenience is great, but there is concern about privacy and security issues:
- The report said that 49 percent of its general American population survey believe it is appropriate for the government to search its existing databases for information that could help it track down terrorists. But 42 percent disagreed, believing that “protecting privacy should be a top priority.”
Also, 52 percent of Americans, according to the survey, believe that government investment in e-government would enhance homeland security by helping agencies, such as the FBI, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the police to share information quickly and to better coordinate emergency response. But 36 percent said it would hurt homeland security, partly because Internet technology might be vulnerable to attack.
The survey, the third annual on e-government, was conducted in February by Hart/Teeter Research on behalf of the Council for Excellence in Government, which has long supported expansion of e-government, and Accenture, a consulting, management and telecommunications company. The survey was to be released today. Patricia McGinnis, chief executive of the council, said the survey shows “how e-savvy people are becoming.”
According to the report, 68 percent have Internet access at home, school or work, and seven in 10 go online at least once a day. Further, 50 percent of all Americans and 75 percent of American Internet users have used a government — federal, state or local — Web site to get information or conduct a transaction…. [Washington Post]