A new survey of nearly 2,000 people* in the UK from Cybersecurity specialists Panda Security, has further thrown in to doubt the ability of the government to effectively track and trace pub and restaurant goers who come in to contact with the COVID-19 virus.

Despite the British Government recommending that venues notify customers that they should order food and drink to be delivered to tables through mobile applications, a massive 83% of Brits say they won’t be downloading them and will rely on traditional methods of ordering.

As the hospitality industry starts the slow process of emerging out of lockdown concerns over data privacy remain high on the agenda. Three in five (60%) of Brits say they do not want pubs or restaurants to collect their personal data while over a quarter (27%) are very concerned about data breaches.

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While COVID-19 has been a trigger for the rapid digitalisation of traditionally analogue industries like hospitality, it has also brought to the fore issues of trust and competence. The survey revealed that over one third (35%) of respondents have no trust at all in the government to successfully track and trace the virus through mobile apps, compared to only 8% who have complete trust and a further 7% who have some trust.

However, while as a nation we remain sceptical about the ability for companies and governments to safely look after our own data, a significant majority (58%) still want venues to pass on data collected to authorities to aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hervé Lambert, Global Consumer Operations Manager at Panda Security, said: “These survey findings pose a tricky challenge for both the government and the hospitality industry: How can you persuade customers to download your apps and pass on crucial data in the fight against COVID-19 when trust in data security is at an all-time low?”

“Transparency is more critical than ever, however we still don’t how our data is going to be used, whether it will be encrypted, where it will be stored or when it will be ultimately destroyed” Lambert continues. “Our advice to wary customers is to look very carefully at the permissions being sought, including location data, and read the privacy policy of the app in question before downloading. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

For more information, visit: https://www.pandasecurity.com/en/homeusers/