Wide Majority of Millennials Value Convenience More Than Safety

A survey conducted by SureID at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017 found 96% of millennials would verify their own identity online.

HILLSBORO, Ore. – A survey conducted at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017 by SureID identified 83% of millennials valuing convenience over safety. The survey, which was conducted over two days at the conference and festival, found 96% of millennials would verify their own identity online to ensure it was confirmed, protected against hackers and unused by anyone else. 

Findings show SXSW attendees surveyed, ages 18- to 37-years old, are interested in having the ability to determine whether their own digital identity is secure as well as the ability to verify the identity of those they interact with online and offline. Respondents included 43% males, 55% females and less than 2% who did not disclose gender. Key findings show:

  • Nearly 60% value time over money and safety
  • 96% are interested in having the ability to verify their own identity online, ensuring it was secure against hackers and unused by others
  • 70% feel more secure interacting with someone online if they could verify that individual’s identity
  • 79% are less likely to buy from someone, online or offline, who cannot prove they are who they say they are.

Austin, Texas, SXSW’s host location, is said to be one of seven tech-oriented U.S. cities setting the pace of growth in the ride-sharing industry. Ninety-one percent of respondents claimed when participating in an exchange of services, such as rideshare or on-demand food delivery, they “definitely” or “maybe” assume a third party has vetted the individual in question. Yet in many cities, rideshare companies are not using third parties to vet and credential drivers, which included Austin until May 2016.


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“Proving identities is the secret ingredient in the successful evolution of the sharing economy,” says Steve Larson, CEO and founder, SureID. “Safety and convenience are not mutually exclusive and must work hand in hand.  The survey findings highlight that we are on the verge of seeing a transformation of how millennials view their identities, and the companies and people they interact with on a daily basis.”

Millennials’ interest in having a way to better verify an individual’s identity is growing. Eighty-eight percent of dating app users and 75% of ride-share users are4 said to find the idea of an identity proofing solution for potential dates and drivers appealing. The McKinsey Global Institute found 20% to 30% ercent of the working-age population in the U.S. and Europe engage in some sort of independent work – categorized as free agents, casual earners, financially strapped or reluctant workers making up the gig economy.

Independent work is rapidly evolving as digital platforms create large-scale, efficient marketplaces, according to McKinsey Global Institute, further demonstrating the need for digital transparency and security.

“Technology is enabling us to interact perhaps too comfortably with strangers for modern conveniences. These findings point out the growing demand for people in the gig economy to prove they are who they say they are, to create a higher level of trust,” says Justin Oberman, vice president of identity strategy at SureID

The survey was conducted in conjunction with the SXSW panel on March 11 titled, “The Future of You: Identity Tomorrow,” where Larson and others discussed the topic with SXSW attendees.

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