As Kommersant found out, the authors of the national project “Data Economy,” which also involves working to simplify the circulation and use of Russians’ data, are faced with the fact that most citizens still view this with great caution. Their sentiments are revealed by polls by VTsIOM and the National Priorities ANO for the authorities. The majority of citizens are not ready to share data for any purpose and are confident that neither the state nor companies are able to provide the necessary protection of information.
“Kommersant” got acquainted with the materials for the strategic session on the development of the national project “Data Economy”, which will be held on November 21 at the coordination center (CC) under the government. It follows from the documents that when preparing the national project, the authorities were faced with distrust of the population in the prospect of companies and authorities using their personal data.
The corresponding survey of citizens was conducted by VTsIOM, ANO “National Priorities” and CC. It follows from it that 52% of Russians are not ready to share personal data with anyone or for anything; 56% believe that information provided to commercial companies is poorly protected (only 19% of respondents hold the opposite position). Another 46% of respondents believe that data provided to receive government services is also poorly protected (36% of respondents say that the government protects data well).
A third of respondents are confident that the government uses the collected data to monitor people’s lives and confirm their identity. The office of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko did not respond to Kommersant’s request, and the ANO Digital Economy declined to comment. ANO “National Priorities” forwarded questions to VTsIOM. They refused to comment on the results of the study, citing the fact that they “belong to the customer.”
The Ministry of Digital Development clarified that they are working on “a number of projects related to the processing of citizens’ data.” Thus, by 2024, it is planned to abandon the storage of “sensitive data of citizens and switch to loading it at the time of the transaction,” as well as to develop and implement “secure processing methods, which include depersonalization and other promising methods using encryption.”
Vladimir Putin instructed to prepare the national project “Data Economy” in September. The development of passports for activities within the framework of the national project should be completed by the end of the year, and the government intends to adopt the document itself in July 2024.
The Big Data Association (BDA, includes VK, Sber, MegaFon, etc.) associates citizens’ distrust with “the abundance of negative news on this problem.” In order for Russians to stop fearing the circulation of their data, the DBA believes, it is necessary to “saturate the information field not only with negative messages, but also with positive examples of the use of data analytics, etc.”
However, there are still a lot of negative examples, and the situation is only getting worse. Thus, according to Roskomnadzor, in the first half of the year alone, 76 incidents related to data leaks of Russians occurred in Russia. This is four times more than in the same period in 2022. By June, according to the service, 200 million records about Russians had leaked online. Over nine months, the number of hacker attacks on companies through compromised employee data has increased by 10% (see Kommersant, November 1).
According to Kommersant’s interlocutor, who is familiar with the progress of the preparation of the national project, in relation to working with personal information of citizens, working group meetings discuss “the creation of conditions that will simplify the circulation of anonymized data of citizens, the formation of a regulatory framework for the work of “data intermediaries” – organizations that manage with the permission of the subjects, their data in a leak-proof circuit.”
However, in general, Kommersant’s source assesses the ideas for the national project as “very preliminary.” In addition, he emphasizes, the budget for 2024–2026 does not include expenses for the implementation of the national project, that is, the prospects for financing the activities are unclear.