UK citizens trust EU countries with their data more than the UK

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EuropeWith the countdown to Brexit vote in its final days, research from Blue Coat has highlighted British respondents would be more trusting if their data was stored in the EU country as opposed to the UK.

Although only marginal, 40% of respondents believe the EU is a safer bet for storage of data, whereas only 38% elected the UK. Germany was perceived as the most trustworthy state, though this could be seen as unsurprising as the country is generally viewed as having the most stringent data protection laws. France ranked in second place, whereas the UK sat in third.

While the true impact of Brexit will only be known following the vote, the role of the UK in the technology world could be impacted by the decision. The research showed a notable favouritism to store data in countries which are part of the EU and under the influence of the European Commission’s General Data Protection Regulation. When looking across the Atlantic to the US, within the UK has more trust than the rest of Europe, though it could still be considered very low. In the UK, 13% said they would trust the US with their data, whereas this number drops down to 3% where France and Germany are concerned.

“The EU regulatory landscape is set to radically change with the introduction of the GDPR legislation and this research highlights the level of distrust in countries outside the EU,” Robert Arandjelovic, Director of Product Marketing EMEA, Blue Coat Systems. “Respondents prefer to keep their data within the EU, supporting new European data protection legislation.

“More concerning is the fact that almost half of respondents would trust any country to store their data, indicating too many employees simply doesn’t pay enough attention to where their work data is held. This presents a risk to enterprises, even if their employees treat where it is being hosted with little interest.”

While the impact of the Brexit vote is entirely theoretical at the moment, leaving the union could spell difficult times for the UK as EU countries favour those which are in the EU. What is apparent from the statistics is the US still has substantial work to do to counter the ill effects of the Safe Harbour agreement, which was struck down last October. The survey indicates the replacement policy, the EU-US Privacy Shield, has not met the requirements of EU citizens as trust in the US is still low.