Brexit messing with data protection regulations

Another day, another Brexit story. It's going to be years before we stop hearing the various implications and results of the recently held UK referendum on leaving the European Union.

This time, it's about private data and its sharing to third-parties, by private companies, without users' consent.

Currently, users need to opt-out of data sharing if they don't want businesses sharing and / or selling their data to third parties. These features are usually squeezed away somewhere in a tick box, or in the end-user license agreements, where it's easily overlooked.

The upcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is going to change that, and force companies to create an opt-in feature, where people would need to explicitly give businesses the right to use their private data.

But Brexit, however, will see the UK leave the EU, meaning UK businesses won’t actually need to comply with this rule in order to do business in the country. It’s going to be some time before the UK creates a similar rule.

Trend Micro has analysed the size of the problem, and it’s pretty big. Almost half (49 per cent) of respondents the company surveyed they were unaware that they need to opt-out of data sharing. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) didn’t feel in control of their own data.

An overwhelming majority (85 per cent) wouldn’t want their data to be shared by third parties, an increase of 10 per cent in the last couple of years.

Bharat Mistry, cybersecurity consultant at Trend Micro commented, “Internet users are increasingly aware of the value of their personal data and are right to be concerned about how it is being used. With high profile data breaches all too common, consumers are right to be increasingly diligent with how their data is shared. This growing consumer awareness will hopefully force many companies to employ more stringent data protection procedures for the benefit of all.”