According to a survey by the cloud hosting firm UKFast, nearly half of businesses are clueless as to where their data is located.
To come to its findings, the company surveyed over 300 IT decision makers in EU businesses, with 47 per cent of them unaware of where their personal and company data was hosted.
Lawrence Jones, the CEO of UKFast, sees this as a troubling issue for businesses in the UK. Not knowing where their data is stored leaves them unable to reassure their customers of its safety. Also if legal trouble arises, how will these businesses be able to convince a court that their data is entirely secure and not at risk of interference.
UKFast's survey comes at a time when the European Union is preparing to adopt the Privacy Shield framework which will replace the failed Safe Harbour treaty. When asked about Safe Harbour, 54 per cent of the respondents to the survey were unaware that the treaty was no longer valid. Jones believes that the industry as a whole needs to take a stronger stance on how data is controlled and on how businesses educate themselves in regard to how their data is stored.
The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was designed to achieve just this and it is set to introduce stricter rules in regard to data regulations and higher fines and sanctions for organisations that fail to meet its standards.
UKFast's data shows that many businesses have not taken proper responsibility for how the sensitive personal data of their customers and employees is handled. According to Jones, the EU should have taken a firmer line on data privacy and protection much sooner.
Privacy Shield is slated to be adopted in June but controversy surrounding how the new framework will protect EU citizens' data privacy may result in legal action against it.