The UK public is mostly clueless about how Brexit will affect their online privacy. That is a general conclusion of a new survey conducted by Comparitech.com, just days before the UK gets to decide if it stays, or leaves the European Union.
Out of 1,000 surveyed UK adults, 47 per cent didn't know if leaving the EU would improve, or hinder, their privacy.
“While the in-out debates have focused mostly on immigration, spending and so forth, it’s also important that the public gives consideration to their right to privacy,” said Richard Patterson, director of Comparitech.com. “The UK’s proposed Investigatory Powers bill – or Snooper’s Charter - would make it easier for the government to snoop on its citizens, but so far the EU courts have been holding the bill back as it is at odds with European Law. Without this protection, the public’s privacy could quite literally be at stake.”
One thing is for certain, though – even if the UK leaves the EU, it will still have to comply with the GDPR, at least to some extent. On the other hand, a recent AlienVault report says that 40 per cent of IT security experts believe leaving the EU would render the UK more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
“When you combine the fact that those in the know say the UK would become more vulnerable to cyber attacks with a reduction in privacy, the data protection landscape in the UK could become a completely different beast,” Patterson continued.
“We could end up in a situation where British citizens have far less protections than their EU counterparts from their own government’s intrusions on one hand and on the other, subject to more cybercrime.”
Image Credit: Flickr/Sébastien Bertrand