Editorial

Brits don’t trust US with their data, says research

Data protection ‘one of the most pressing issues in the wake of Brexit’, claims GMX study

Posted 12 March 2021 by Christine Horton


Only one percent of British adults think their personal data would be best protected with a company based in the United States than anywhere else in the world.

Even though the most popular internet services are US companies, 37 percent of Brits think their digital data would be best protected with a company based in the UK. These are the results of a new YouGov survey of 1,660 adults commissioned by email services company GMX.

A further 14 percent say their data would be best protected at companies based in the EU, while 25 percent do not know where their data is best protected, and 23 percent believe its location makes no difference.

“British consumers obviously have no trust in the data protection of the digital services they use the most,” said GMX CEO, Jan Oetjen. “You need to be aware of where your data is stored and only use services which fall under the jurisdiction of the GDPR or its equivalent in the UK. This rules out many widely popular internet services which store your personal data in the US, where data protection legislation is significantly weaker and that British citizens do not trust at all as our survey shows.

“Because so much of our lives are lived online, data protection becomes one of the most pressing issues in the wake of Brexit.”

Respondents were also asked to rank on a scale of 0 to 10 how important a range of issues were for the UK’s international relationships. The protection of personal data was ranked as the second most pressing issue, with 74 percent rating it six out of 10 or higher. The easy importing and exporting of food was the most important issue by some margin.