A study carried out just days before the referendum on whether or not the UK should leave or remain a part of the EU has shown that the public is unclear of the impact that leaving the EU would have on their privacy. The survey conducted on behalf of the security and privacy and comparison website, Comparitech.com, and carried out by OnePoll found that out of 1,000 members of the UK public, 47% did not know whether or not their privacy would be better protected if the UK left the EU.
“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.”
Earlier this week, a different study by AlienVault showed that almost 40% of IT security professionals believed leaving the EU would make 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.”