News: 74% of Brits believe in the fundamental right to privacy online.
53% of the UK public believes that the impact of the Investigatory Powers Bill has not been adequately explained by Home Secretary Theresa May, with only 1-in-5 UK citizens believing that the Bill is justified.
Highlighting concern towards the IP Bill’s proposed plans to introduce encryption backdoors, 50% of the internet-using public in the UK believe such actions to weaken encryption are an infringement on UK citizens’ human rights.
Only 1-in-10 UK consumers disagree that weakened encryption will make investment in the UK less attractive, and 46% believe weakened encryption will force some UK businesses to move aboard.
Open-Xchange’s second annual Consumer Openness Index found that the importance placed on data privacy by internet-using consumers has hit an all time high, with 80% of US, UK and German consumers believing that privacy is a fundamental right.
This obviously sits in contrast to the UK’s proposed IP Bill, or Snoopers’ Charter, with the survey finding that respondents are worried about government surveillance infringing on their privacy, with 63% being concerned about who in the government has access to their data.
"We found that the majority of the public believe that encryption backdoors will make it easier for criminals to steal personal information and the government to access their data," said Neil Cook, Chief Security Architect Open-Xchange.
"Building backdoors into encryption are not only infeasible, but attempting them will make everyone less safe, as there are no magic bullets that only hit the bad guys. Politicians must begin to listen to technologists and their constituencies who believe that privacy supports security."
The survey also extends past government use of data, and includes the use of personal data by technology companies. The number of people who believe that technology companies never have the right to share their personal data is up, now representing 57% of Internet users in the three countries.
In the UK, the majority of brits (64%) believe the likes of Facebook and Google never have the right to use their public data.
"Governments and corporations are gathering unfathomable amounts of information about the online lives of every individual," said Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange.
"As a result, it’s no surprise that across the world, people increasingly fear their personal data is exposed. Worse than that, recent studies have shown that people feel powerless to protect their data. But there is hope: there are signs that citizens believe that compromising their right to privacy can no longer be tolerated. They are asking for greater transparency in the services they use and the politicians they elect, and searching for solutions to protect themselves."