Public calls for deletion of data unlawfully collected by UK Government
LONDON, UK – 26 October 2016 – The UK public has expressed that it would like to see the data deemed by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) to be unlawfully collected by GCHQ and MI5 on UK citizens for over a decade deleted. This is according to a OnePoll survey conducted on behalf of security and privacy advice and comparison site Comparitech.com. According to the study carried out on 1,000 members of the UK public, 70% said they would like to see their illegally gathered data deleted – something which the IPT ruling failed to stipulate in its ruling. A further 45% of respondents felt that compensation was also in order.
“While almost half of those surveyed said they should be compensated for any nefarious activity they may have been subjected to, a far healthier 70% thought that the UK government should now delete all personal data it has acquired through illegal means,” said Lee Munson, security researcher for Comparitech.com. “Whether or not that happens remains to be seen – or not, as the case may be – but what is clear is that the British public still do not have a grasp on data privacy and wiretapping laws.”
One third of the UK public said the case had decreased their trust in the UK Government, while a whopping 68% said it had decreased their trust in online platforms such as social media and email. When asked if they were more concerned about hackers stealing or the government illegally collecting their private information, 51% were more concerned about hackers, 14% were most concerned with the government and almost a third (31%) said they were equally concerned about both.
“These stats clearly show that public is constantly fighting a battle of who to trust in regards to their privacy,” continued Munson. “For now, the best advice for the public is to trust no one when it comes to leaving a trail of personal information online and to arm themselves with the tools and knowledge to help keep their personal information safe. For the powers that be who have yet to decide what to do with the data that has been illegally collected so far: the public has spoken – delete it.”
In fact, 38% of the public felt so strongly about privacy, that they would consider paying for products that increase their online privacy. To find out more and for further analysis, please see Lee’s blog on Comparitech.com.