EU citizens and 'Brexit' – who do they trust with their data?
Research Reveals the Trust Issues of EU Employees with Storing or Hosting Work Information in the Cloud
Blue Coat Systems, Inc. a leading provider of advanced web security solutions for global enterprises and governments, today revealed the results of an online study carried out by YouGov among 3,130 workers in various industries across Great Britain, France and Germany.
Ahead of this week’s ‘Brexit’ poll, the research looks into workers’ levels of trust in nation states inside and outside the EU when storing or hosting work information in cloud services such as Gmail, Dropbox and Box. The results indicate European workers favour their European neighbours as guardians of their data over countries outside the EU.
Respondents from Great Britain, France and Germany were asked which countries they trusted to store or host work information safely in the cloud. With the vote on ‘Brexit’ this week and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into effect on 25th May 2018, the question of where cloud data is being stored or hosted is a hot topic for organisations serving the half billion citizens who currently reside in the EU.
The survey reveals that 46 percent of polled workers would trust an EU country with their work data, compared to 18 percent who would trust a non-EU country. Over one third, 36 percent, answered they would trust no particular country to safely store or host their data in the cloud. Key findings include:
Millennials drive cloud use
Results show that 53 percent of workers surveyed in Great Britain, Germany and France use cloud applications at work. France has the highest level of cloud usage (64 percent), higher than both Great Britain (49 percent) and Germany (47 percent). Cloud usage at work is driven by Millennials: 63 percent of 18-24 year olds polled use cloud applications at work, compared to 59 percent of 25-34 year olds, 55 percent of 35-44 year olds, 48 percent of 45-54 year olds, and 47 percent of 55+ year olds.
Younger employees trust more
The survey reveals younger workers have more trust in countries in the EU when it comes to storing information in the cloud, which supports the finding of other polls suggesting younger people are more likely to vote ‘stay’ in the Brexit vote. The 18-24 year-old age group was the most trusting of EU countries (55 percent), whilst workers aged 55+ trusted EU countries the least (36 percent). Older workers (55+) are less trusting in general, with 47 percent of them stating that they do not trust their cloud data to be stored in any particular country, compared to 24 percent of 18-24 year olds.
Respondents from Great Britain favour the EU for storing data
For some, trust levels are low when it comes to safely storing cloud data in any country.
- Almost twice as many workers in Great Britain would trust EU countries to host their data (40 percent), when compared to those from outside of the EU (22 percent).
- In fact, the number of British respondents saying they would trust an EU state (40 percent) was higher than those who would trust the United Kingdom (38 percent), when it comes to storing their data in the cloud.
- Of the EU countries that were asked about in the survey, Germany scored highest with 26 percent of overall respondents happy for their data to reside there, followed by France (21 percent) and the UK (20 percent).
- At the other end of the spectrum, the EU country which ranked lowest was Spain with only 6 percent of respondents saying they would trust their data to be stored there.
- Apart from their own nation, more British respondents trust Germany (18 percent) and Sweden (18 percent) than any other EU country.
Germans trust other EU countries the least
- More German respondents trust their own country than any other (43 percent), followed by Sweden (14 percent). German respondents indicated the lowest level of trust in both Great Britain (7 percent) and Spain (3 percent).
- Workers in France also like to keep their data in-country (45 percent), followed by in Germany (16 percent) and Sweden (14 percent).
Distrust of USA revealed
The survey revealed that the majority of EU workers polled do not trust the United States of America (USA) to store or host their data, indicating that the decisions of the European Court of Justice to strike down the Safe Harbour agreement is supported by European citizens.
- Only 9 percent of respondents would trust their work data to be stored or hosted in the USA.
- More British respondents would trust the USA (13 percent) when compared with those surveyed in France and Germany; German levels of trust in the USA drop to 3 percent.
- Outside of the EU, the smallest proportion would trust China (1 percent), with South Africa (2 percent), Russia (2 percent) and Brazil (2 percent) also only trusted by a minority of respondents.
Robert Arandjelovic, director of product marketing EMEA, Blue Coat Systems: “The EU regulatory landscape is set to radically change with the introduction of the GDPR legislation and this research highlights the level of distrust in countries outside the EU. Respondents prefer to keep their data within the EU, supporting new European data protection legislation.
“More concerning is the fact that almost half of respondents would trust any country to store their data, indicating too many employees simply don’t pay enough attention to where their work data is held. This presents a risk to enterprises, even if their employees treat where it is being hosted with little interest.”