Online privacy is rapidly becoming a concern for people in Britain, worried what big Internet companies are doing with their data.
Eight in ten Internet users have admitted in a survey that they are concerned about their online privacy — the majority (83 percent) are adults between the ages of 18 and 34 years.
The survey of 1000 online users was commissioned by privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch and suggests the British public are becoming more and more concerned about their digital footprint — and who sees it.
Already on the case, are a group of IT experts who have won the right to sue Google in Britain. They're accusing the Internet giant of collecting their personal data without their consent — and then using cookies to target them with personalized adverts.
Right to Privacy — Right to be Concerned
In light of the mass online surveillance revealed by National Security Administration whistleblower Edward Snowden, the European Commission has warned European Union citizens that if they want to keep their personal information private — they should shut down their Facebook accounts.
Attorney Bernard Schima said:
"You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one."
The comment relates to a case brought by privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems, who has sued Ireland at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg for not blocking his private data with US authorities.
The European Commission could not confirm in court that Safe Harbour rules provide sufficient protection for EU citizens' data. The US — EU Safe Harbour is a process by which US companies comply with the EU Directive on the protection of personal data.
EDPS: Transatlantic dialog is important, but…..failure of the essence of the right to privacy. #CJEU— Max Schrems (@maxschrems) March 24, 2015
Without the process in place, which covers the transmission EU citizens' data across to the US, it is against EU law to transmit private data outside of the EU.
Complaints have been made against Facebook, Apple, Skype, Yahoo and Microsoft.
Privacy Paying the Price
In the UK, 66% of people think the Information Commissioners Office should have been doing more to force Google to comply with EU data protection and privacy rules.
Today’s data scandals highlight why there should be harsher penalties for those who seek to abuse access… http://t.co/xT32zX9n7k— Big Brother Watch (@bbw1984) March 30, 2015
Emma Carr, Director of Big Brother Watch, said: "This research shows that online privacy is increasingly at the forefront of the public's mind.
"The perceived failures of the ICO to hold Google to account have done little to show that the regulator has effectively fulfilled its role.
"It is vital that technology companies respect the privacy of citizens and don't assume that our engagement as consumers overrides the necessity for choice and control over our personal data."