Passing of Snoopers’ Charter means it’s time for UK businesses to rethink their data security approaches

Mateo Meier | January 23, 2017

A year on from it’s introduction by Theresa May as home secretary, the Investigatory Powers Bill, otherwise known as the “Snoopers’ Charter”, passed into law at the start of the new year.

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The law has been roundly condemned by privacy advocates and technology businesses alike. Perhaps the most pertinent of the criticisms came from Guy Marson, managing director of data science and intelligence marketing firm Profusion. He commented: “requiring tech companies to record and store data on what consumers are doing online and potentially making it accessible to the government is a gross infringement of an individual’s right to privacy and a logistical nightmare for the tech industry.”

Indeed, Artmotion’s own research suggests that a significant number of senior IT professionals in the UK don’t even agree with the basic principle of the new legislation.

When asked, 1 in 5 IT decision makers said they would not support any reduction in encryption or data security – even for the sake of national security – and only 13% described the government’s efforts as “sensible”. Furthermore, 60% claimed that they would not trust the Government with the security of their private information. Artmotion also found that more than three quarters (76%) of IT decision makers would move their organisation’s data to another country as a result of privacy concerns.

And so the passing of the Investigatory Powers Bill simply serves to increase the UK’s growing reputation for draconian data privacy policies. As Artmotion’s Data Danger Zones report highlighted, the UK was already ranked lower for data security than the majority of European nations and the number of countries that are considered safer for data is now set to increase.

In the age of cloud computing, it’s still easy to forget that every piece of information stored still requires a physical home, and that the geographic location of that home can have a serious impact on data privacy. Businesses that operate in the UK need to take a serious look at how and where they store their data.

Mateo Meier
Mateo Meier, founder of Artmotion, spent the early stages of his career over in the US where he became an astute marketing director before returning home to Switzerland to setup Artmotion. Artmotion was started in early 2000 and provides highly bespoke server solutions to an international set of clients.