“There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America”

Mateo Meier | March 31, 2017

Earlier this month FBI Director James Comey’s declared that “there is no such thing as absolute privacy in America”. With the CIA also under pressure following the latest revelations regarding its efforts to circumvent online encryption methods, it seems that the US’s reputation on data privacy is set to fall even further.

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Comey’s remarks in particular should be taken extremely seriously by anyone who cares about data security and privacy issues. He has effectively called for an end to data encryption which is a very worrying situation for businesses – and their customers – as well as private individuals. It means that anyone storing data in a US data centre has absolutely no guarantee their data is private or secure.

The US was already ranked 38th, well below most European countries and even behind Uruguay, Oman and Bahrain, in our international data risk index and these latest comments mean I would expect their rating to drop even lower. It remains to be seen how far the US government agencies will go in clamping down on data encryption, but based on Comey’s statement it does not look like they are going to relent.

Our own research conducted this month has found that over 50% of UK and US citizens feel that online data privacy is less secure since President Trump was elected. Nearly a quarter of (24%) US citizens also said they are now most fearful of their own government when it comes to online surveillance, compared to 20% that said Russia was their biggest concern and 15% that said China.

The data privacy stakes have been raised once again and it is imperative that individuals and businesses understand the impact that location can have on the privacy and security of 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.