Less than one in eight people in the UK think the home secretary has “adequately explained the impact of the Investigatory Powers Bill to the UK public and presented a balanced argument for its introduction”, according to a new survey.
Just one in five believe the introduction of the bill is justified, while a quarter believe the government has the right to pass legislation to access their mobile and internet data, according to the latest Consumer Openness Index survey by open-source software provider Open-Xchange.
Interestingly, opinion was divided over whether the Investigatory Powers Bill’s provisions regarding encryption infringed on the British public’s right to privacy. In addition, the survey found that 46 per cent of those surveyed in the UK pay close attention or more to the debate over balancing government surveillance with data privacy.
The survey of internet users also highlighted that, over the past year, public opinions about data privacy have hardened and that the internet-aware public is more likely to say they would stop using websites and services if news of a privacy scandal broke.
Perhaps the most worrying finding for the government was that 50 per cent of the British public believed that making personal data easier for government officials to access will also make it easier for criminals to access that data as well.
Writing on the Open-Xchange blog, Rafael Laguna, the company’s CEO said: “This is a year when true leadership in the data privacy debate has the potential to emerge. It is our joint responsibility to pay attention, voice our opinions and choose the kind of future we want to live in.”