Ever since Edward Snowden revealed that governments have been routinely spying on their citizens there has been a deep sense of unease about just who is looking over your shoulder when you send an email or move data around the web.
The response from the industry has been to distance itself from suggestions that vendors were complicit in aiding snooping by governments but there continue to be demands for further steps to be taken to ensure that data is not only secure but also not being spied on.
Research commissioned by F-Secure has found that in the UK 86% of people do not agree with mass surveillance and there is a growing feeling that things have already gone far enough.
With 5.9m CCTV cameras spread across Britain people are already feeling that they are living in a surveillance state and the threat of their data being checked by intelligence agencies is something that many feel undermines their human rights.
“We are in unchartered territory and we appear to have sleepwalked here,” said Allen Scott, managing director of F-Secure UK & Ireland. “Little by little, our rights to privacy have been eroded and many people don’t even realise the extent to which they are being monitored. This isn’t targeted surveillance of suspected criminals and terrorists – this is monitoring the lives of the population as a whole.”
The vendor has produced the Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear? report and concluded that a couple of years after the Snowden revelations there are only small numbers of people that think the government should have access to personal data (14%) and only 10% thought that mass surveillance was a positive move.
The report findings also found that a third of Brits were unaware that the government might be accessing their personal data and only 3% have taken proactive steps to block that activity.
One of the reasons why the public perception of distrust matters for vendors is that it is having an impact on customer spending with some cloud players already suffering because people are worried the integrity of their servers.