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March 06, 2018

Survey finds Europeans mistrust US internet companies

• Two thirds of Europeans have concerns about storing data with Google, Facebook and other technology companies
• Catching-up on knowledge about encryption is necessary
• 78 percent of Britons would switch providers if they offer data encryption options

Karlsruhe, June 30, 2016 – Two thirds of European internet users have concerns about storing private data with American technology companies. This is the result of a new study on Mobility, Data Protection and Encryption conducted by Convios Consulting and commissioned by GMX among 1,000 consumers in six European markets including the UK. Within Europe immense differences can be found. Nine out of ten (86 percent) of the users in Spain admitted that they are worried about storing their personal data with US technology organisations. Germany and Austria follow with 70 percent each. However, Britons are the least concerned compared with its European siblings with 45 percent of respondents expressing concerns about data privacy and security.

Since the NSA data affair three years ago experts have stressed the importance of encryption. The research also unveils how familiar are European internet users with protecting their personal data from being accessed by others and the term of encryption. On a European average 44 percent of respondents state they know what encryption is essentially about. With 60 percent the knowledge in Germany is the highest. Whereas in France there is a need of catching-up on knowledge about the topic: Only one French internet user in four knows what encryption is. In Austria (51 percent) and Great Britain (48 percent) one respondent in two claims to know about the essentials of encryption and how is used to protect sensitive data online

“The revealings by Edward Snowden have not lost topicality even three years after being released to the public. Technology users in Europe have raised concerns to protect their personal data and privacy, but don’t know how. Considering the strong concerns against US companies, European Internet and cloud providers are now demanded to offer encryption possibilities based on open standards for customers “, says Jan Oetjen, CEO at GMX.

According to the research, Internet users are very interested in data encryption. About nine out of ten respondents (88 percent) in Germany and Spain say, the opportunity of e-mail encryption is a reason to switch their provider. Almost as high is the interest in encryption in Austria (85 percent), Switzerland (84 percent) and France (82 percent). Also Brits (78 percent) have a high willingness to switch Internet providers if they offer strong data encryption possibilities.

Methodology: Convios Consulting GmbH analysed the communication behaviour of internet users of 14 years and older in selected European countries. For the displayed study 1,000 people per country were surveyed in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain and Great Britain.

You can read the results in full here.

About GMX
GMX is one of the most successful internet services in Europe, with more than 20 million active users in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain and Switzerland. GMX offers private and professional users powerful and secure mail, messaging, and cloud solutions online, at GMX focuses on easy-to-use products, state-of-the-art internet security, and customer privacy, with its data-centre located in Europe. GMX is a member of United Internet, Europe’s leading internet specialist.


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