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Survey: Brits Don't Want Brexit For Their Data Protection

  • Nearly two thirds surveyed want to continue following the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after Brexit
  • Data protection concerns have more than doubled since 2016
  • One in five would share their sexual orientation with companies to use internet services

1st October 2019, London

Brits in favour of European data protection
A recent representative survey[1] commissioned by European email provider GMX shows that the majority of Brits do not want Brexit when it comes to data protection. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is currently included as part of the UK's 2018 Data Protection Act, and almost two thirds of respondents (61 percent) are in favour of GDPR continuing to be applied in the United Kingdom after Brexit and going forward. Once outside of the EU, the UK will be given 'third country' status and will need to show its data protection laws are strong enough to gain the EU’s approval, through an ‘adequacy’ agreement which will ensure the smooth flow of data to and from the EU.

The survey also showed that nearly three quarters (73 percent) of Internet users in the UK are ‘concerned’ or are ‘somewhat concerned’ about storing private data with US companies. This figure has more than doubled since a similar survey conducted by the firm in 2016[2]. At that time, the proportion of respondents who were at least partially concerned about data protection was still only 35 percent.

"The survey shows that Brits are increasingly aware of data protection issues. One reason is the comprehensive access rights[3] of the US government to personal data stored by US companies. And data protection scandals like the illegal personally identifiable information gathering by Cambridge Analytica are also playing a big part", says GMX CEO, Jan Oetjen.

One in five (19 percent) have drawn their own conclusions from these concerns: 8 percent have left a US online service within the last twelve months due to data protection scandals and 11 percent plan to do so within the next year.

One fifth would share their sexual orientation with companies
The question of which data internet users would share with companies in general in order to use online services differs greatly. While email addresses (58 percent) and names (53 percent) are mostly shared with companies, nearly one fifth (19 percent) would also share their sexual orientation and 15 percent their salary bracket with companies. Thirteen percent (13%) say they are not prepared to share any information at all.

Editor’s Notes

[1] Unless otherwise stated, all data are provided by YouGov Deutschland GmbH. 2.534 respondents participated in the survey, which took place between the 12.08. and the 13.08.2019. The results were weighted and are representative for the UK population (age 18+ For further details on the results, please visit

[2] Results of the 2015 GMX survey on Data Protection (published in 2016) are here:

[3] The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (CLOUD) allows US federal law enforcement to compel U.S.-based technology companies, via warrant or subpoena, to provide requested data stored on servers regardless of whether the data are stored in the U.S. or on foreign soil.


About GMX
GMX (Global Message Exchange) is one of the most successful Internet services in Europe with more than 20 million active users in the UK, Austria, France, Germany, 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 center located in Europe. GMX is a member of United Internet, Europe’s leading Internet specialist.

Sara Paine
Spartan PR
T: +44 (0) 1268 490 847