ObserveIT’s survey of 1,000 full-time employees, recently conducted in the US and the UK, has unearthed some serious issues regarding workers’ knowledge of data privacy legislation.
The I.T. firm commissioned the poll with the aim of measuring workers’ understanding of existing privacy regulations that are relevant for their employer. ObserveIT CEO Mike McKee, referring to the outcome of the survey said: “Privacy regulations aren’t going away any time soon. In fact, over the next several years, we’ll likely see more regional policies go into effect as consumers demand more transparency around how their information is being used. We’re committed to helping organizations navigate this privacy-centric business environment by providing a deep understanding of user and data activity, ensuring the information of their customers and employees remains secure.”
Of those who were surveyed in the United States, 53% of respondents said they were not aware of any federal or state legislation regarding how groups handle customer data. An additional question asked if the workers are aware of any such specific legislation, only 16% mentioned the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation directly while 10% referred to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and 3% mentioned Vermont’s data privacy law. Some 51% of those questioned revealed that they were not aware of any of these three regulations.
Other results indicated that:
- 59% of those in the US and 59% in the UK said they work with sensitive information almost everyday.
- 83% of UK-based respondents said they are conscious of data security policies put in place by their companies to ensure the protection of customer data in line with GDPR.
- 65% showed that they are working with sensitive data differently since the introduction of GDPR in the UK.
- 83% (UK) said they are aware of their responsibilities for data protection compliance as an employee since GDPR became active.
An extra question in the survey sought to find out what workers believed was the most viable way to stop loss of information in light of data breaches being much more common than before.
- In the US, 43% of those questioned said that they believe tech solutions are the solution, 37% of workers referred to employee training and 20% said stricter policies on technology usage.
- In the UK, only 4% mentioned tech solutions as the best option, while 35% said employee training and 9% answered stricter policies on tech usage.
- 50% of UK respondents said the most viable solution was a combination of all three solutions.
In relation to the question on employee training and guidance, the outcomes of the survey indicate that there are a number of key differences between the US and UK. These included:
- In the US, 46% of respondents said they were given appropriate training from their employers to make sure customer data is safeguarded in line with regulations.
- In the UK, 67% of respondents said that they had been given appropriate training.
The ObserveIT survey results are available here.