Why the UK Is the Best in the World for Data Protection
Business has gone global, and most businesses engage in a wide variety of outsourced services. That brings opportunities and risks — one of those risks is data protection.
A number of data leaks over the last decade have only increased scrutiny on data security. If you want to keep your data safe in 2020 and beyond, it’s not enough to simply have robust internal data-protection procedures. You need to understand the processes undertaken by your partners and providers, and have a solid understanding of data protection laws across the globe.
Particularly when it comes to digital and service-focused tasks (transcription or captioning services, for example), economic pressure makes it very common for those data-sensitive operations to take place in developing countries. If you want data guarantees, it means picking partners that take security as seriously as you do. And that might mean limiting the export of your data to certain regions of the world.
If you want to keep your data safe, thinking about where your data is traveling should be an important factor on your checklist. What we want to provide you with here is a breakdown of the main reasons why the UK has become the home of data security in the opening decades of the 21st century.
A long history of data protection scrutiny
Britain has a long standing and well earned reputation for being able to maintain data security — we have some of the most comprehensive Data Protection Laws in the world. Since the 1960s, Britain has recognised the importance of ensuring that businesses, institutions and government bodies are held to account when it comes to storing data securely.
These laws have been constantly reviewed and updated by various governments to ensure the highest standards of data protection in an ever-shifting digital landscape. The Data Protection Act 1998 established the framework upon which all data protection laws would be based in the new millennium. This act was replaced in 2018 by a new more comprehensive DPA which you can read more about here.
At the same time as the implementation of the new DPA came the European General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. This has had a monumental and far-reaching effect on all entities doing business in and with Europe. Every time you’ve been met with a new cookie warning after visiting a familiar website, you’re seeing a direct result of GDPR. Wondering why you’re getting much less spam email than you used to? That’s GDPR too!
GDPR has caused a lot of businesses throughout Europe to tie themselves in knots in the lead up to its implementation last year, but the net result has been another strong pillar in the UK’s data protection infrastructure.
Businesses of all kinds need to adopt a proactive and comprehensive approach to data management in order to remain GDPR compliant, including regular Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) and the appointment of DPOs (Data Protection Officers) to ensure compliance when handling large volumes of data.
And as the only GDPR-following country with English as its first language, the UK is an understandably appealing prospect to English-speaking countries around the world. Not only is there robust legislation, there’s less margin for human error or misunderstanding in communication.
A stable and proactive judicial system
Of course, any legislation is only as strong as the judicial infrastructure that enforces it. Laws can be extremely comprehensive on paper but if the judicial system behind it is lax, or even worse corrupt, it calls the efficacy of the laws into question.
In Britain, we have the benefit of a robust and well-regarded judicial system that is proactive in its pursuit of privacy violations. Businesses and individuals can be held to account to ensure that they are fully compliant with Data Protection Laws. And while every care is taken to reduce the propensity for data security breaches, when they do occur, parties affected have access to swift and decisive modes of legal recourse.
High standards of living
British citizens typically enjoy a high standard of living. On the OECD Better Life Index, Britain scores highly for income, jobs, community, life satisfaction and civil engagement. But what does this have to do with data protection?
British workers are inherently civically-minded with a strong sense of moral duty. They take their work and responsibility seriously and this is hugely important when considering the storage and management of data. After all, in any operational system, propensity for human error is often the weak link.
Moreover, when employees are well paid, well cared for and enjoy a good work/life balance, they’re less prone to making mistakes due to fatigue, exasperation or because they’re rushed. As well as having a strong legal and legislative infrastructure, the UK helps to protect data by looking after the people directly associated with handling it.
Cultural respect for the law
Respect is a large part of British culture, both in and out of business. Brits have great respect for personal liberties and are generally progressively minded. They are widely regarded as trustworthy and conscientious. British workers share a strong culture of respect for the law, but more than that, they have a strong respect for the people and institutions that the laws are put in place to protect.
Britain is a nation that, for all its sense of community and residual blitz spirit, believes in the right to personal privacy which gives its citizens and businesses a predisposition for handling data, especially sensitive data with a sense of due respect, propriety and adherence to protocol.
Ease of doing business
Despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Britain remains very much open for business. The country has a sterling reputation throughout the world as an enterprising nation that is safe to transact with. Britain has a reputation for transparency in its practices, and businesses are, as established, more than willing to do their part in upholding their commitment to legislature.
As previously stated, the country’s first language is English. As such, English-speaking businesses from across the globe can entrust their data to businesses all over the UK, safe in the knowledge that their needs and requirements will be understood. They will not be bamboozled by complex legal jargon which may suffer in translation or have any compunctions whatsoever about committing to an NDA.
What’s more, Britain is an inherently obliging nation, always keen to help, support and reassure. It is the nation of the National Health Service and the Beveridge Report, and the nation cares with a strong sense of moral duty. Brits are polite and sincere and aim to earn the trust of their business partners.
All of this combines to make Britain an easy and pleasant country with which to do business. When dealing with UK companies you can be assured that your concerns about data will be heard, understood and addressed.
Broad legal coverage and the ability to prosecute deliver peace of mind
With decades of robust legislation and a proactive legal system that makes it quick and easy to prosecute wrongdoers, the UK has established the perfect conditions for robust data security. But it’s the willingness to go the extra mile, the sincerity and proactive spirit of British businesses and workers that help to ensure that the country’s legislation is enacted with care and attention to detail.
This all combines to assure peace of mind when it comes to trusting UK-based businesses with your data.