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UK Gmail users to lose EU data protection.

Brexit consequence: Google plans to store UK user data in the US to make it easier to hand out data to authorities.

2020-02-26
For many email is Gmail. However, people in the UK - and everywhere else in the world - should rethink whether it is still a safe bet to use Gmail. Now Google plans to store the data of users from the UK in the USA to take it out of the European jurisdiction with its strict data protection law, the GDPR.

UK Gmail users lose EU data protection rights

It's a side-effect of Brexit: UK citizens will lose all data protection rights they enjoyed while being part of the European Union, namely the GDPR. This European regulation is praised as one of the best data protection rights internationally.

The GDPR formulates very clear rules how companies have to handle citizen's data, and also how to inform the users about what is happening with their data in a very transparent and easily understandable way. So using a GDPR-compliant email service brings lots of benefits.

Google wants to move data to the US

As Reuters reports, Google now plans to move its data of its British users, which is currently stored in Ireland, to the USA. The reason behind this is that the data stored in Ireland falls under the strict privacy regulations of the GDPR, which makes it more difficult to share the data with the authorities.

Gmail, on the other hand, is based in a country with one of the weakest data protection laws: the USA. On top of that, emails in Gmail are not encrypted. This makes it easy for authorities to request data from Google about its email users.

The Cloud Act will also make it easier for UK authorities to request data from Google once it is stored in the USA.

As a consequence of Brexit, millions of UK people living in the UK will see their personal data less protected and within easier reach of British authorities.

This is particularly troublesome, as the US and the UK are both known advertisers for encryption backdoors, which puts the data of US and UK services at an additional risk.

While currently, the "British version of the GDPR" - the UK used the GDPR as a basis for their own data protection law - still applies to data of UK citizens, there's no guarantee that this law will not be changed in the near future.

The data giant Google

Google's move will affect not only millions of users, but also a vast amount of data. Google has stored more data about people's behavior online than any other online service. Google's business model of profiling users and selling targeted advertisements has led to one of the largest data accumulations in the world.

However, people are starting to understand how their data is being abused and increasingly look for alternatives. With lots of guides on how to leave Google and Gmail, making a switch to privacy-friendly services becomes easier as well.

Replace Gmail with a secure email account

In case you are worried about what happens with your data stored in Gmail, get a secure email account now. We highly recommend it. 😉