30th Nov 2015

​On the web, convenience trumps everything – that’s the danger

Both as IT lawyers and as web-aware consumers, we can see the stakes ramping up on the need for the challenge to information security. As users and consumers, all of us want everything to be easy – we’ve come to run our lives around the convenience of the internet and the World Wide Web (not the same thing!). We want to be able to shop at a click, receive documents easily, make and receive payments from our hand held devices, tablets, and anything that has a screen. This is the world we were promised and we want it.

In all this we’ve become the dupes of unscrupulous operators who find our love of convenience makes us easy prey; we’ve allowed governments to snoop and pry, and we’ve allowed those who wish us harm to spread and communicate their plans and messages. I’m well aware that the last two, at least, are connected.

We can see the openness of the web, the ease of electronic communication being forced into lockdown and reverse, because their abuse creates extreme and existential dangers for us. That, or we will all need to make our individual and corporate choices as to the risk we are prepared to take in openness – and understand that the risk could, quite literally, be a matter of life and death. Because those choices could expose others, though, that libertarian option might also not be one available to us. It could be a dystopian future…

Written by Paul Berwin of Berwins Solicitors.

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