Business owners recognise how important it is to keep their customer data safe to avoid data breaches that threaten customer perception about the company. In the wake of the Apple and US government negotiations, data privacy is a hard choice. There are hard questions to ask yourself about how much you are willing to sacrifice your privacy to accomplish other goals. Collaboration and communications company Open Xchange has released its second Consumer Openness Index. It surveyed 3,000 internet users in the US, UK and Germany.
POLITICIANS around the world are calling for so-called back doors to let them read messages on encrypted chat apps. But the surprising fall-out from Australia's sweeping new encryption regulations reveals that such breaches of privacy can have unexpected consequences. During her time as UK prime minister, Theresa May repeatedly called for tech companies to provide her government with ways to access encrypted messages, believing that terrorists were using them to communicate. This sentiment hasn't gone away.
People look at floral tributes in Parliament Square, London, Sunday, March 26, 2017, laid out for the victims of the Westminster attack on Wednesday. Khalid Masood killed four people and left more than two dozen hospitalized, including some with what have been described as catastrophic injuries. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.
A recent poll by Cable.co.uk found two-third of all adults in the United Kingdom are willing to sacrifice their personal privacy in exchange for security. In addition, a majority of British citizens also indicated they would feel safer if messaging apps like WhatsApp were unencrypted and the contents of the messages were available to law enforcement during investigations. The poll found 66 percent of people in the U.K. said intercepting communication between terrorists was more valuable to them than privacy, and 51 percent opposed encrypted communication apps. Just 25 percent of those questioned worried their private information would be more easily accessible by hackers and other criminals if they were to surrender some privacy. By contrast, just 18 percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed believe privacy of the general public is more valuable than law enforcement having the ability to intercept communications and potentially foil attackers.
Australia's parliament passed controversial legislation on Thursday that will allow the country's intelligence and law enforcement agencies to demand access to end-to-end encrypted digital communications. This means that Australian authorities will be able to compel tech companies like Facebook and Apple to make backdoors in their secure messaging platforms, including WhatsApp and iMessage. Cryptographers and privacy advocates--who have long been staunch opponents of encryption backdoors on public safety and human rights grounds--warn that the legislation poses serious risks, and will have real consequences that reverberate far beyond the land down under. For months, the bill has faced criticism that it is overly broad, vaguely worded, and potentially dangerous. The tech industry, after all, is global; if Australia compels a company to weaken its product security for law enforcement, that backdoor will exist universally, vulnerable to exploitation by criminals and governments far beyond Australia.