Data breaches, security concerns and the demise of the super-injunction in 140 characters
The past couple of weeks have seen multiple stories concerned with the challenge of technology outpacing security and legal developments.
Sony apologised and now face legal action after a security breach saw 100 million people's details garnered illegally from the PlayStation Network. This has raised some concerns for the storage of data within the cloud in case leakages become a regular occurrence. Further concerns regarding cloud and prospects for criminal activity have also been raised, with it being associated with greater potential to access email account details and therefore provide criminals with a ‘hacking master key’ .
Apple and Google have faced questions in the US Senate this week over their storage of location data in iPhone and Android mobile devices. This begs the question as to whether existing privacy laws offer enough protection to consumers in the light of new services. Location data is clearly highly valuable to advertising companies and there are likely to be increasingly tailored and personalised advertisements sent to users' Smartphones .
Later this month (26th May) new European privacy laws come in to force in the UK which give people more control over what data websites gather about them. This will mean changes to what websites can do with cookies. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has drawn up the regulations firms must follow to comply with the law .
In other privacy related news, the Guardian editor-in-chief, Alan Rusbridger, said that the paper had opted to team up with the New York Times to publish its WikiLeaks revelations because it feared it would be prevented from publishing by the British courts if it attempted to do so alone.
"It seemed a good idea to harness the whole exercise to a country with extremely robust media laws rather than risk it all on the quicksands of the British legal system."
He added that London remained the "libel capital of the world – the place where the rich and dodgy flock to keep their reputations intact" .
Rusbridger’s comments came in the same week of revelations posted on Twitter about the alleged identity of public figures who had taken out super-injunctions to prevent stories being published about them in the press. This has resulted in a fierce debate between the media's right to report freely and individuals' right to privacy .