The monthly law journal which covers all aspects of data protection and data privacy: data transfer & outsourcing, marketing and e-marketing, freedom of information (FOI), employee monitoring, privacy compliance, online data acquisition and consent, personal data, website compliance and emerging technologies such as behavioural advertising, cloud computing and smart grids. / read more
This article is not about morality but about an urgently-needed change in behaviour. For real and for good. The much talked-about saga involving the theft and subsequent publication of customer data from extramarital affairs website (what a surreal description!) Ashley Madison, has sparked many debates. Opinions have ranged from those who see this as a just punishment for the organised cheating industry to those who have ranked this hack as the most serious privacy violation since the invention of the internet. The degree of sympathy for the victims has also been variable, but what appears to be a constant theme is the perception that this incident will have more dramatic consequences than any other cyber attacks we have seen.
The Ashley Madison data hack has been a different type of data incident. In recent times, we have seen cases of internet businesses being mercilessly attacked by hackers. We have seen small human errors triggering massively embarrassing data incidents. We have seen credit card details being stolen by the bucket from reputable and well-trusted companies. But this time, people’s most intimate secrets have been exposed in a way that credit protection tools or cyber insurance policies cannot deal with. If anyone ever wondered whether data privacy still matters in our uber-connected world, this is the perfect test. It obviously does.