Privacy and identity in a digital age

Perhaps the key issue in the online era of the Connected World in which we live is that of identity. Public concern over identity theft and privacy is already high, and can only grow as we become more engaged online. What happens as we move forward and make medical records fully electronic for example? How should governments plan to provide public services securely? Even if we cut out the regular loss of electronic records from laptops or CDs left on trains or lost in transit, how will governments keep our records safe? Should we link tax, driving, medical, benefits, and other personal records to be accessible in one place for ease of citizen use, or does that introduce an unacceptable systemic weakness?

And how do we know that information about us kept by commercial organisations is safe and not available to be abused? Today we have the Data Protection Act to protect us, but is it adequate? What should the rules be about availability and use of private records? What should be covered by privacy laws and what is fair game to be sold on and used for (say) marketing? What is privacy anyway, and are we entitled to it? If we put information about ourselves online (for example on Facebook, or even on an email), can we reasonably expect it to stay private? And can IT security keep pace with both technological change and the best efforts of increasingly sophisticated online criminals?



Would you think it is necessary to make every single internet user trackable (but maybe not public) to some authorities?
Yang Qin

Very interested in this event.

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