Data Privacy at Risk

Reading the front page of this morning’s IBD, staring me right in the face was an article on forcing industry to give the government keys to decrypt customer information. While a knee jerk reaction to the Paris terrorist attacks this is the wrong move in my view.

Businesses, as well as individuals need to be secure in their persons and property. Data is tangible property just as real, business, personal and other physical property are tangible property. It is the right of individuals and businesses to determine what data is private and what is not. Governments should not have unrestricted access to data without due process. Data privacy should remain a right and not an option arbitrarily determined by governments.

Granting governments a backdoor to decrypt private data exposes a vulnerability which can potentially be exploited by bad actors. Consider for a moment a business holding confidential information on customers, regardless of whether those customers are individuals or other businesses. Should the decryption backdoor become compromised, the impacted business could potentially be at risk of possibly being out of business. Would the government accept the liability? Even of government was responsible, it is the business who was breached suffering the consequences.

Private encryption needs to remain sacrosanct if as a society we intend to respect and retain data privacy.

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