Letter to the editor of the Financial Times, published today:
Jonathan Shaw states in his letter (October 15) that we need to grow up fast, in the digital age, and that the public needs to be more aware of the freedoms and constraints inherent in our increasing adaptation to the digital age. He is right.
However, politicians and lawmakers should do the same. The internet was not made for storing data abroad, in anonymous data centres without personal supervision, but as an infrastructure for data transmission to and from our own controlled and locally stored devices that contain our own data. The pros of the cloud (higher availability, lower costs) made us forget about that.
If politicians and lawmakers want to do their citizens a service in this digital age, they should consider giving them back control of their own data. This starts with stricter policies, and stricter enforcement thereof, for data processing by governments themselves. Next, they should upgrade privacy laws and make it more appealing to develop and deploy private clouds for every citizen: an encrypted, safe harbour where we store our own data, and control and oversee which companies access it.