Reckless disclosure of data should be criminalised, BCS says

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT, has urged the Government to implement a mechanism in the Investigatory Powers Bill, known as the Snooper’s Charter, that will see reckless disclosure as a criminal offense.

It is urging the government to do so, following a survey which has asked if reckless disclosure of data should be criminalized. Out of 1,694 UK adults asked, 85 per cent agreed. The survey also asked a total of 439 IT professionals about encryption, and government backdoors.

Reckless disclosure of data happens if a professional builds a system to store website history, but fails to appropriately protect access to that data, through the use of ‘good practice in information security’.

David Evans, Director of Policy at the Institute explains: “The criminal offence around misuse of data outlined in the Bill is welcome, however we can and we must create systems which by default protect against misuse. In an area of critical national importance, it would be reckless and inexcusable for individuals to design data systems which created unnecessary risks to the public, where those risks could have been prevented through known techniques. We believe a double lock to protect against misuse of data would provide greater assurance for the public in how their information is managed in the process of protecting against serious crime.

The survey has also shown that 76 per cent of IT professionals disagree, or strongly disagree, that companies should weaken their security measures and provide law enforcers with access to encrypted content, for the sake of national security.