Government cares about identity: commerce doesn’t
The Malware and Cyber Crime report produced by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is out. I’m not sure it will have much effect on cybercrime, but it is so full of nuggets that it is a must have and must read. Here’s an example that I just love. It shows the gulf between the world that government inhabits and the world that we live in.
Q11 Pamela Nash:
Dr Clayton, you spoke about trying to build up a knowledge of scams among the public, but it will be a while before we reach that critical mass on the same level as the three-card trick. But, in the meantime, the Government have said that they are developing a digital identity assurance scheme to protect against phishing scams. Do you think that this will improve on what is already available? Do you think that this could significantly contribute to the fight against malware?
Not in the slightest. That is nothing to do with it. Digital identities matter to Government because you can do better in society if you pretend to be two people—for instance, by getting two tax breaks and in all sorts of other ways. By being two people, or by being no people, you can win against the Government. Basically, industry does not care. Amazon does not care who you are; it only cares whether you can pay. In general, if you use someone else’s credit card, it tends not to be Amazon that loses out, because it pays attention to where the orders are being placed, where they are being delivered, and the sort of goods being ordered. It fights crime in that sort of way, and your identity is very low on the list of things that it considers.
Incidentally, when you buy a new fridge in the Internet of Things, be prepared for the instructions to tell you how to log on to Get Safe Online. It may be the law.