Encryption key to privacy and security – one anyway

Written by on November 6, 2015 in Guest Blog with 0 Comments

businessman scanning of a finger on a touch screen interfaceOver the past few years, data security has left the relative obscurity of professional IT circles and is now a mainstream talking point. Breaches have become headline grabbing events and we have all been made increasingly aware of the consequences of blindly trusting companies with our personal information. This data may be financial as in the recent attack against Lloyds Bank, have the potential to be damaging to a company’s reputation like the Sony Entertainment hack or even destroy people’s personal lives such as the data breach suffered by extramarital affair site, Ashley Madison. When confronted by this new reality of fluid information transfer where nobody is afforded true, 100% ‘privacy’, Omlis recognizes that robust encryption security is the best way to protect the integrity of sensitive information.

Some governmental and law enforcement bodies (notably in the UK and US) have a different view on the uses of encryption – namely that it could be used by criminals and terrorist cells to disguise their communications. This has led to statements which condemn the practices of companies such as Apple and Google, stating that they are essentially aiding and abetting crime and calling for back-doors to be made available in services such as iMessage and WhatsApp for law enforcement agencies to monitor suspect communications. While this view has been seen by many from technology circles as coming from a relative ignorance of the potential consequences (a back-door available to law enforcement is a back-door which resourceful hackers would find a way to exploit), there are loud voices within the establishment that believe encryption is just one more tool in the criminal’s toolkit, although few concrete examples of this are yet to emerge.

“I like and believe very much that we should have to obtain a warrant from an independent judge to be able to take the content of anyone’s closet or their smartphone. The notion that someone would market a closet that could never be opened — even if it involves a case involving a child kidnapper and a court order — to me does not make any sense.”                                                James Comey – Director of the FBI

This issue has arisen alongside the growing trend of technology companies proudly announcing their privacy functions as marquee selling points. In the continued rise of the ‘big data’ phenomenon, many consumers are drawn to companies who are fighting for private communications to remain that way, with no chance of unknown parties poring over their every word, a stance which Omlis supports through its novel approach to encryption technology. The leaders in this advocacy movement see these government proposals as an outright attack against privacy.

As this saga continues to unfold, it’s unsurprising that with ongoing Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks revelations that many are hesitant to let governments interfere with the integrity of encrypted communications.

“We at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security. We can, and we must provide both in equal measure. We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy.”                                                                                                                                 Tim Cook – CEO of Apple

We believe that strong encryption is essential within the rapidly evolving data marketplace as communications shift from static connectivity of PCs to the new horizons of mobile and IoT channels. While there is certainly a debate to be had concerning matters of national security and criminals’ ability to disguise their communications – it is undeniably necessary to retain the integrity of encryption services and the benefits they provide.

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Markus Milsted

About the Author

About the Author: Markus Milsted is the Founder and CEO of Omlis, based in Newcastle upon Tyne. With a background in software engineering, music, and, in particular, user engagement, he applies creative solutions and inventive methodologies to Omlis. His vision is for a future where everyone can take advantage of the benefits of completely secure mobile payments. ​ .

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