A new law

[Dave Birch] I propose new law, to go alongside Moore’s Law and Reed’s Law and all of our other useful tools for dong back-of-the-envelope projections of where things will be going in the short- to medium-term. I propose Stoke’s Law, which is that

as the amount of data that the government collects grows, so will the number of people who are victims of crimes that were made possible by unauthorised access to government databases.

[From Analysis: Metcalfe’s Law + Real ID = more crime, less safety]

We all know it to be intuitively true, but the question is “what is the shape of the curve”? Jon Stoke’s links it to Metcalfe’s (ie, square) curve, but I wonder if it mightn’t be steeper than that because of the variety of criminal interests that might want to exploit different subsets of my personal data. To take a simple case, there might be criminals that want to access my national identity register record because they want to pretend to be in order to allow an illegal immigrant to get a job but they are different from the terrorist interests that want to access my DVLA record because they need to track down people who have cars that use a particular stretch of road every day.


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