Facebook: Cybersecurity dialogue with government is key

Josh Peterson | Tech Editor

Cyber security education and collaboration between government and industry were forecasted to be critical components of future consumer Internet safety at Facebook’s cyber security panel discussion Friday.

“Dialogue between the companies that make the products and the government, like this conversation, are still going to be critical,” said Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer at Facebook, when asked about the future of cyber security. “We’re going to be making crazy products in 10 years and you guys are going to have the responsibility for protecting people using those products.”

The Associated Press and MTV recently conducted a poll that revealed three out of 10 young people had experienced some form of security breach on at least one of their social media accounts. “The poll found solid majorities saying they knew who was behind it: 72 percent for spying, 65 percent for hacking,” reported The Washington Post. Facebook debuted  a suite of safety tools earlier this year to aid users with privacy protections.

While Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry and FTC Commissioner Julie Brill expressed concern in July that consumer trust in the tech industry’s ability to protect their private data was eroding, a Gallup poll released in August revealed that a positive sentiment by Americans towards the computer and Internet industries was actually on the rise.

Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn urged tech companies this September to take the lead in empowering consumers with the tools necessary to protect their data.

“We need industry leaders to move swiftly to find a workable solution to the challenges online consumers face,” said Blackburn. “We need to give them a “credible level of transparency” and at least “a fighting chance” to protect their sensitive data. We must do this if we hope to sustain a healthy and thriving creative economy.”

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