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What does protection mean on the Internet?

As technology correspondent for the International Bar Association, I’ve been covering digital transformation for over ten years.

When it comes to data privacy – especially around the concept of protection – lawmakers have been pulling in opposite directions for some time now.

In the UK, for example, the government has been moving towards eroding anonymity for Internet users in order to tackle anti-social and illegal behaviour. In Europe, the General Data Protection Regulation, reinforces people’s right to be forgotten by the services they use.

Whether these efforts will gradually coalesce into creating a digital bill of rights remains to be seen.

But the complicated patterns of the way that people use and interact with the Internet will continue to change what we mean when we talk about “protection” on the platforms hosting data.