Potential UK Laws Could Create Crisis for Messaging Apps

Jonathan Bernstein crisis management, crisis preparedness, Crisis Prevention, crisis public relations, Crisis Response, Erik Bernstein, Jonathan Bernstein, privacy breaches, public relations, reputation management, social media Leave a Comment

Evidence of the need to watch the horizon for emerging risks to your organization

British prime minister David Cameron has proposed new legislation aimed at combating terrorism that would allow British intelligence agencies to intercept and decode messages between suspects. Potential UK Laws Could Create Crisis for Messaging AppsWe aren’t here to speak about the politics of this issue, however, but rather one of its side effects. In effect, the proposed laws would also ban messaging services that encrypt messages – Snapchat, WhatsApp, and iMessage, to name a few.

Of course, any smartphone user will know that these are some of the most popular and widely-used services world-wide, and one which various companies have invested a great deal of money. The alternative would be for the organizations behind these apps to grant government officials unfettered access to user’s data, something that would almost certainly scare a good number into seeking other options and thus taking their money elsewhere.

We’d be willing to bet the minds behind the major messenger apps are already thinking of ways to work around potential new laws, as well as strategies to soften up lawmakers. And, if all else fails, they’d better be ready to explain to stakeholders how and why their data is being made available to outside agencies.

This entire scenario is evidence that crises can be created via many avenues, and that a great deal of risk can be brought about by no doing of your own. Prepare for what you can predict, be ready to react to what you can’t, and always, always, be watching the horizon for the next risk to come a-calling.

The BCM Blogging Team

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