A new paper, penned by one of Microsoft’s top security voles, has claimed children are public enemy number one for IT security.
A paper, which is to be delivered to the SOUPS 2013 security and privacy conference in England, says that generally the user will stuff up most software, but you really need to think of the children.
Microsoft researcher Stuart Schechter’s paper, called “The user IS the enemy, and (s)he keeps reaching for that bright shiny power button” has a subtitle looking at the security and privacy impacts of children and childhood on technology for the home.
He said that that children represent “a unique challenge” to the security and privacy considerations of the home and technology deployed within it.
“There is a gaping chasm between the traditional approaches technologists apply to problems of security and privacy and the approaches used by those who deal with this adversary on a regular basis,” Schechter wrote.
Addressing “adversarial threats from children” via traditional approaches to computer and information security would be a disaster.
“Children often need to be protected from harms caused by their own actions. Protecting children from themselves is unlike protecting systems from external threats. Children cannot be re-architected or expected to operate under layers of physical protection,” Schechter wrote.
In our day, being re-architected was called “getting a clip around the lug-hole”.
He added that it was rarely appropriate to remove a child’s access to the home or its essential systems. Sacrificing them to Cthulhu is not an option either.
IT security and privacy must be adjusted to account for the needs of childhood development – a home with perfect security could severely stunt a child’s moral and personal growth.