UK: Technology Predictions - TMT Trends 2008 - Part 2

Last Updated: 24 January 2008
Article by Deloitte Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry Group

Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017
This article is part of a series: Click Technology Predictions - TMT Trends 2008 - Part 1 for the previous article.
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From anonymity to authenticity

It is often argued that one of the great benefits of the Web is anonymity. Contributions to the Internet, whether in the form of blogs, comments on products, video uploads, dialog within chat rooms and contributions to online encyclopedias, can all be made under aliases.

In some respects this could be viewed as an extension of freedom of speech. Not only can users say what they want and upload what they wish, but they can do all of this without revealing who they are. As a result, disappointed tourists could provide negative views of their experiences without fear of retribution from the travel agency, or employees could offer honest feedback on their workplace to prospective co-workers, without fear of censure.

Such freedoms can be seen as a force for good. But they also, unfortunately, permit a growing variety and alarming volume of abuses. In 2008, there is likely to be an increasing clamor, from regulators, users and online traders, for the Internet to require people to provide authenticated identity every time they make any transaction via the Web.

Many sites allow anonymous contributions. Pedophiles have abused this characteristic in chat rooms, posing as young children or teenagers to gain the confidence of potential victims65. Online photo sites appear to be increasingly targeted by pedophiles, with such sites representing more than 10 percent of all URLs reported to law enforcement and other hotlines in the United Kingdom in 200666.

Anonymity also creates wider potential for libel against individuals or corporations. Libelous comments published on the Internet have the potential to reach a global audience within hours. It could be argued that the anonymity of contributors to blogs and encyclopedias may encourage some libelers, as the chances of being identified have so far appeared to be slim. One court ruled that an ISP did not have to reveal the identity of a blogger who had been accused of libeling a local official67. One former journalist found it impossible to track down the identity of the individual who had falsified elements of his biography on an online encyclopedia68.

Online auctions, with over 200 million users69, have also been subject to exploitation, partly as a result of the anonymity permitted on some sites. In Japan, the National Police Agency (NPA) found that online auction and other cyber crimes involved computers, based in Internet cafes, whose users are not obliged to provide identification70. The NPA's response to this finding – to ask for all Internet café users to register and for submitted details to be verified – may be mirrored by equivalent organizations around the world in 2008. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has issued a recommendation to users of online auctions not to trade with any seller that cannot be identified71.

Bottom line

A move to online authentication, while initially being regarded as an affront to liberty by some, could ultimately be good for business and for users. For example, bolstering consumer confidence in e-commerce, online auctions, Internet chatrooms and other transactional websites should help sustain growth, suppressing fears about the growing volumes of online fraud or other malign behavior72.

Being the official authenticator of identity could become a fulltime business in itself. User authentication in chat rooms or on social networking sites may increasingly be seen as a feature worth paying for, particularly by worried parents73.

Access to verified user identity may improve the business models for some companies. Moving to a trusted authentication system could reduce the need for moderators in some chat rooms, social networks and online forums.

Regulators from around the world should establish common approaches to dealing with the dark side of anonymity, working alongside privacy protection groups, to ensure a fair balance between authenticity and freedom of expression is attained. Law-makers should agree regulations that protect both service providers and customers. Liability is likely to be a critical issue, because, for example, it remains unclear who is liable for defamatory material posted online – the individual posting the material or the owner of the site. It will be important to define clearly where each party's responsibilities begin and end.

The industry should also bear in mind that it is unlikely that full authenticity could ever be attained on the Internet. As in the real world, those who really want to remain anonymous are likely to be able to. A move to authenticity would be most effective at removing casual offenders.

Ultimately, one of the best tools for dealing with anonymity on the Web may be common sense. Free lunches are as fictional in Cyberspace as in the physical world. An email from an anonymous stranger offering millions of dollars simply in exchange for bank details and home address is likely to be just as much of a scam as a letter or phone call that makes the same claim – and should also be ignored74.

The rising value of digital protection

The first Personal Computer was priced at $1,565, with the display and diskette drives offered as optional extras75. Since then the cost of a PC in some countries has fallen to zero, as long as the customer purchases a broadband contract76. Unsubsidized PCs are available for under $40077.

Since the launch of the first PC, the volume of and, more critically, the value of data stored on PCs, has grown exponentially. Credit card information, address books, clients' business plans and paid-for MP3 tracks may all be kept on the same computer. One way of measuring the value of data is in terms of the replacement cost. But the price paid, in terms of inconvenience, time and loss of credibility in dealing with the aftermath of lost data, may be even greater, and some kinds of data may be irreplaceable.

This combination of the declining average selling price of PCs78 and the increasing value of digital files stored on computers, has increased users' willingness to pay more to safeguard this data. As a result, some consumers can end up spending more on protecting their data than on the underlying device79. In 2008, some owners may spend more on virus protection, online backup and insurance over the lifetime of the computer, than they did on the initial outlay for the PC80.

This trend may extend beyond the PC to other devices, from MP3 players to mobile phones, from DVRs to external hard drives. All hold different forms of valuable data.

Enterprises are already accustomed to spending on virus protection, intrusion detection and back-up services. However with the growing popularity of new technologies and communications tools among enterprises, new threats to data may emerge through seemingly innocuous routes such as corporate wikis, blogs, RFID tags and even text messages81. Furthermore, a rise in criminal activity targeting corporations has been forecast and may make new forms of defense necessary82.

Companies also need to protect against the loss of portable computers, such as laptops, PDAs and high-end mobile phones, which can be more easily lost or stolen. Theft of portable devices has left some companies facing losses running into billions of dollars – far in excess of the value of the hardware83. Therefore, offering IT managers the ability to secure laptops, PDAs and mobile phones in a manner that makes data unreadable once they are hacked into or stolen, is likely to become a substantial opportunity84. Failing that, various forms of new software embedded in the BIOS allow for the recovery of stolen laptops85.

The number of computers and other digital devices looks likely to grow by more than 10 percent in 2008. The cost, both financial and in terms of convenience, of lost or stolen data will probably be even greater, at up to 20 percent, according to one analyst86. In parallel, the amount of potentially valuable data stored is expected to grow rapidly. By 2010, the information added annually to the digital universe will have increased more than six-fold from 161 exabytes to one zettabyte (one followed by 21 zeroes)87.

Keeping data safe from prying eyes and malicious code could become more valuable than manufacturing the hardware on which it resides.

Bottom line

Computer manufacturers that face falling margins as a result of declining average selling prices may need to launch a set of complementary services. Providing a suite of services designed to protect data would address customer demand and also provide a predictable cash flow. PC software providers should focus on the security aspects of their solutions, rather than slower growth applications.

Manufacturers lacking experience in service provision may wish to enter service via alliances or acquisitions. Companies should raise consumer awareness of the widespread risks associated with digital data, from identity theft through to surfing without a firewall. Education could protect all customers and stimulate demand.

Service providers should demonstrate the value of their offerings, particularly to the enterprise sector, where the business case for data protection and other services can be difficult to justify88. This is often because companies struggle to put a financial value on their data89. Helping companies to quantify the value of their bits and bytes will likely be a step in the right direction.

The flight to privacy

People usually regard it as a good thing when a supplier knows them well. If a maitre d' guides us to our usual table, a shop owner knows the names of our kids, or a bartender prepares our favorite drink before we have even sat down, this is generally regarded positively.

A good memory is also a useful skill for a successful merchant. But the computers that underpin online services have vastly superior recall. Not only do they know what people purchased last week, they can also recall everything they have ever purchased, what they paid for it, and even where they were when the transaction was made.

In 2008, resistance may grow to the volume and depth of information that websites are capturing about consumers' online behavior.

Many Internet users are probably aware that cookies, discrete information repositories residing on computers, keep a log of every site visited. Every time a website is accessed, the cookie is used by the browser to send a range of information, such as the user's IP address, the date and time of the request, the browser type and the browser language. But few surfers may be aware that until recently companies could hold on to such consumer data for decades90.

This information is often used to deliver targeted advertising and marketing. On one social networking site, the purchase of movie tickets from a partner site can be communicated to the buyer's friends, who may then also turn up for the same screening91.

While most use of behavioral data is likely to be innocuous, perception does not always tie in with fact. A few negative headlines about abuse of individuals' data may be sufficient for Web users to demand that tracking be moderated or stopped altogether, even to the point where tracking is denied by default.

Some of that resistance may come in the form of organized lobbies. In 2007, privacy groups challenged the legality of some information retention practices92. In the United States, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Consumer Federation of America approached the Federal Trade Commission to ask for the creation of a 'do not track' list93. In Europe, the Article 29 Working Party, made up of national advisory bodies that provide input on privacy to the European Union, has asked for an explanation of search-engine data retention periods94.

If the depth of consumer data collected becomes regarded any more negatively, some websites are likely to differentiate on the basis of privacy. One search engine has already launched a non-tracking version95. Sites may also be increasingly ranked by groups according to their privacy practices96.

Getting the balance right may prove difficult during 2008, not least because government regulation in some territories may force some websites to move in the opposite direction. In 2007 for example, a judge ordered one search engine that had been accused of copyright infringement to begin logging user activity and to pass this data on to the plaintiff97.

Bottom line

Possibly the most important action for online companies is to educate users in online privacy, in a clear manner that neither trivializes nor exaggerates the way in which data is used.

Surfers should then be given the autonomy – subject to local regulation – to select the level of privacy that they would prefer. However, users should also be aware that one of the benefits of losing some anonymity is low-cost, or even free, online services. Furthermore, there are drawbacks and inconveniences in not allowing certain facets of tracking, such as the possible need to re-enter preferences and other personal information.

Web users should be made aware that even seemingly innocuous activities, such as social networking, may be compromising. A date of birth and partial address details could be sufficient information to obtain a credit card fraudulently98. And a smart criminal could easily piece together important clues to passwords, such as the maiden name of someone's mother, simply by surfing.

Laws concerning online privacy should be updated, and ideally standardized across regions, if not globally99. In some cases this means revising legislation that is vague in both online and physical spheres. For example, the copyright for a photograph taken in the street is vested with the photographer. But it may breach the various laws concerning data protection, human rights and confidentiality100.

The European Union Data Protection Directive of 1995 limited the use of information collected by Internet groups, but each member country has had some flexibility in how this directive should be applied. This disparity could become problematic when a service accessed in one country refers to data held in another101, and may serve to confuse companies and their customers.

Different types of data attract varying treatment in the eyes of the law. So, while a warrant may be required to obtain an email, it may only require a simple request to obtain an individual's search inquiries102.

The online world should also be careful not to over-react to demands for privacy. Companies should be careful to distinguish between the clamor of a vocal minority and the genuine concerns of a passive majority. They should also recognize that local cultural beliefs may have a strong influence on what is considered the right approach.

Consequently, actively researching consumers' preferences country-by- country, if necessary, may prove to be the most effective way of managing privacy concerns. Consumers' tolerance for advertising may vary by market, and by demography. This diligence may seem expensive, but could be cheaper than dealing with litigation, heavy-handed government regulation or public relations battles with lobbyists. It may also help companies to avoid costly tactical mistakes, such as serving up unwanted advertisements on social networking sites or even on mobile phones.

XBRL goes XL

The technology and financial services sectors have already bestowed a generous collection of acronyms on the world. But in 2008, a further acronym, XBRL may become as well known as HTML or GAAP.

XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language, provides a standardized approach to tagging the financial information contained in company reports. Each item of data, such as 'company net profit', is allocated a tag103. This makes the analysis of financial data for an individual company or across multiple companies far easier, as the process is more readily automated. Without XBRL, making a comparison between company reports can be laborious, requiring, at times, tedious, costly and error-prone manual re-entry of data.

In 2008, XBRL, which is part of the XML family, will be 10-years-old104. But in this year, the momentum behind this reporting language may be greater than ever, with governments, financial authorities, companies and investors all favoring its adoption.

One of the biggest drivers for XBRL in 2008 is likely to be the rising number of the world's largest economies that make, or plan to make, XBRL reporting mandatory.

At the beginning of 2008, listed companies in China were already providing data in machine readable XBRL format for quarterly, halfyearly and annual reports. In the second quarter of 2008, XBRL submissions for all public companies in Japan will become mandatory105.

In the United States, by year-end 2007, at least 40 companies, with a combined turnover of $2 trillion, had already signed up for a pilot scheme for XBRL filing and mandatory filing appeared imminent: in November 2007 the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that it was preparing a proposal to make XBRL submission mandatory106. In South Korea, a voluntary XBRL filing scheme, launched in October 2007, had been taken up by 30 companies by the following month107. The UK Government has announced that it plans to make XBRL obligatory by 2011108. Two years ago, the first XBRL submission had already been made109.

Governments and their financial authorities are likely to push for XBRL's adoption due to the potential benefits in terms of productivity and efficiency. For example, the technology could enable greater automation in all areas of tax including payroll taxes, corporate income tax, value added tax and customs duties. XBRL should enable greater transparency. The US SEC directly attributed its discovery of billions of dollars-worth of backdated share options to the conversion of existing submissions into machine readable files110.

The format provides benefits for companies required to file in XBRL and for consumers. XBRL may lower companies' costs but the bigger benefit may come from creating a more accessible pool of financial data that can be analyzed using standard business intelligence techniques. This should reduce error, minimize tax claims and could allow value to be created through tax. Companies may even be able to present results in multiple standards111.

For investors, the major benefit of having machine readable accounts would be quicker analysis. An investor evaluating mutual funds would be able to compare a fund's strategies, costs, risks and returns at the click of a button. Today, the investor would probably have to pore through each fund's individual reports.

Bottom line

Governments considering or planning to implement XBRL reporting should consider the changes this might imply in terms of their standard processes. For example, as XBRL may enable statutory accounts and tax returns to be submitted in the same format, the filing of statutory accounts and the corporation tax return, currently two discrete processes in some countries, may well converge.

Governments should also ask what data they really need to be submitted via XBRL: asking for everything currently provided in paper format as well as anything else that may additionally be required may result in the collection of some superfluous data sets. Governments should therefore consider starting with a thin set of requirements and add more later, if necessary.

The provision of data in XBRL should change the way that revenue authorities are able to analyze and review information. Governments should ensure they have the right skill sets, or adequate training plans, to enable staff to be able to exploit XBRL's functionality.

There are multiple implications of the move to XBRL for companies. Companies likely to be required to file in XBRL should make preparations as soon as possible, ensuring that all affected by the change, from the board down, are aware of some of the implications. The change should not be regarded as merely the addition of new software.

Firms should also consider whether XBRL reporting requirements go beyond the set of financial data currently collected.

XBRL may enable – and hasten – changes in invoicing of clients. Firms may become responsible for the classification and coding of items included in electronic invoices that then deliver tax data directly into a company's reporting system. This could enable a significant proportion of tax compliance to be completed at source, with minimal input from the customer.

A digital divide for the digerati

Mention the digital divide and most people would think of the growing gulf between the technology 'haves' and 'have nots' in terms of access to personal computers, broadband connections or mobile phones.

However, the digital divide that afflicts users of technology may become deeper than ever in 2008. This division affects people who own or need access to digital data, but are unable to access it. This divide is particularly frustrating as one of the fundamental benefits of digitization is the conversion of data into zeros and ones. But not all zeros and ones, it would seem, are equal.

Digital storage has undergone massive evolution over the last few decades. The floppy disk, the cassette tape and the zip drive have all come and gone. Yet their legacy remains, as reams of data, safely stored, but often largely inaccessible112. Data stored on 5.25-inch floppy disks is practically unreadable on today's PCs113. Access to an external floppy drive may not help, as the appropriate driver may be almost impossible to locate114. A further legacy issue relates to operating systems and computing platforms. The list of hardware already consigned to the scrapheap by the computer industry is long, from the original PC to the Commodore 64115. Reading data created on any of these systems requires the original hardware; unfortunately many people discarded this long ago116.

However this digital divide is most vexing when the existence of multiple standards for a particular type of file limits the utility of current computing systems. The medical world provides a case in point.

X-ray images are now commonly captured, stored and distributed digitally. In theory this should accelerate analysis and improve the overall quality of care. However, while there is a standard file-format used in medical imaging, some vendors have variants on that single standard, and viewing software has not been standardized at all. This means that when a patient, seeking a second opinion, brings along a set of CDs containing the digitized x-rays of the area to be examined, a specialist may squander half an hour trying to work out how to see the images117 118. Some medical institutions find themselves struggling with many terabytes of data in several hundred different formats119.

Digital data incompatibility is an issue that transcends almost all industries and sectors. Its impact is expected to grow along with growth in the volume of data. Two years ago, over 160 million terabytes of new digital data were created120. In two years, global data output is forecast to reach one zettabyte121.

Yet despite this proliferation, access to data is continually hampered by incompatible standards. There are competing standards for highdefinition DVD and digital music as well as programming languages.

Across the TMT industry, there has always been a tension between the desire of companies to own proprietary solutions, and the desire of individuals and corporations for established and robust standards. In the realm of data storage, this tension is likely to become increasingly apparent during 2008, and dealing with it in a manner that satisfies the needs of both groups is likely to become a substantial challenge.

Bottom line

Analog storage media, from printed x-rays to paper patient records have a common reader: the human eye.

Digital storage cannot hope to replicate such ease of access, but it should strive to come as close as possible. This means that the technology sector may have to take a more pragmatic approach to establishing, agreeing and maintaining long-term data storage formats. This has been achieved in certain areas: the PDF format for documents can be read by just about every computer, including high-end mobile phones. While the owner of a de facto standard is likely to gain economically, other players may also want to balance not owning the standard against the benefit of having similar standards for everything, from address book entries, to emails and their attachments.

For corporate customers, the need for standard formats is becoming more urgent. Companies are being required to provide increasing volumes of historical data upon demand122. As a result, companies may be obliged to transfer years-worth of data into contemporary data formats and media that are expected to have a long lifespan.

Longevity should be measured in terms of the durability of the standard and also in the rate of physical decay. Although CDs and DVDs are widely used and have demonstrated excellent performance so far, it is more or less inevitable that they too will one day degrade or become obsolete123.

Companies should consider outsourcing this task to specialist storage firms, which can manage the process of transition to current formats and take on the responsibility of periodic upgrading and transfer.

For consumers, advice on the lifetime of data formats is likely to be helpful, particularly as the typical consumer is expected to have over one terabyte of digital data by 2010124. However these data may be scattered across a wide range of devices and underlying formats, from movies stored on DVRs to contact details on a mobile phone's SIM card.

The consumer market may prove a boon for specialist digital storage companies, as the volume and value of personal data grows in line with the use of digital cameras, email, productivity tools and other applications. Indeed, the data backup and management service business may become as lucrative for the consumer segment as it has been in the enterprise market.

The challenges and opportunities of water scarcity

The human race seems to have a peculiar talent for making once abundant resources scarce. This is especially the case with water.

In 2008, it is estimated that more than one billion people will lack access to clean water. More than double that number lack access to sanitation125. The balance between supply and demand for water is likely to continue deteriorating in 2008.

Demand for water is expected to be driven by economic growth and population increases, trends which are common in emerging economies. India, for example, is home to 16 percent of the world's population but just 5 percent of its fresh water. India's demand for water is expected to exceed supply by 2020126.

Climate change is exacerbating scarcity, causing a fall in fresh water reserves due to changing rainfall patterns127 as well as shrinking glaciers128.

Water shortages are worsening faster than had been expected just a few years ago. Scientists had forecast in 2000 that one in three of the world's population would face shortages by 2025. But that point had already been reached in 2006129.

The long-term outlook for water supply is ominous. The World Bank's forecast for the Middle East and North Africa suggests a 50 percent fall in per capita supply by 2050130. Some major cities, such as Houston in the United States and Sydney in Australia, already consume more water than they replenish131. The World Wildlife Federation has forecast that in the Himalayas, the retreat of glaciers could reduce water flows in the summer months by up to two-thirds. In the Ganges area, this would cause a water shortage for 500 million people132.

For consumers, in 2008 active water management may become as important as other environmental measures, such as carbon footprint reduction. Some major companies have already been lobbied because of their purportedly wasteful water policies133. As consumer awareness grows, pressure on corporations is also likely to grow.

Acute demand for water can provoke desperate responses. In recent years, water scarcity has already prompted several uprisings and even wars134.

The lack of the most important form of liquid in the world is therefore a fundamental issue, and one that the technology sector can play a major role in addressing, in 2008 and beyond.

The potential value in the opportunity appears to be as significant as the problem. The investment shortfall for the global water industry may be more than $1 trillion over the next 20 years135. China plans to spend $125 billion on water projects in urban areas alone136. And while a few companies and funds have already started investing in water technology137, there is likely to be room for plenty more.

Bottom line

In 2008, technology companies should look at how their products and solutions can add to existing supply, as well as reduce current usage. While this should make good business sense, it is also of profound social importance. Four children in the world die every minute from illnesses caused by lack of drinking water138.

One way to increase supply is desalination, a process that converts vast supplies of salt water, mostly found in the sea, into drinkable water. There are two approaches to desalination: reverse osmosis and thermal desalination. However both are energy intensive. The former involves passing sea water through a filter at high pressure, which requires significant effort139. Thermal desalination is a relatively simple approach, involving heating water until it evaporates, to remove the salt.

Use of desalination, which already provides much of the drinking water in a number of countries, is likely to grow in 2008. Currently the world's total desalination capacity provides less than 1 percent of total freshwater needs140. Some countries already obtain the majority of their water through this process141. In 2008 new desalination plants are expected to be commissioned or completed around the world, including areas from China's coastal cities to Algeria142.

While desalination addresses one problem, it creates another: its immense thirst for power. The process can require up to 10 megawatts of power to produce 100,000 liters of drinkable water143, making desalinated water up to 10 times more expensive than harvested rain-water144. While this expense may be tolerated in the world's richer nations, it is of limited practical use in the developing world. As a result, more efficient desalination technologies and less expensive power sources will be required, and the technology industry could supply both145 146.

Technology could also be used to improve management of the existing supply in myriad ways. One of the biggest challenges – and opportunities – is reducing water leakage. In the United Kingdom this has been estimated to be 4.5 billion liters per day, equivalent to a bathful for every one of the country's 60 million people147. Detecting and remedying such wastage could be one of the most effective ways of managing scarce supply.

Another powerful application of technology could be to model the impact of subsidies for industries such as farming, or the draining of wetlands148. Technology could also be part of the solution in developing less wasteful approaches to hydrating crops. Some scientists have argued that the amount of water required to grow food could be halved149. Technology can also be deployed in developing and growing plants that can serve as alternatives to fossil-based fuels, yet which consume little water150.

Possibly the most important issue is the business model. In many respects, technology has reached a point where adequate supplies of safe drinking water can be generated, but not at a practical cost. Finding ways of making water supply affordable will likely be the biggest challenge of all.

Glossary of technical terms

BIOS Basic Input-Output System
CD Compact Disc
CFL Compact Fluorescent (bulbs)
DVD Digital Versatile Disc
DVR Digital Video Recorder
GAAP Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
HTML Hypertext Markup Language
IP Internet Protocol
ISP Internet Service Provider
IT Information Technology
LED Light Emitting Diode
MIPS Million Instructions Per Second
PDA Personal Digital Assistant
RAM Random Access Memory
RFID Radio Frequency Identification
SIM Subscriber Identity Module
URL Uniform Resource Locator
VAT Value Added Tax
XML Extensible Markup Language

Recent thought leadership

Convergence Conversations
Digital Dilemmas
The elements of value network appliances – Part 1: Strategies for building alliance partnerships
Global Trends in Venture Capital 2007 Survey
Growing their own talent – 2007
Global Survey of CEOs in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500
Treading water – 2007 TMT Global Security Survey
Value, protect, exploit: How managing intellectual property can build and sustain competitive advantage

About TMT

The Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Industry Group consists of the TMT practices organized in the various member firms of DTT and includes more than 6,000 member firm partners, directors and senior managers supported by thousands of other professionals dedicated to helping their clients evaluate complex issues, develop fresh approaches to problems and implement practical solutions. There are dedicated TMT member firm practices in 45 countries and centers of excellence in the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific. DTT's member firms serve nearly 90 percent of the TMT companies in the Fortune Global 500. Clients of Deloitte's member firms' TMT practices include some of the world's top software companies, computer manufacturers, wireless operators, satellite broadcasters, advertising agencies and semiconductor foundries – as well as leaders in publishing, telecommunications and peripheral equipment manufacturing


65. Man jailed for Web sex grooming, BBC News, 5 October 2007.

66. Internet watch foundation, Annual and Charity Report 2006.

67. For more information, see: Court rules in favor of anonymous blogger, Associated Press, 6 October 2005.

68. See: a false Wikipedia 'biography', USA Today, 29 November 2005.

69. eBay signs up 200-millionth online auction member, Metrics 2.0, 14 June 2006.

70. Japan's National Police Agency reported an 11.8% increase in cyber crime, Internet Business Law Services, 6 March 2007.

71. Internet auctions: a guide for buyers, US Fed News, 17 September 2007.

72. Jupiter: E-commerce Growth to Slow, Marketing Vox, 5 September 2007.

73. Social Networks Increase Their Online Security, Info Tech and Telecom News, 1 October 2007; also see: Identity crisis looms for telcos, Light Reading, 6 July 2007.

74. Email scams net an average $5,100 per individual. See: Email scams reel in victims, The New Paper, 15 August 2007.

75. The birth of the IBM PC:

76. Free laptops as broadband battle hots up, The Times, 22 July 2007.

77. For example see:

78. Worldwide PC revenue remains flat, ZDNet, 18 January 2007.

79. Bob DuCharme: "People learn that data is more valuable than applications or hardware", Semantic Web, 22 August 2007.

80. In the United Kingdom, the cost for three years' anti-virus software is £120 to £180 ($245 to $367*); the cost of an entry level PC can be £329 ($671). The cost of digital online back up is in the region of $72 per gigabyte per month. See:

81. 2008 Data Security Prediction: More Trouble for CISOs, Baseline, 5 October 2007.

82. Ibid.

83. Mobile device security 2007, Viruslist, 18 May 2007.

84. Ibid.



87. The Expanding Digital Universe, IDC, March 2007.

88. What's your data really worth? iWeek, 26 April 2007.

89. Ibid.

90. Google cookies will 'auto delete', BBC News, 17 July 2007.

91. Word of Mouse, The Economist, 8 November 2007.

92. Google queried on privacy policy, BBC News, 25 May 2007.

93. See: Wrong way to online privacy, Financial Times, 6 November 2007; also:;

94. Google defends data policy after EU warning, Reuters, 25 May 2007.

95. offers a version of its site, called AskEraser, that does not retain any information on customers, EU privacy verdict set for new year, The Register, 11 October 2007.

96. For more information on a ranking of privacy practices at Internet service companies, see: A Race to the Bottom, Privacy Ranking of Internet Service Companies, Privacy International, 6 September 2007:[347]=x-347-553961

97. MPAA accuses TorrentSpy of concealing evidence, CNet, 11 June 2007.

98. Social networkers warned of risk, BBC News, 12 November 2007.

99. Google to call for Web privacy shake-up, Financial Times, 14 September 2007.

100. Lawyers live in interesting times, thanks to the Internet, Financial Times, 3 October 2007.

101. Seeking the key to Web privacy, Financial Times, 23 September 2007.

102. Ibid.

103. For more information, see: An introduction to XBRL,

104. About the organisation, XBRL Web site, see:

105. SEC Readies XBRL, eWEEK, 14 November 2007.

106. Ibid.

107. Ibid.

108. Review of HMRC online services:

109. Latest News, XBRL UK,

110. Interactive data helped US SEC uncover backdating, Reuters, 9 February 2007.

111. Mind the GAAP, Wall Street Journal, 15 November 2007.

112. Is your data disappearing? Information Week, 23 July 2001.

113. Defunct tape formats may make data inaccessible, IT Wire, 13 September 2007.

114. The museum of obsolete disks, or why I hate Iomega, CNET News, 8 April 2005.

115. For a complete list, see:

116. Data Management: Data Preservation and Destruction, Peter Davis and Associates, June 2003.

117. Interview with Dr Lawrence Schwartz, Vice Chair for Technology Development; Director, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Digital Dilemmas, Deloitte Touche Tomahtsu, November 2007.

118. Physicians weigh the costs, benefits and challenges of digital imaging systems, Orthopedics Today, July 2006.

119. Clalit Health Services: Healthcare Case Study, Microsoft, July 2004.

120. IDC: World Created 161 Billion Gigs of Data in 2006, News Factor, 7 March 2007.

121. Ibid.

122. New federal court rules mean lots of new business for data services providers, Search Storage Channel, 8 December 2006.

123. The museum of obsolete disks, or why I hate Iomega, CNET News, 8 April 2005.

124. Terabyte storage on way for consumers, CNET News, 23 May 2007.

125. Call for global law on access to water, Financial Times, 12 June 2007; A Nuclear Future for Water Supply, Power Engineering, 1 September 2007.

126. Water crisis looms in India as drilling depletes resources, News International, 20 March 2006.

127. EU report warns industry on water scarcity, Financial Times, 20 March 2005.

128. Melting glaciers threaten agricultural land, Financial Times, 25 August 2006.

129. The Comprehensive Assessment of Water Management in Agriculture, the International Water Management Institute, referenced in Water scarcity affects one in three, Financial Times, 21 August 2006.

130. Middle East facing water crisis, World Bank warns, Financial Times, 13 March 2007.

131. Radical overhaul seen as solution to water crisis, Financial Times, 24 August 2006.

132. Melting glaciers threaten agricultural land, Financial Times, 25 August 2006.

133. Water lobbyists pressure Pepsi, Financial Times, 7 May 2003.

134. Middle East facing water crisis, World Bank warns, Financial Times, 13 March 2007; Huge underground lake could be UN's Darfur peace solution, Financial Times, 3 September 2007; Water companies benefiting from shortages, Financial Times, 3 April 2007.

135. Water companies benefiting from shortages, Financial Times, 3 April 2007.

136. China water projects to get big investment, International Herald Tribune, 22 August 2006.

137. GE dives into European water market, Financial Times, 6 February 2007.

138. How to profit from the world's water crisis, Money Week, 12 May 2006.

139. Desalination may be solution to water problems, The Canberra Times, 22 October 2007.

140. A nuclear future for water supply, Power Engineering, 1 September 2007.

141. Dubai obtains 95 percent of its water, and Saudi Arabia 70 percent of its water, from desalination. Desalination now a word on everybody's lips, The Australian, 13 October 2007.

142. Desalination now a word on everybody's lips, The Australian, 13 October 2007.

143. Ibid.

144. Turning the sea into drinking water ruled out as too expensive, The Times, 13 April 2007.

145. Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia are all evaluating nuclear power as a means of powering desalination: Desalination now a word on everybody's lips, The Australian, 13 October 2007; Nuclear powered desalination has been considered for Las Vegas: Las Vegas not ruling out any of its water options, Colorado Springs Business Journal, 28 September 2007; France has signed a memorandum of understanding with Libya, including an agreement on the eventual construction of a nuclear powered desalination plant: France, Libya sign nuclear desalination deal, Arms Control Today, 1 September 2007.

146. Saltwater works. Uptake of desalination technology has long been hindered by high energy consumption, but new membrane technologies promise to improve efficiencies and lower costs, Chemistry and Industry, 13 August 2007; Nanotechnology: Plenty of Clean Water at the NanoFrontier, BioTech Week, 22 August 2007.

147. BBC Water Week, 2002:

148. Middle East facing water crisis, World Bank warns, Financial Times, 13 March 2007; UN calls for action on global water problems, Financial Times, 21 March 2007.

149. Radical overhaul seen as solution to water crisis, Financial Times, 24 August 2006.

150. Want the next big energy source? Dig in the weeds, Reuters, 20 August 2007. *All currency conversions correct on 5 December 2007 at 12.00 (

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