ZDNet's straw poll - online security fears

After a shocking series of security breaches, the government will be quizzed in the House of Commons on the state of security on the Net. What do you think? Vote in ZDNet's straw poll
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Questions will be asked in parliament Tuesday about how the government intends to tighten up data protection laws on the Internet following a series of embarrassing security breachs.

MP and head of the all party Internet group Derek Wyatt will challenge the government over its handling of secure data in the House of Commons next week. Last week the Cabinet Office Web site was hacked and some commentators believe the recently leaked Number 10 memo could have been the work of a hacker.

More worrying for consumers is the series of security breaches in online banks and commercial Web sites including the recent Powergen debacle. The Department of Industry, the Office for Fair Trading and power industry regulator Ofgem all deny responsibility for regulating companies' online activities. Wyatt insists that the Department of Trade and Industry should be taking more responsibility. "What we have here is a hole in the political responsibility chain", he says. "I don't know what Kim Howells [Competition and Consumer Minister at the DTI] has been doing."

Wyatt believes that the absence of accountability is at odds with Britain's attempts to lead the world in e-commerce, and was critical of the harm caused to the thousands of customers affected by Powergen's error. He will be putting his questions to the Government on Tuesday.

Analysts estimate that consumer fears over the perceived dangers of shopping online will cost the UK £3bn this year alone. Following the success of our BT straw poll, we'd like to ask ZDNet readers what they think of Internet security. So send us a mail and let us know whether you AGREE or DISAGREE with the following statement: It is safe to send credit card details over the Internet.

While we're keen to hear your views, please remember to tell us at the head of your mail whether you AGREE or DISAGREE with this.

Vote using our Mailroom. And read what others have said.

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