In an all pervasive digital world, everybody has a digital identity. The primary is the official databases, from where identity theft is done as in the case of US Federal Database of 23 million employees. The other is digital / virtual identity as created in various profiles; Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and the life. It can also be completely virtual ones as in case of lots of Twitter etc accounts.
The most dangerous variant of this is misuse of personal information known to a person misusing to malign other person. We find lots of such instances in cases of love stories gone sour, where obscene / porn pics & videos are used for this purpose. * Blackmailing physical & mental precedes it.* Cyber bullying is quite predominant. Photoshop trickery / morphed images are being used to create nuisance, loss of face, embarrassment or even life threatening situations. Digital Impersonation is a reality. Fake accounts on Facebook etc has innumerable criminal dimensions.
Individuals are thus being put to lots of risk, digital medium being more fatal, instantaneous & pervasive and compared to earlier ones, is permanent. Mostly appearing on the Social Media, deletion is at mercy of the IT Companies. There is also a technical challenge in catching such data & having secure digital systems to flush out such users /data. Security Data Science & AI might throw up intelligent solutions.
Sections of IPC / IT Act pertaining to impersonation / obscenity / hacking can be used, the bigger challenge is attribution i.e., connecting crime to the criminal. Details / pics of women / children are released on websites
offering their services. Lots of proxies, masking, routing techniques are used. But as it has a context / intention, with physical investigation in conjunction, crimes of this nature are being detected effectively. Immediate compliance to police agencies request by social media companies should be mandated by law. National laws & international digital operations?
* PROTECTING DIGITAL IDENTITY IS A LEGAL & A TECHNICAL CHALLENGE.*
By Sanjay Sahay
He belongs to the 1989 batch of the IPS, borne on Karnataka cadre. Accomplished high degree of professionalism in wide and varied professional assignments.
He finally got groomed and refined into an officer who has 360 degrees experience of all policing tasks, simultaneously maintaining keen interest in all staff functions and a passion for usage of appropriate technology in policing at all levels and in all fields. Know More