Bruce Schneier on Regulating at the Pace of Tech
Harvard cyber security expert Bruce Schneier spoke with Transform for the publication’s inaugural issue on trust in tech. He said that, given how central technology is to our daily lives, we should be able to trust that tech systems are secure – in the same way we trust that food from the grocery store is safe to eat and planes are safe to fly in.
If those things are safe, it’s only because governments regulate them. “We walk into a restaurant and don’t have to check the kitchen ourselves,” Schneier says. “Governments perform a valuable function in our stead: they are our experts.”
But sometimes technology evolves too quickly for regulations to keep up. “The tech industry moves quickly. And we really don’t know how to regulate at the speed of tech. Tech moves much faster than government, and we don’t really have a good theory of agile regulation. The best we have, at least in the United States, are regulatory agencies, which are able to move faster than Congress can, but still slower than technology. So I think right now we in society, we’re working out how to regulate technology at technology’s pace.”