‘There is no privacy in cyberspace’, Kaspersky says

Former Skype CEO tells web summit privacy issues are nothing new to tech world

There is no privacy in cyberspace. That's the message from Eugene Kaspersky, chief executive of global IT security company Kaspersky Lab, at the Dublin Web Summit this morning.

“Everything you do/see/say can be recorded or intercepted. Every time I type on by keyboard I keep in mind that someone can see even though I use encryption.”

Warning attendees of the downside of using Google mail, Yahoo mail and Skype, Mr Kaspersky said he stopped using their services for privacy reasons.

“There is less and less privacy now. Fifty years ago, if governments and private companies were watching peoples every move there would have been huge protests,” he added.


However, former Skype chief operating officer and current Mangrove Capital partner Michael Jackson said privacy issues and spying were nothing new. "Back in the olden says people who worked on switchboards in villages read telegrams as they came through. Spying is nothing new."

He said a bigger issue was that the Edward Snowden story was continuing to play but nobody seems to care.

“The issue of privacy online doesn’t seem to be a big issue and its perverse as it affects everyone in the world.”

Cloudflare founder and CEO Matthew Prince told the attendees that there was a huge opportunity for someone who changes the email model to make it more secure.

“Every email you send passes across the network completely unprotected. There is more email data than web data being sent. If someone could reinvent email there would be huge opportunities.”

On the digital marketing stage this morning, Appsavvy founder Chris Cunningham said branded content was becoming a much better form of advertising.

“Buzzfeed is doing an incredible job being forward in their thinking and taking risk by bleeding their content with branded content.”

He said a problem with current advertising models is that the “cookie does not understand when to speak to the user.”

He added that online advertising needs not be just about who the ads are targeted at, but when they are targeted.

Mr Cunningham told attendees that social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, which are drawing huge proportions of their revenues from mobile advertising, have created enormous confidence for brands to get behind mobile.

Over in the web summit's Alpha Village, Manlio Accardo was exhibiting his Swiss-based start-up Sailogy.

“We are the safest and fastest way to charter a boat online. We are the safest as we personally inspect all 3,000 boats in our fleet and you can see actually pictures of the boat you want to charter not generic ones like what car rental companies do.”

Mr Accardo said he was attending the summit to get publicity for his company, and meet other start-ups he could work with.

“We have met start-ups that specialise in PR, web development and online recruitment. That is good for us as we have just done our funding round and need to hire people and promote ourselves further.”

Eamon Keane, founder and chief executive of Irish start-up Xpreso said he was at the summit to talk to UK-based e-commerce providers and potential investors.

"People are forever getting those 'sorry I missed you' attempted delivery notices from courier companies and it annoys them. In the UK alone, 100 million of these cards are posted through people's letterboxes each year. Our company connects consumers with couriers to avoid this."

"One company that we talked to was Magico and they said their clients have a huge issue around failed delivery of parcels," he added.

He said the Xpreso app was like a Hailo for parcels: “The consumer can see where the driver is on a map and what time they will arrive. If the consumer can’t be home at that time they can select a parcel motel nearby for the package to be delivered to, or a different time or day.”

He added the courier could also see the person wasn’t home so didn’t waste any time going to their house.