Life in the Technological Age – Beware!

Life in the Technological Age – Beware!

At the next series of Clapham & Collinge Briefings we will be looking at the impact that technology has on our lives and after death. The breaking news of the leaking of data from the Ashley Madison website is exactly the type of issue that is going to be discussed at the Briefings.

The Ashley Madison website brought together married men and women under the tag line of "Life is short. Have an affair" with approximately 37 million users around the world and 1.2 million of those being in this country.

Hackers have leaked details of the members and although this was initially through the "dark web" and in a format only readable by more advanced computer users the information has begun to make its way onto the open web. Information about names, addresses, email addresses and credit card details have been provided.

Neale Grearson Head of the Clapham & Collinge Family Department and one of the speakers at the Briefings said:

"It has been suggested that the exposure is morally correct although the contrary argument has been that those joining the website have not necessarily committed adultery. Nevertheless it seems that many people are very concerned about the repercussions of the revelations especially for those in public life within the 1.2 million Britons apparently registered on the site. The repercussions go further because this could result in separation and divorce when a partner of a member finds out that he or she has joined the website even though "plausible deniability" has been suggested as the defence to questions about membership.

The hacking and disclosure do highlight the problems of the technological age that we live in. Whether we like it or not we make a "digital imprint" that we need to be wary of and the problems can continue after death. It is now common place for personal information to be handed over without necessarily appreciating how its disclosure could affect us. For example those people joining the Ashley Madison website trusted that their information would be retained securely – or at the very least never thought about it not being retained securely. Being more aware of the situation will not solve the problem but prevention is often better than cure. At our Briefings these issues and more will be considered. The dates of these are as follows:

More details of the Briefings can be found on our website or through Louis Hilldrup-Boorman on "