Giving Up on Cybersecurity

20 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2016 Last revised: 6 Dec 2016

See all articles by Kristen Eichensehr

Kristen Eichensehr

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: June 5, 2016


Recent years have witnessed a dramatic increase in digital information and connected devices, but constant revelations about hacks make painfully clear that security has not kept pace. Societies today network first, and ask questions later.

This Essay argues that while digitization and networking will continue to accelerate, cybersecurity concerns will also prompt some strategic retreats from digital dependence. Individuals, businesses, and governments will “give up” on cybersecurity by either (1) adopting low-tech redundancies for high-tech capabilities or digital information, or (2) engaging in technological regression or arrest, foregoing capabilities that technology could provide because of concerns about cybersecurity risks. After cataloguing scattered examples of low-tech redundancy and technological regression or arrest that have occurred to date, the Essay critically evaluates how laws and regulations have fostered situations where giving up on cybersecurity is necessary. The Essay concludes by proposing ways that law can help to guide consideration of when to engage in low-tech redundancy or technological regression moving forward.

Keywords: Cybersecurity, hack, Internet of Things, data breach, ransomware, FTC, Law and Technology

Suggested Citation

Eichensehr, Kristen, Giving Up on Cybersecurity (June 5, 2016). 64 UCLA Law Review Discourse 320 (2016)., UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 16-29, Available at SSRN:

Kristen Eichensehr (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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