The digital exposome, or the online environment in which we live, is increasingly becoming a hazardous space filled with potential online crimes and other harmful effects. In a world where people are spending an average of six to seven hours a day online, it has become imperative to address the risks and consequences of being constantly connected. Much like living in a high crime neighborhood, the digital world exposes individuals to various forms of criminal activity, such as phishing attacks, malicious advertising, and other cybercrimes.
There are undeniable similarities between the online exposome and a high crime environment. The stress of knowing that one’s digital identity can be stolen and abused while offline is always present, making it challenging to fully disconnect. Additionally, the addictive nature of digital platforms further complicates efforts to manage exposure to the online exposome. Intentional fostering of online addiction for profit is now at the center of several lawsuits, highlighting the urgent need for regulation of online technologies at both national and international levels.
The author raises the question of whether entities that require individuals to go online have a duty of care to protect them from potential harms. With the increasing prevalence of digitally-enabled crimes, institutions may be in breach of this duty of care. The pervasive reach of online crime into people’s lives further underscores the need for governments to address the detrimental effects and protect the health of their citizens in the digital space.
Being online amplifies a person’s total environmental exposure, adding another dimension that contains considerable potential for harmful effects on health. In an age where people are spending a significant amount of time online, governments must take steps to reduce cybercrime and its impact on individuals and society. The harmful effects of going online threaten to undermine the benefits of online technology, further necessitating the need for legislation and adequate victim support to minimize the short- and long-term impact of cybercrime.
The article concludes with a call to action for legal experts to pursue litigation based on the information provided. It emphasizes the urgency for governments and companies to acknowledge their duty to protect citizens in the digital space and take action to reduce cybercrime. Furthermore, the need for legislation to address the full range of harms suffered by victims of cybercrime is highlighted.
In summary, the digital exposome presents numerous challenges and risks that need to be addressed. From the prevalence of online crime to the impacts on individual and societal health, this article calls for urgent action to mitigate the harmful effects of being constantly connected online. As the online landscape continues to evolve, protecting individuals from the harmful effects of the digital exposome must become a priority for policymakers, governments, and companies worldwide.