Acquainting you with the glories of Internet, the previous episode recited the anecdote of how the internet transmuted the way we communicated, accessed and utilized information and simplified otherwise redundant procedures.
The knight of this story is the smartphone- an irreplaceable device that has utterly won over our capability to use, share and store the information that internet enabled us to access. Like a wildfire, smartphones have engulfed almost the entire world since 2008 when Apple mainstreamed the device. Almost every action and reaction happened through these smart devices. Things like e-filing forms, e-verification, online trade, etc. that were inconceivable prior to the introduction of smartphones started to turn into a delightful reality!
Smartphones opened a mystery box of innovative applications, fondly called mobile apps that people could use for gaming, conversing and other general activities! Then came ebooks- from comics, novels, and autobiographies to law books and bare acts, everything was readable in electronic form.
Social media stirred a never-seen-before revolution! Irrespective of geographical distance, people could find each other and communicate with one swift click. Orkut, Facebook, Skype and other counterparts replaced the old methods of communication. The urgency to reach out to more users and excel as service providers led to many legal professionals taking their business online.
Lawyers, law firms, and in-house legal departments now had an online presence that brought the legal world closer to the general world. Previously considered cumbersome and feared by the layman, legal information became more comprehensible and legal services more accessible.
Additionally, with information posted on a social media platform was susceptible to scrutiny from the entire world. There’s a very thin line between fact and fiction on social media, intensifying the need for the stringent legal blueprint. Defamation laws, privacy laws, and criminal laws were modified to tackle cyber crimes.
Monetary transactions were possible with mobile apps by the government, bank and third parties that enabled payments of bills, money transfers and creating demand drafts with a single click. Online/ mobile payments eased payment methods for e-commerce websites flourishing at that time. Cyber laws were modified alongside to withstand these changing methods.
Now a technology-influenced industry, the legal industry endeavored to provide the multifaceted safeguard against cyber attacks in form of hacking, data theft, piracy, IPR infringement, cyber stalking and so on. The Information Technology Act, 2000 was the radical legislation enacted distinctly to deal with activities transpiring electronically.
Furthermore, the use of social media, online payment gateways and use of smart devices gave rise to a new form of evidence called virtual evidence that included any messages and transactions made through mobile apps; any post, comment or message made on a social media platform and online banking transactions. The existing evidence and banking laws were modified to recognize electronic methods of communication and transaction.
Aptly named smart, smart devices opened the gates of information which although available through the internet, was accessed by the only handful. The labyrinth of overpowering information was untangled by radical developments through a coalition of the Internet and smart devices, topped with social media. The concoction of these three paved way for the Experience Age when experiencing the information available in form of state-of-the-art services was more important than accessing data itself. A time when the service sector flourished with a boom and the focus shifted to providing excellent services to the user.