Articles on Data collection

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Toronto could learn a lot from Brazil following the flawed and opaque consultation process to develop parts of the city’s waterfront. (Shutterstock)

Quayside Toronto project proves that smart city talks must be transparent

Toronto’s Quayside smart city project needs a new, truly consultative process. An innovative method used by Brazil to develop its landmark Internet Bill of Rights may be the answer.
Personal data has been dubbed the “new oil”, and data brokers are very efficient miners. Emanuele Toscano/Flickr

It’s time for third-party data brokers to emerge from the shadows

Third party data brokers trade in personal information and the industry is worth billions. But the activities of these companies remain largely invisible. It's time to shine a light.
What you get out is what you put in. Keys image via www.shutterstock.com

Big Data analyses depend on starting with clean data points

Analyzing big data sets holds the promise of big insights. But the axiom "garbage in, garbage out" is particularly apt, since conclusions can be only as good as the raw data itself.
Governments produce enormous amounts of data. The open data movement wants to make that available to all citizens. r2hox/Flickr

Good governance and active citizenship require open data

The open data movement is gaining momentum but we need to reflect on our priorities and values in order to make further progress.
The consent policies of popular websites would take a month to read. Perhaps including a sign like this would be a simpler solution. Shutterstock

Personal privacy is eroding as consent policies of Google and Facebook evoke ‘fantasy world’

We live in a world increasingly dominated by our personal data. Some of those data we choose to reveal, for example, through social media, email and the billions – yes, billions – of messages, photos and…
Most sport is played by non-professionals in Australia such as this college challenge. Flickr/SPORTSPICS

Better data reporting will prevent sports injuries and deaths

Australia is a sporting nation and the tragic death of batsman Phil Hughes is still very much in the hearts and minds of fans and players alike. Deaths in sport are rare but history does tell us that they…
Can you relate? YouGov

YouGov app: enjoy consumer profiling while you can

One of the UK’s largest market research firms has caused a stir with an online tool that gives a peek into its treasure trove of consumer profiles. YouGov describes its Profiler app as “a showcase for…
When the sun sets on Patriot, what will spy agencies do? Roving Eye 365/Flickr

Freedom Act denied … so what happens when Patriot expires?

Last week a proposal called the Freedom Act was defeated in the US Senate. The Freedom Act was to restrict whole-of-population collection of communications data which is currently permitted under the Patriot…
Don’t look a big data gift horse in the mouth. Horse graphic by Yganko/Shutterstock

Is big data heading for its ‘horsemeat moment’?

There have been so many leaks, hacks and scares based on misuse or misappropriation of personal data that any thought that “big data” could provide benefits rather than only opportunities for harm may…
Ooops - that’s my bad. Rehan Khan/EPA

A dozen ways to avoid that $617bn ‘fat finger’ moment

Have you ever ordered too many items online – say, buying 20 courgettes when you meant two? Then you might feel a little sorry for the anonymous broker in Japan who lost US$617 billion to a trading typo…
What data from telcos and tech companies does the government want handed over? Flickr/Nic McPhee

When does Google hand over your data to governments?

Governments around the world want to know a lot about who we are and what we’re doing online and they want communications companies to help them find it. We don’t know a lot about when companies hand over…

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