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The increasing use of sensors in smart homes adds to an ever expanding amount of user data that can be collected and commodified. Shutterstock

Explainer: what is surveillance capitalism and how does it shape our economy?

Companies scrutinise our online likes, dislikes, searches and purchases to produce data that can be used commercially. And it's often done without us understanding the full extent of the surveillance.
Media critic and educator Neil Postman’s 1985 book ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’ warned of the dangers when all media is entertainment, especially when people lack critical media literacy skills. (Shutterstock)

The urgent need for media literacy in an age of annihilation

Students -- and indeed all of us -- must learn to ask questions about what stories are told, and the implications of what stories are not being told.
Facebook looks different - but we’re still waiting for clarification on how they’re going to handle user data into the future. Julien de Rosa / AAP

Facebook is now cleaner, faster and group-focused, but still all about your data

Facebook is built on harvesting platform data about its users, crunching that to predict behaviours and allegiances and then selling this package to advertisers. That hasn't changed yet.
Companies use data to make a portrait of their users. ImageFlow/shutterstock.com

Big tech surveillance could damage democracy

Big tech companies compete over who can gather the most intelligence on their users. Countries like Russia and China turn this information against their citizens.
Facebook’s Mia Garlick says, ‘we’re frequently seeing politicians use the Facebook Live tool to augment a press conference or to directly speak to voters about the issues of importance of the day.’ AAP/MICK TSIKAS

Media Files: Facebook’s Mia Garlick on #Ausvotes2019 and how Australian MPs use social media

Facebook’s Mia Garlick on how Australian politicians are using social media. The Conversation44.8 MB (download)
Today's Media Files podcast examines the role of social media in election campaigns, including the spread of 'fake news' and foreign political interference.

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