Articles on Data privacy

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User agreements are often long, complex and inaccessible texts that don’t help users understand what exactly is being done with their information. Shutterstock

Plain language about health data is essential for transparency and trust

As more data are collected, it's important for the public to understand how their health information is being used. But user agreements are often complex, lengthy and written in inaccessible language.
Is privacy what you can’t see, or where you don’t look? Kamil Macniak/Shutterstock.com

What’s private depends on who you are and where you live

Privacy starts with the body and extends to digital data. There are few rules governing what companies can do – yet people can't effectively protect their own privacy.
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.
Biometrics like retinal scans is a new frontier in the privacy wars. Reuters/Mike Blake

Congress is considering privacy legislation – be afraid

States like California have been at the forefront of privacy innovation in recent decades. A possible federal law could bring their experimentation to a halt, harming consumers.
Smart city planning will need to address data collection and protecting the privacy of minors in public space. Shutterstock

Protecting children’s data privacy in the smart city

The history of how Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiaries manage children and data is a troubling one. How will Sidewalk Labs address concerns about minors and privacy in Toronto's Quayside project?
EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager speaks at a news conference about Google online search advertising, at the European Commission in Belgium in March 2019. Stephanie Lecocq / AAP

How big tech designs its own rules of ethics to avoid scrutiny and accountability

Feelgood, high-level data ethics principles are not fit for the purpose of regulating big tech. Applied ethics might be useful ... but stronger regulation is the preferred end goal.
Although WhatsApp is described as en encrypted messaging service, it’s not as secure as you might think. rachit tank / unsplash

Becoming more like WhatsApp won’t solve Facebook’s woes – here’s why

Facebook seems to be shifting its focus more towards privacy. But this might have some unexpected repercussions, as highlighted by recent research on the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp.

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