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Analysis and Comment (22)

The failure to publish collected data is hindering understanding of the effectiveness and failures of government programs. The failure to publish collected data is hindering understanding of the effectiveness and failures of government programs. Flickr/LOD2project/European Data Forum

Rich but untapped data resource will let us make policy work better

The McClure Review of Welfare, much like the Commission of Audit report, is unlikely to win the Abbott government many new fans in the social services sector. However, for those involved in social policy…
errmmmm, no I don’t really know how to add friends either. Vic Gundotra has had enough. errmmmm, no I don’t really know how to add friends either. Vic Gundotra has had enough. niallkennedy

Google+ isn’t dead, it just hasn’t got any friends

The news that Vic Gundotra, Google’s vice-president for social media, is to leave the company has fuelled speculation that Google+, the company’s much maligned social network that Gundotra oversaw, is…
We collect climate data. We collect health data. What if we combined the two? We collect climate data. We collect health data. What if we combined the two? Kevin

Data mashups can help answer the world’s biggest questions

As the world wakes up to the power of data, we need to start working out how to join up all this information. We need to turn it into meaningful findings that will help us to make changes to the way we…
Now for lot 56: a rare collection of Graham’s angry emails to his ex-girlfriend. Now for lot 56: a rare collection of Graham’s angry emails to his ex-girlfriend. portableantiquities

Dutch student sells his data for €350 but at what price privacy?

A dutch student has taken the bold decision to sell all his data at auction. It’s a decision that should make us think about the future of our own information. In an auction on April 12, Shawn Buckles…
The European Court of Justice has given data retention the thumbs down … but it’s still on the table Down Under. The European Court of Justice has given data retention the thumbs down … but it’s still on the table Down Under. B Rosen/Flickr

Europe says no to data retention, so why is it an option in Australia?

There has been plenty of technology-related legal activity in the European Union this month. Last week the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled that data retention regulations, as they currently stand…
You want to see what’s in my trolley? What’s in it for me? You want to see what’s in my trolley? What’s in it for me? Alan

The next internet revolution brings data to the market

Every day, our lives are being captured digitally in the data that is generated by our transactions, interactions and movements. And as we become more connected through the internet of things, even more…
The trend towards cloud storage has privacy implications for individuals. The trend towards cloud storage has privacy implications for individuals.

Get off my cloud: when privacy laws meet cloud computing

What does privacy mean in an age of ongoing privacy breaches? With new privacy law coming online in Australia on March 12, our Privacy in Practice series explores the practical challenges facing Australian…
Can you ever be anonymous in your doctor’s surgery if your doctor isn’t? Can you ever be anonymous in your doctor’s surgery if your doctor isn’t? MTSOfan

Your NHS data is completely anonymous – until it isn’t

The debate about uploading nearly all data from UK medical practices to a national database continues to cause concern. Responding to fears that the information held in the care.data database will put…
Press two to cancel your mobile phone contract and revert to your landline. Press two to cancel your mobile phone contract and revert to your landline. _Wiedz

Don’t like being monitored? Get rid of your mobile phone

Concern over privacy has peaked in recent months, especially in telecommunications, where technological advances appear to bring total surveillance ever closer to reality. In one high-profile case of recent…
Advergames on mobile phones allow advertisers to directly target young children with games that promote unhealthy food. Advergames on mobile phones allow advertisers to directly target young children with games that promote unhealthy food. Toca Boca/flickr

Advergames play with nutrition by making fast food rewarding

Advergaming is a relatively recent approach to advertising that overcomes many of the limitations of traditional advertising. But advergames are increasingly being used by fast food companies to target…
Finding links between vast amounts of cancer data could drive new drugs. Finding links between vast amounts of cancer data could drive new drugs. Fran Simó

Artificial intelligence uses biggest disease database to fight cancer

We live in an exciting era where new technologies are allowing us to amass huge quantities of data about cancer. And vast databases containing the genetic profiles of tumours and other information have…
Soon they will buzz around you much like flies. Soon they will buzz around you much like flies. arselectronica

Not just weapons of war: drones hold much potential for civilians

Robotic aircraft, or drones, are a much-debated military technology. But while this change in military capability challenges our shared senses of threat and protection, robotic aircraft have also been…
What do they know about you? What do they know about you? MyDex CIC

The government scheme that’s after your data

A little known UK government initiative is underway to release vast amounts of personal data from companies to citizens with the laudable aim of handing power to the consumer. The midata initiative aims…
The NSA PRISM program seems to trawl a lot of data, so how can we avoid being dragged in too? The NSA PRISM program seems to trawl a lot of data, so how can we avoid being dragged in too? HasinHayder

Ten ways you can avoid being caught in the PRISM net

Last weekend, the Washington Post published a further four slides, leaked from the US National Security Agency (NSA), which outline how data is collected through the PRISM program. The process is fairly…
Your daily movements are simple, predictable and useful to know. Your daily movements are simple, predictable and useful to know. Thuany Gabriela

Your phone knows the three places you visit each day

We lead busy, complex lives. But how many different places will you visit today? And how many different ways could you organise your travel between those places? The answer, according to a new study published…
Raytheon’s “extreme-scale analytics” system can track people’s movements like never before. Raytheon’s “extreme-scale analytics” system can track people’s movements like never before. c-reel.com

RIOT gear: your online trail just got way more visible

The recent publication of a leaked video demonstrating American security firm Raytheon’s social media mining tool RIOT (Rapid Information Overlay Technology) has rightly incensed individuals and online…
European data protection law and Google seem to be at odds. European data protection law and Google seem to be at odds. Vermin Inc

Google slapped hard in Europe over data handling

We all know the basics: when you sign up for a Google account you provide valuable personal information that allows hardworking people at the company to build a profile of you. This will include your age…
You like? You buy? Friends aren’t the only ones you share with. You like? You buy? Friends aren’t the only ones you share with. escapedtowisconsin

Facebook trials a new way to push your buttons …

Facebook is currently trialling a range of new buttons that could influence how your data is harvested. The trials have been construed by some observers as a response to the corporation’s anaemic share…
Hacktivists are campaigning against the Australian government’s proposed changes to privacy laws. Hacktivists are campaigning against the Australian government’s proposed changes to privacy laws. Tina Mailhot-Roberge

Why is Anonymous hacking Australia?

A few days ago, Anonymous activists hacked into AAPT, stole 40GB of data including customer information and forced offline ten Australian government websites. Anonymous members stated in an online internet…
Does the finance industry rely too heavily on contestable economic data? Does the finance industry rely too heavily on contestable economic data? AAP

The problem with our economic data addiction

People who work in business and finance are obsessed with economic data releases – GDP growth figures, unemployment rates, trade statistics, and so on. Business journalists, investors, financial analysts…
Organising the information gathered during crises is key to better responses. Organising the information gathered during crises is key to better responses. Lindsay Hallam/AFP

Crisis management: using Twitter and Facebook for the greater good

With new technology comes new ways of communicating with one another in times of crisis. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow important information to be shared widely and instantaneously. But…

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