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Analysis and Comment (27)

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…
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…
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. 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? 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. 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. 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? 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.

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? 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. _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. 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…
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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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? 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…

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