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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…
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…

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