Articles on Data privacy

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The government can’t read your email, but it will be able to find out where you sent it to and from. Paul Downey/Flickr

It’s too late to debate metadata

There are still unanswered questions about the data retention bill, but it's now too late to get answers before it is passed into law.
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…
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…
No longer a ‘hipster thing’ … even governments are embracing typewriters. Christian Gonzalez/Flickr

Typewriters, not touchscreens … security the old-fashioned way

In writing, music, photography and other areas, “outdated” technologies have initially been valued for their retro, nostalgic appeal in the hipster culture. Vinyl is one of the most notable technologies…
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…
With the progressive delegation of human decisions to machines we need to consider the impact on human autonomy. phloxii/shutterstock

Data mining the new black box of self-driving cars

Autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars, are likely to be seen more widely on roads in 2015. Already, legislation authorising the use of autonomous vehicles has been introduced in the US states of Nevada…
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…
Uhh, your profile said you were blond. Heartlover1717

Why OKCupid sending users on bad dates was a good idea

Online daters continue to express outrage about the revelation that OkCupid has been experimenting on users by telling them they matched well with people they had nothing in common with to see if they…
That sinking feeling - Facebook is in hot water over revelations about its news feed research. startbloggingonline.com

Facebook puts ethics of research by private companies in spotlight

International outrage at Facebook’s study on thousands of its users without their consent has raised questions about the ethics of research done by private companies. Facebook’s Emotional Manipulation…
You can hide for now but maybe not forever. shutterstock man with hat over face

Tough times ahead for the right to be forgotten

As Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, congratulates herself for forcing Google to comply with the right to be forgotten, she might want to take a moment to think about some issues…

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