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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…
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…
Those who’ve had their digital privacy violated should have legal rights too. Reid Rosenberg/Flickr

It’s time for privacy invasion to be a legal wrong

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) yesterday recommended introducing new laws that would give a legal remedy for serious invasions of privacy. Unfortunately, the federal government has already…
Who will keep our selfies safe? www.david baxendale.com/Flickr

Civil action is the big stick needed to protect our privacy

Never mind the celebrities; let’s say you and I had naked photos of ourselves (selfie-steams) floating in Apple’s iCloud. If somehow those photos were exposed, we would have little recourse under Australia’s…
Love your mobile? There’s nowhere to hide. Ed Yourdon/Flickr

Your life in their hands – privacy and your mobile device

The explosive uptake of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets has us immersed in a complex, volatile soup of hyper-connected digital technologies, where not only is the perception of time being…
Microsoft has been at the forefront of allegations regarding the NSA. rhonogle

Using Microsoft products may be unethical for universities

Universities and researchers all over the world have a problem with Microsoft. It’s not just that the company forces expensive and dated software on customers. Using products like Microsoft’s email service…
Pinpoint that sex offender or maybe your own past problems. heiwa4126

Even the innocent should worry about sex offender apps

The average citizen may not feel that they have anything to fear from the rise of apps that promise to identify sex offenders in their area but they are part of a worrying trend that should act as a warning…
If the web needs new rules,who makes them? Flickr / ocean.flynn

If the web wants rules, who will make them?

Web founder Sir Tim Berners-Lee wants an online “Magna Carta” to protect and ensure the independence of the internet. He’s also created a Web We Want campaign, calling on people to generate a digital bill…
Who’s watching you? Louish Pixel/Flickr

Snowden and Berners-Lee’s campaign for an open internet

You might have seen this week that there’s a campaign regarding the future of the internet. Its chief proponents? NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, inventor of the web Tim Berners-Lee, journalist Glenn…
Instant access to health data is becoming the norm so we are wise to the implications. IntelFreePress

What the NHS can learn from the smartphone on data consent

In the run up to the introduction of the NHS care.data programme, there is an urgent need for a debate about what we, and our healthcare providers, mean by the term “consent”. So far, the plans for care.data…

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