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Articles on Privacy

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Mountains of data are being collected on you, and much of it is beyond your grasp. kris krüg/Flickr

Beyond metadata: the brave new world of big data retention

Metadata is only the beginning. The Big Data trend means there's a lot more information about us out there that can be tracked or monitored.
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…
The social media verdict is out on Nova Peris, but her privacy was clearly violated to create a scandal, forcing her to respond in parliament. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott, Spurr, Peris: are we ready to use the internet unsupervised?

When Frances Abbott’s private scholarship award was “exposed”, when poetry professor Barry Spurr was outed for his inflammatory emails and when Senator Nova Peris was devastated by the leaking of her private…
New AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin was forced to backtrack over comments suggesting metadata could be used to prevent online piracy. AAP/Alan Porritt

ASIO more trusted than government with personal data

People are more inclined to trust ASIO and the police than the government and communications companies to store personal…
George Brandis argues that it is the government’s duty to investigate and prevent serious crimes – and that metadata can help. AAP/Alan Porritt

Metadata and privacy: surveillance state or business as usual?

Metadata, previously a word limited to the tech-savvy, is now not only a hot topic of public discussion but the focus of new national security legislation. The public discussion seems split between two…
Say hello to the new Ello. Ello

Say Ello to the new privacy debate on social media

Ello is new social networking space on the web that is receiving a lot of attention of late – so much that it’s caused a few problems with the website out of action from time to time. Ello’s new popularity…
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…
Jennifer Lawrence was the victim of hacking. Ettienne Laurent/EPA

Three ways your personal photos are vulnerable to hackers

Recent reports of celebrities having nude or risqué photos of themselves leaked online highlights the serious risk of hackers getting access to our personal pictures. While many of us take inane and uninteresting…
The use of sex worker testimony by playwright Peta Brady has outraged interviewee Jane Green. Vixen Collective Archives

Ugly Mugs: ‘an unacceptable breach of sex workers’ privacy’

Peta Brady’s Ugly Mugs, which I saw in Sydney last week, opens with a gurney being wheeled onto the stage – on it, a sex worker who has died at the hands of a client and who, like the phoenix tattooed…

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