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Articles on Privacy

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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…
Who’s looking at who when drones take to the sky? Flickr/fisl quinze

Drones finally get MPs talking tougher on privacy laws

The increasing use of drone aircraft in Australia may finally lead to a long overdue change in privacy laws to protect against the use of remote eyes and ears in invasive technologies. The call for tougher…
No problem, I’ll find them easily. Akshat Rathi

Forget the right to be forgotten, other means exist

The May 2014 ruling by the European Court of Justice, dubbed the right to be forgotten, is seen as a precedent for all internet searches in all European Union member states. But the issues this ruling…
Mobile phone towers can be used to locate people. Flickr/Ervins Strauhmanis

What the police can get from mobile phone tower data

Metadata is in the news again with revelations that police in Australia have been getting access to data collected from mobile base stations (cell towers). In the wiretapping world there is a distinction…
Attorney General George Brandis will be expected to lead the culture change to one of open information. Stefan Postles/AAP

Transparency trade-off means FOI will get more expensive

Tony Abbott’s 2013 election platform promised to “restore accountability and improve transparency measures to be more accountable to you”. In spite of this promise the first Abbott government budget will…
Will the Privacy Act protect you from being identified by your mobile phone address? Santos "Grim Santo" Gonzalez/Flickr

Mobile phone tracking: it’s not personal

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…
In the age of Edward Snowden regulators and the public are rethinking privacy. Abode of Chaos/Flickr

Redefining privacy in the age of Edward Snowden

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…
Good grief. Have you checked out the small print on this deal? Machine Project

Time for some truth about who is feeding off our NHS data

The UK government has decided to hold off on plans to upload GP records onto a central database for six months. But it may have to drop the plan permanently unless it can provide satisfactory answers to…
The Immigration Department, which erects shadecloth around its detention centres to give asylum seekers ‘privacy’, has potentially put 10,000 people at risk by mistakenly releasing detailed identifying information about them. AAP/Mick Tsikas

National failure to take privacy seriously snares asylum seekers

Another day, another data breach. The response to that breach tells us something about privacy law, the media and bureaucracies. On Wednesday, The Guardian revealed that the Department of Immigration and…
That’s one way to get around Facebook’s facial recognition. mw238

Privacy 2013: from Snowden to Facebook to Amazon’s drones

While every year since the advent of the internet has had its share of privacy stories, 2013 has been a cornucopia of news about surveillance and personal data. Undoubtedly, the biggest story of the year…
‘Yes we scan!’ NSA monitoring will be a Christmas headache for Barack Obama. Mike Herbst

White House stalls as report condemns NSA surveillance

Even before opening his stocking on Christmas morning, Barack Obama has his holiday reading cut out for him. His Review Group on Intelligence and Surveillance Technologies has handed him a 300-page report…
Young children cannot consent to personal information being shared online, or understand the possible implications. Lotus Carroll

Posting a child’s life for the world to see is a privacy issue

Children consistently delight and surprise us, and make us hoot with laughter. It’s only natural to want to share these moments with friends and family. But the trend of posting information about our young…
UAVs as small as 10cm by 2.5cm are already in use for surveillance by the military. What are the privacy implications if these devices become easily accessible? Defence Images/Flickr

Amazon’s eyes in the sky and pig farmers might fly

What happens when an Amazon drone drops through your roof or lands on the neighbour’s toddler while delivering a parcel? Can an unhappy pig farmer shoot down a drone operated by animal rights activists…

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