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Articles on Privacy

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Census information is tightly protected by privacy law, so why do so many Australians hate and fear the census? AAP

Big Brother’s little helper? Why people say no to the census

AUSTRALIA BY NUMBERS: Today, the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the first batch of its 2011 census data. We’ve asked some of the country’s top demographers and statisticians to crunch the…
Trust in the media is at the heart of issues around Gina Rinehart, Fairfax and editorial independence. AAP

Basically, the fight around Fairfax is about who we should trust

Amid indications that Fairfax is going into the corporate death spiral – ongoing disinvestment resulting in smaller market share - we’re asking the wrong questions about the future of the Australian media…
There is much to like in the updated Privacy Act - but is it too early to cheer? Flickr/Mikko Luntiala

Two cheers for privacy law reform? Let’s wait and see

British novelist E M Forster famously offered two cheers for democracy. We might say the same about the national Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill introduced into Parliament last week…
Should legislation be used to tame the search engine’s appetite? COG LOG LAB

Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Google, that’s who

We all know Google has a history of privacy-related misdemeanors but a report in the Wall Street Journal last week suggests the search giant hasn’t learn from its mistakes. The report, about the findings…
Ever had the sense someone’s watching over your shoulder? Nick Chill Photography

Carrier IQ knows everything you do on your phone … but why?

What if you used your smartphone, knowing you might be sharing certain information, but had no idea what exactly was being shared? Or why you might be sharing it? If you knew someone could be recording…
The collection and potential uses of your data is back in the news again. Saad Irfan

Paranoid Android: does Carrier IQ mean your phone is spying on you?

What can only be described as “growing consternation” has resulted from revelations by a developer, Trevor Eckhart, that a large number of mobile phones are secretly monitoring users’ actions on the phone…
Concerns that the national health survey is a manifestation of Big Brother are misplaced. Cristiano Betta

Australian Health Survey is not your Big Brother

The Australian Health Survey (AHS) has recently been in the news, with people expressing concern that a national health census is an egregious infringement of their right to privacy and a manifestation…
Mobile phone tracking could be used to better coordinate aid distribution during natural disasters. Flickr/United Nations Photo

Mobile phone tracking could revolutionise disaster aid response

Mobile phones could track human movement during disasters or disease outbreaks, directing authorities in real time to where…
Australian law needs to catch up with technology which means we can be watched at any time. Flickr/Esther Gibbons

Why privacy laws should not be a game of roulette

Watching other people is human. It’s why TV shows like Big Brother, and paparazzi magazines flourish. But while some people choose to expose private moments, others do not. And Australian law doesn’t always…
Has TeaMp0isoN missed the point with its latest hacking stunt? Kerim Okten/AAP

Hackers squeeze BlackBerry for spilling juice on London riots

The hacking of BlackBerry’s official blog by the mysterious collective TeaMp0isoN raises serious questions. This black-hat hacking group, founded in 2009, has so far claimed responsibility for more than…
Would a right to privacy have helped Lara Bingle? AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy.

Breaching confidence: do we need a privacy tort?

Who would have predicted there would be serious talk of a statutory privacy tort in Australia, giving private individuals who feel their privacy as been breached the right to sue? But then again, who would…
Lara Bingle and Michael Clarke faced enormous media interest over their relationship. AAP

Privacy in the age of no privacy

Reaction to the widening News of the World scandal has again highlighted the lack of protection against invasion of privacy by the media in Australia. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating renewed his attack…
If you’re concerned about the data on your phone, there are a few things you can do. Daniel Barry/EPA

Seriously, how private is the data on your iPhone?

The Apple iPhone feature of logging and storing users’ location information has attracted worldwide attention. But discussions about location privacy aside, a more basic question needs to be asked: how…

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