Category Archives: Comment on item in the news

UNHRC appoints Special rapporteur on the right to privacy in the digital age

United_Nations_Human_Rights_Council_LogoOn March 24th, 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) adopted a resolution to appoint a special rapporteur on the right to privacy, to be appointed in June. By choosing to adopt this resolution the UNHRC is raising the international recognition and protection for the right to privacy.

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Goodbye, Barbie?

Barbara Millicent Roberts, the world’s most professionally accredited and eclectically attired public figure, has been called many things in her 56 years of existence. Fake. Plastic. Too skinny. Too inept. Too toxic (literally). Even too tattooed. But surely the most hurtful comments for Barbie, as consumers across the world have come to know her, are suggestions that her plans for “eavesdropping” the conversations of millions  of chattering children have left her seeming just a little bit “creepy”.

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Sensorized smart devices + cloud services = privacy problems?

 The_Telescreen_by_invhelixapplewatch

 

 

 

This week saw the launch of the Apple Watch, one more product in a growing number of “smart” sensor rich devices that promise to make life easier and better by monitoring user behaviour. Will the Apple Watch be a game changer among these devices? Technologically, the only really new sensor included in the watch that wasn’t already in smart phones appears to be the LED based heart rate sensor, which for some reason is receiving relatively little attention in the popular tech magazines. The Apple marketing machine, however, may prove to be a game changer in terms of popularity of such devices. What might the consequences be if wearable, sensorized, tech truly does become the next big consumer trend?

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Citizen-Centric Facebook

Facebook’s-General-Election-vote-reminder-campaign-pic-2

Facebook has joined forces with UK’s Electoral Commission to promote National Voter Registration Day, which happened on the 5th of February. Consequently, every user that declared themselves adult and British on Facebook was prompted to register to vote at the general election. The social media platform recently sent reminders to all eligible voters to suggest signing up in time for UK’s parliamentary election on the 7th of May 2015.

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Ofcom and FTC reports on the Internet of Things

Ofcom_FTC_IoT_reports_smallOn 27 January, Ofcom (The Office of Communications, UK’s communications regulator) released their statement on the Internet of Things. The statement is understandably much discussed in this week’s press but it fails to overshadow an equally important event for the topic: on the same day, the FTC (the Federal Trade Commission, US’s trade regulator) published their report on the issue.  Given that the Internet of Things is expected to greatly impact industry and population life-style at a global level, the two documents merit a much closer reading and comparison than I can accomplish here. Continue reading Ofcom and FTC reports on the Internet of Things

Comment on: Striking a balance – Data protection vs Data Driven Innovation

Nesta_DatProtVDDIAs part of the continuing theme on Data Driven Innovation, Nesta published an article on their blog with the title “Striking a balance: Data protection vs. Data Driven Innovation”. In it they call for a debate for establishing the right balance between data protection and data driven innovation, to ensure that the UK economy does not suffer but also that personal data is not misused.

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Lessons to be learned from the Samaritans Radar turmoil

Samaritans Radar

Learning from the mistakes of others is perhaps one of the most valuable lessons that the Samaritans Radar has offered to research communities concerned about privacy issues and the ethical treatment of social media data, from collection through to analysis.

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The challenges of living in an era of rapid ICT innovation

ComputerHackiongThis week’s tech news took on a bleak hue when DarkHotel articles started popping up everywhere. The story is simple: some corporate executives using hotel provided internet access have been targeted by hackers for their (presumably) juicy data. It’s been going on for years, at an international scale and it manages to reach that little paranoid spot in us that’s so easily fuelled by the general blur of tentative tech skills and fast paced IT changes. Combine this with a codename worthy of 007 and you have an instant journalistic boon.

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Can regulation save people’s trust in big data?

BigDataHorsemeatComment on “Is big data heading for its ‘horsemeat moment’?” in the Conversation.

In his article Dr. Duncan Shaw (U. Nottingham) raises the specter that the recent flood of media stories about leaks, hacks and misuse of personal data is eroding people’s trust in the concept of ‘big data’ to the extent that they may soon rise up in a revolt against the very notion of ‘big data’.

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Psychological profiling for a shopping bargain

iBeacons

Comment on “Is sending shoppers ads by Bluetooth just a bit creepy?” in the Conversation.

Professor Angela Sasse and Dr Charlene Jennett, based at the UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC), are interested in understanding how people interact with technology and in particular, the use of proximity ‘beacons’. iBeacon is one such indoor proximity system that can trigger actions on smart phones and other devices. This new technology has already been trialled in the retail sector to simplify payments and enable on-site offers and personalised adverts to customers. Whilst seemingly offering consumers a quicker and more streamlined shopping experience, the application of the technology also raises a number of ethical issues that require consideration.

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