This 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.
In this week’s CaSMa blog entry I’d like to share with you my experience of a recent student workshop session that focused on perspectives and theories of privacy, designed, delivered and kindly approved for discussion in this post by Dr Dario Landa-Silva, Associate Professor in the University of Nottingham’s School of Computer Science.
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’.
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.
As part of the process for establishing the UN global development agenda after the 2015 millennium development goals (MDGs), an Independent Expert Advisory Group appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, called for expert recommendations on bringing about a data revolution in sustainable development (the call ran from September 25th to October 15th, 2014). For more information on the UN data revolution proposals, see http://www.undatarevolution.org.
In response to this call the CaSMa team put together the following comments:
The move towards making data publically available plays an important role in making public, and private, organizations more transparent and accountable towards the people they serve (i.e. their citizens or customers). Making data more accessible has also the potential to open up new avenues for feedback that could contribute towards innovative service improvements.
On October 9th 2014, CaSMa presented a talk on “Citizen centric approaches to Social Media analysis” at the “Computaional Models of Social Interaction” workshop. The workshop was organized by Dr. Ansgar Koene, in collaboration with Dr. Mirco Musolesi, Prof. Indrajit Ray, Dr. Ulrik Beierholm and Dr. Colin Rowat and was hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Birmingham.
In this blog the CaSMa research team, Ansgar Koene, Elvira Perez Vallejos, Chris Carter and Ramona Statache will take turns to summarize recent results from the CaSMa project, report on workshop events or comment on social media analysis related items that were recently in the news.