Articles by date

16 April 2018

Consumer policy and the smart home (OECD)

The “smart home” looks set to be the arena in which many people will utilise consumer-facing Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the first time. A new generation of familiar household devices and appliances (e.g. washing machines) are becoming “smart” through the addition of sensors, software and Internet connections. They are entering the home alongside innovative IoT era devices (e.g. smart speakers) – often integrating with them to form smart residential systems (e.g. relating to energy, entertainment and home security).

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15 April 2018

Bridging the digital gender divide (OECD)

New digital tools are empowering, and can serve to support a new source of inclusive global economic growth. Now is the time to step up the efforts and take advantage of the digital transformation to ensure that it represents a leapfrog opportunity for women and a chance to build a more inclusive digital world.

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Google loses UK landmark 'right to be forgotten' case (The Guardian)

A businessman has won his legal action to remove search results about a criminal conviction in a landmark “right to be forgotten” case that could have wide-ranging repercussions.

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Facebook Takes the Punches While Rest of Silicon Valley Ducks (New York Times)

Two pages of notes sitting in a binder in front of Mark Zuckerberg during his congressional testimony this week hinted at a message the Facebook chief executive rarely got a chance to deliver: We’re not the only ones.

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13 April 2018

After Cambridge Analytica, Privacy Experts Get to Say 'I Told You So' (New York Times)

Doc Searls met with a group of fellow internet privacy experts one recent afternoon here at the Computer History Museum. On a whiteboard were the words “OUTRAGE” and “MAKE HAY” — capitalized, underlined and surrounded by lines jutting in all directions like a cartoon “BOOM!”

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Exclusive: EU to demand improvements on tackling fake news by end of year - draft (Reuters)

The European Union is set to demand tech giants like Facebook and Google do more to stop the spread of fake news on their websites by the end of the year to avoid possible regulatory actions, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

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Australian bill to create back door into encrypted apps in 'advanced stages' (The Guardian)

The Australian government is pushing ahead with controversial legislation it says will create “back doors” into encrypted communication services – but still can’t say when it will introduce the bill.

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12 April 2018

What You Don't Know About How Facebook Uses Your Data (New York Times)

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, went to Capitol Hill this week to explain to members of Congress how the detailed personal information of up to 87 million Facebook users ended up in the hands of a voter-profiling company called Cambridge Analytica.

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Zuckerberg Faces Hostile Congress as Calls for Regulation Mount (New York Times)

After two days and more than 10 hours of questioning of Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook chief executive, there was widespread consensus among lawmakers that social media technology — and its potential for abuse — had far outpaced Washington and that Congress should step in to close the gap.

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How do emerging technologies affect the creative economy? (McKinsey)

Research suggests some ways artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and blockchain are reshaping creative work.

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auDA Using Bullying and Fear to Silence Critics

In an inflammatory email Tuesday night, auDA Chair Chris Leptos sent out an email boasting of his achievements while including a threat to all former Board members that they may have been referred to the Victorian Police due to certain “practices”. The email follows less than a week on from auDA Members under demanding a second Special General Meeting in 9 months to remove the Chair (again), the 2 other independent Directors and a vote of no-confidence in the CEO.

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11 April 2018

Mark Zuckerberg Testimony: Senators Question Facebook’s Commitment to Privacy (New York Times)

Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, began the first of two marathon hearings in Washington on Tuesday afternoon, answering tough questions on the company’s mishandling of data.

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MPA Reveals Scale of Worldwide Pirate Site Blocking (TorrentFreak)

Motion Picture Association Canada has revealed the scale of pirate site-blocking around the world. In a submission to the CRTC, the Hollywood group states that at least 42 countries are now obligated to block infringing sites. In Europe alone, 1,800 sites and 5,300 domains have been rendered inaccessible, with Portugal, Italy, the UK, and Denmark leading the way.

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Ransomware tops malicious attack charts (BBC News)

Ransomware has become the most popular form of malware used in cyber-attacks, suggests a study.

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WIPO Cybersquatting Cases Breaks Records, But Numbers Still Minuscule

The number of cybersquatting cases handled by WIPO jumped to an all time high the organisation has announced, as trademark owners filed an all-time high of 3,074 WIPO cases under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP), up from 3,036 in 2017 and 2,754 in 2016.

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10 April 2018

YouTube illegally collects data on children, say child protection groups (The Guardian)

A coalition of 23 child advocacy, consumer and privacy groups have filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission alleging that Google is violating child protection laws by collecting personal data of and advertising to those aged under 13.

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09 April 2018

Don't Fix Facebook. Replace It. by Tim Wu (New York Times)

After years of collecting way too much data, Facebook has finally been caught in the facilitation of one privacy debacle too many. When Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, testifies before Congress, which he plans to do this month, lawmakers will no doubt ask how Facebook might restore the public’s trust and whether it might accept some measure of regulation. Yet in the big picture, these are the wrong questions to be asking.

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What if we paid for Facebook - instead of letting it spy on us for free? (Washington Post)

Let’s play the Price is Right. What’s a Facebook membership worth? $7 per month? $5? $1?

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Facebook among 30 organisations in UK political data inquiry (The Guardian)

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office is investigating 30 organisations, including Facebook, as part of its inquiry into the use of personal data and analytics for political purposes.

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EU, Facebook Plan High-Level Contacts Over Data Scandal (Bloomberg)

Facebook Inc. expressed a “willingness to engage” with European Union regulators in the wake of fresh evidence showing that data on most of the social network’s 2 billion users could have been accessed improperly.

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Christopher Wylie: Why I broke the Facebook data story – and what should happen now (The Observer)

In January, I told the British authorities that the app that was used to harvest data for Cambridge Analytica was likely to have pulled the profiles of British Facebook users. Last week Facebook confirmed it: it told the world that as many as 87 million profiles were collected. This included more than one million British records.

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Don't just blame Facebook for taking your data - most online publishers are at it too (The Observer)

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good metaphor must be worth a million. In an insightful blog post published on 23 March, Doc Searls, one of the elder statesman of the web, managed to get both for the price of one. His post was headed by one of those illustrations of an iceberg showing that only the tip is the visible part, while the great bulk of the object lies underwater. In this case, the tip was adorned with the Facebook logo while the submerged mass represented “Every other website making money from tracking-based advertising”. The moral: “Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica problems are nothing compared to what’s coming for all of online publishing.”

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Countries Consider Penalties for Spreading 'Fake News' (Internet Society)

A handful of countries have recently considered passing new laws or regulations to combat so-called fake news, with Malaysia adding penalties of up to six years in jail for distributors.

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08 April 2018

auDA Set For Management Clear-out As Members Revolt

Following on from today’s earlier article about a trio of auDA members calling for the CEO and 3 independent directors, including the Chair, to be removed, sources have confirmed the required numbers have supported the petition and a letter has been sent to auDA advising them of the requirement to hold the Special General Meeting.

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AuDA Members Get Grumpier And Demand Heads Roll

Could this be the end of auDA? It’s less than 12 months since a revolt by auDA members that led to the then-Chair Stuart Benjamin resigning prior to a Special General Meeting was held to oust him. At the time auDA said they would listen to their members. But they haven’t. So a trio of members have proposed another SGM, this time calling for the sacking of CEO Cameron Boardman and removing the 3 independent directors including Chair Chris Leptos.

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