Issues Magazine

Issues Magazine 109

An overview of what's in this edition of Issues.
The past year has seen some spectacular internet security breaches due to poor oversight of programming code, raising valid questions about the security of our online identities and transactions.
Remotely piloted aircraft are becoming more common in our skies as decreasing costs put them in the hands of ordinary citizens, yet legal protection against privacy invasions by airborne cameras is inconsistent between the states.
Surveillance cameras bolted to buildings have proliferated in recent decades, but the adoption of wearable devices like Google Glass heralds an age of uberveillance.
The explosion of sensors in smartphones and wearable devices and the growing embrace of “big data” are creating a “sensor society”, raising issues not only about surveillance but also power and control in a world of ever-watching, ever-sensing, always-on interactive devices.
A number of online tools are available to limit the amount of information that internet giants like Google, Facebook and government organisations can gather from your online behaviour.
The widespread release of nude photographs across the internet is not confined to celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence – sexy “selfies” are going “viral” among teenagers too.
As more of our lives move online, our every click and “like” builds a data profile about us. This requires vigilance to ensure that laws adequately ensure that businesses and law enforcement agencies use and protect information about us.
With every purchase we make now trackable, businesses will be able to determine how much each of us is prepared to pay for a particular item. Will this new era of “personalised pricing” make the concept of a bargain a historical curiosity?
“Big Data” has become a popular term in information technology and business circles, but what is it and what should we think about it?
If you have sent an e-mail, made a telephone call or looked at a website based abroad in the past few days, chances are that it has been recorded in a database run by the “five eyes” of international intelligence services.
New powers being considered by Federal Parliament will dramatically expand the ability of intelligence agencies to invade the privacy of Australian citizens.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has finally presented proposed legislation to the Australian Parliament regarding the Abbott Government’s plans for the retention of metadata.
The Australian government has introduced legislation that would compel internet and telecommunications companies to store “metadata” generated by their customers. Why have they done this, what exactly are they storing, and what effects will this have on our privacy?
Recent amendments to Australia’s Privacy Act have imposed new obligations on companies that collect data about us, but will they effectively regulate the offshore data centres that keep our data in “the cloud”?