Category Archive: Technology development

Analysis: Why the EU data protection crisis is more perilous than you imagined

 By Simon Davies With masterful understatement, Europe’s data protection supervisor, Peter Hustinx, has warned that the EU’s proposed new framework for information privacy is in danger of collapse because of “excessive lobbying” by corporations and other entities that are hostile to privacy reform. “Barrage” might have been a more accurate description. The new data protection …

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In the blink of an eye, Google Glass has just shifted to the dark side

By Simon Davies Last week a California start-up – Lambda Labs – announced that it is about to release a face recognition app for Google Glass. With this simple innovation the wearable technology has been transformed from a cool gizmo into a privacy quagmire. Facial recognition is a digital “biometric” technique that scans a face …

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The Big Brother Awards gears up for a renewed assault on the privacy invaders

By Simon Davies Fifteen years ago today, while drinking with friends in a chaotic London pub, I came up with a whacky idea that somehow ended up taking off around the world. The initiative that emerged from that day – the Big Brother Awards – has caused more grief for invasive organisations than any single …

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Data rape and the impending privacy apocalypse

 By Simon Davies In the 1970s – frustrated by an aggressive, male dominated legal regime and a timid judicial system – justice campaigners for rape victims coined a powerful phrase that cemented a cultural mindset for decades to come: No means No. Over time those three words shifted the centre of gravity of public debate. …

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India takes its first serious step toward privacy regulation – but it may be misguided

 By Simon Davies The world’s second-most populous nation may be on the cusp of embracing privacy legislation. After several false starts the Indian government appears ready to accept the need for some form of regulation. Well, maybe this is a slightly optimistic view. A more accurate portrayal might be “the Indian government appears ready to …

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Don’t blame engineers for the shortcomings of Privacy by Design: privacy advocates are equally guilty

By Simon Davies On 10th June 2000, amidst great ceremony, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth cut the tape to open the first new Thames river crossing in more than a century. The Millennium Bridge had won acclaim for its sleek shape and elegant design – and London was buzzing with excitement about its new landmark. Then… …

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Analysis: How Microsoft turned a mouse into a monster

By Simon Davies The tech press has been buzzing over the past few days about a vulnerability in Internet Explorer that could allow hackers to exploit a mouse tracking feature used by advertisers and analytics companies. This anti fraud process assists advertisers by determining whether a banner click resulted from a human or a bot. …

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Gene Genie – your genome may soon be on a smartphone app

By Simon Davies This week’s New Scientist reports on a smartphone app that will allow you to carry around an encrypted copy of your genome. The magazine notes that with prices for DNA sequencing falling fast, this app may not be as futuristic as it sounds. The app – named Genodroid – is being developed …

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How a botched $15 power connector indicates Apple’s decline

By Simon Davies I’m not usually inclined to stray far beyond my brief of privacy and information management, but sometimes it’s useful to keep track of the general health of companies in that space to get some idea of whether they are on the skids and need to be more closely monitored. Apple has just …

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Why no European institution can afford to ignore privacy

By Simon Davies A turning point appears to have been reached for privacy advocacy in Europe. There isn’t a single defining moment for this shift, but it is palpable, and it is certainly worth outlining in some detail. This shift will increasingly influence privacy in this region. First, some history. Of course this account is …

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