Saturday, July 6, 2013

If America has PRISM and the French also have a huge database, it stands to reason that Australia is probably doing something similar.

Talking to customers about what information can be collected without their knowledge always gets far more reaction than expected. People using online services often don’t realise how their information is being used and by whom. As they say ignorance is bliss. The following articles shares what the French are collecting (“All of our email messages, SMS messages, itemised phone bills and connections to FaceBook and Twitter are then stored for years.”) but what is just as interesting is the context in which the information is used.

In English : Revelations on the French Big Brother... Read More

I’ve mentioned to people that with Facebook and people loading pictures there now exists a very large database of who people are connected to (via their friends), what they look like (their photos) and even who they may be seen with (via facial recognition). In some cases it has been said whether you get a loan or not from a financial institution (or whether you’re considered a credit risk) has been linked to your connections.

Every electronic communication you have even without the content provides considerable information. Who you are. Were you are. When you are there. Who you are communicating with. In effect these are the patterns of your life.

Most people aren’t too concerned with the government “spying” on them as they don’t consider they’re doing anything wrong. But once they realise that 3-10% of the population is somewhat crocked, and that elements of our society who also work inside organisations collecting data and may use that same data for nefarious means they become a little more concerned.

The reality is until it directly impacts us in some way most of us aren’t too concerned. I suspect we are already being impacted but it is probably subtle and until someone points it out we’ll have no idea. Those using Tom Tom GPS units where the data was collected and then used by the police to identify areas where people speed more, may have resulted in people being fined for speeding from the very data they provided. But for those in China who were raped because their location was able to be identified using WeChat is a horrific outcome.

For me the National Broadband will create a single pipe which the government and possibly others will be able to monitor. That has benefits for our individual and national safety, but it also potentially has disadvantages. The best thing we can all do is to educate ourselves as to what information is being collected on us and use that knowledge to minimise the risk for ourselves.

- Kelvin Eldridge
Call 0415 910 703 for help with your computer problem.
Servicing Templestowe, Doncaster, Eltham and the surrounding area.

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