Linked inTwitter

Halcyon actively monitors change covering more than 150 key elements of life.

The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on Twitter at the beginning of 2023 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

A Mundane Comedy will be Dominic Kelleher's new book, published in early 2023. Extracts will appear on this site and on my social media accounts the final quarter of 2022. Please get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

What's Changing? - Privacy

Privacy

 

Please see below selected recent privacy-related change.

 

See also:

 

November 2022

 

September 2021

 

August 2021

 

May 2021

  • Facial recognition technology presents a potentially serious threat to privacy and could be used to track and surveil subjects without their knowledge, and could capture data that may be sold to third parties for any purpose. Regulations lag behind widespread applications of the technology, and COVID provided a motive for its increased implementation. Future Today Institute warned that even if someone were able to evade detection via facial recognition, there are countless other biometric giveaways that can divulge their identity to a range of surveillance technologies. “Voiceprints,” body heat signatures, and even one’s gait can be uniquely linked to an individual, and then used to identify them even if their face is completely obscured.

 

March 2021

 

December 2020

 

May 2020

  • Quartz warned that we've reached the point where Facebook, Google, and an army of third-party data brokers possess more information on human behavior than any government in history. Our smartphones betray our location. Surveillance companies create uncannily accurate facial-recognition databases from the photos we post to social media. It’s therefore no surprise that governments are now turning to such tools in the interest of public health. Around the world, authorities have released or plan to roll out contact-tracing apps. The idea is that if someone becomes infected with Covid-19, anyone who that person may have exposed can be alerted or found. As regions lift their stay-at-home orders, contact tracing will let authorities better track Covid-19’s spread. It will also give governments and companies a treasure trove of information on our health and movements—and create a precedent to request more later. The danger may be when the public becomes used to it. 
  • The clash of privacy rights and how you deal with a pandemic where every interaction is a question of public policy is increasingly thorny. AIrport are temperature-monitoring of arrivals. This video shows a real product rolled out in Shenzen: a helmet with a heads-up display and infra-red readers that can - apparently - take 200 people’s temperature a minute and spot anyone with a fever.

 

March 2020

  • As governments around the world scrambled to manage the coronavirus outbreak, the location data tracked by mobile phones became a highly sought-after commodity. Authorities in China, Israel, Russia, the US, and even the uber-privacy-conscious European Union secured or at least planned to secure access to mobile phone location data that they could use to identify people at risk of infection. Europe, for example, is trying to carve out a middle way – it's asking mobile phone companies to share anonymised location data to help stem the spread of the virus in a way that still adheres to the bloc's tough data protection laws, while also issuing guidance to those member states who do want to pass emergency legislation that would allow for more detailed tracking.

 

December 2019

 

November 2019

  • A majority of Americans are deeply concerned about the privacy of their personal data. Sixty-three percent of adults surveyed believe that the US government is constantly collecting data about them and that they are powerless to prevent it, according to a recent Pew study.

 

June 2019

 

May 2019

  • TechCrunch claimed that while, everyone wants technology to be more private, we must  increasingly discern between leading companies' promises and delivery. Like “mobile,” “on-demand,” “AI” and “blockchain” before it, privacy can’t be taken at face value and we as users deserve improvements to the core of how our software and hardware work.

 

April 2019

 

January 2019

 

December 2018

  • More privacy could mean an online economic collapse. Fraud may become more rare, but the frequency of transactions could dwindle to a dangerous low.

 

September 2018

  • Almost every aspect of our lives is shaped by digital technology and its immense efficiency, argued Raconteur. Many countries have now turned to various forms of e-voting, either by adopting electronic voting machines or offering people the chance to cast their vote online. While some privacy and security concerns remain, advocates say electronic voting helps uphold the accuracy and integrity of the result by preventing miscounts or any other mix-ups. As well as cutting election costs, internet voting offers the chance to boost turnout by engaging parts of the electorate not usually interested, or able, to get out to their polling station.

 

August 2018

 

July 2018

  • Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter joined to announce a new standards initiative called the Data Transfer Project, designed as a new way to move data between platforms. In a blog post, Google described the project as letting users “transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it”.
  • An academic argued that people's demands for privacy seem to have gone hand-in-hand with their decisions to sacrifice it. Citizens simultaneously shielded and broadcast their private lives through surveys and social media, gradually coming to accept that modern life means contributing to - and reaping the rewards of - the data on which we all increasingly depend.
  • Chinese president, Xi Jinping, launched a major initiative to bolster the country’s domestic surveillance capabilities, which analysts estimate will include the installation of almost 300 million surveillance cameras by 2020.
  • China wants to build a giant database to track the behaviour of its 1.3 billion-plus citizens. It then plans to reward “sincere” or “trustworthy” conduct, such as paying bills on time, while punishing bad actions, like jaywalking or ignoring a court judgement – all in the name of creating a more harmonious society. According to GZEROMedia, Beijing’s vision has sparked all sorts of headlines and comparisons to Black Mirror or the all-seeing Big Brother from George Orwell’s 1984.

 

June 2018

  • Top officials from Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and other tech firms convened for half a day in San Francisco to talk about a way forward after the EU’s strict new personal-data rules and Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal,

 

May 2018

  • A rapidly growing proportion of human activities - professional, social and personal - are now mediated by digital devices and services, noted Chatham House. The users of these devices are producing an inconceivable quantity of digital footprints that can be used to reveal intimate traits and emotions and predict future behaviour. Often these services are free at the point of use but in recent months, particularly in light of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica story, consumers have become increasingly aware of the value of their data and the price they might be paying in terms of their privacy.

 

April 2018

  • Lack of competition is killing our privacy, warned Quartz, noting that Facebook users have nowhere to go if they’re fed up with data intrusions.

 

March 2018

  • Signal Media noted in early 2018 that the three largest economic zones on Earth differ significantly in how they treat privacy. Europe gives people the last word on how their personal data can be used – and imposes harsh penalties on rule-breakers. In China, it’s the government that has the real sovereignty over all data and information flows (Russia and Turkey are trying fitfully to do the same.)
  • But in the US, apart from some sector-specific exceptions such as healthcare and a general ban on deceptive trading practices, it falls to private companies to set their own privacy policies on their platforms. As Facebook and others have found out, profit-seeking, politics, and privacy don’t always fit together neatly. 

 

Topics
Timelines
Signifiers