Publicly released: Mon 16 Jul 2018 at 1730 AEST | 1930 NZST
The opt-out period for the federal government’s ‘My Health Record’ national electronic database has begun, and there are reports that privacy concerns remain. Earlier this month, it was revealed Australia's biggest online doctor booking service, Health engine — one of My Health Record's partner apps — had been passing on patient information to third parties, including legal firms. And it's up to patients to set their own privacy and access settings.
Organisation/s: The University of Newcastle, University of Canberra, University of Wollongong, The University of Western Australia, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
These comments have been collated by the Science Media Centre to provide a variety of expert perspectives on this issue. Feel free to use these quotes in your stories. Views expressed are the personal opinions of the experts named. They do not represent the views of the SMC or any other organisation unless specifically stated.
Associate Professor Niranjan Bidargaddi is an Associate Professor of Personal Health Informatics at Flinders University
"We are currently trialling an intervention which uses myHealth Records to prevent hospitalisations in individuals with severe mental illnesses (aisquared.co). It is an innovative and first of its kind intervention, which applies machine learning on Medicare claims data in My Health Records (MyHR) to detect hospitalisation risk and raise alerts, to support patients with treatment adherence reminders, and to assist clinicians to intervene early.
This intervention is most effective on patients who are most at risk, but these patients find it burdensome and distressing to set up myHR accounts. So far in our trial we observed patients are experiencing significant difficulties to enroll with myHealth Records, and we also found mental health health professionals do not have sufficient time and energy to support patients in this enrolment process.
It is excellent to see myHR move towards a opt-out process with sensible safeguards in place, as this way we would be able to develop digitally-enabled care models to support and manage patients with greatest need, as these vulnerable groups will most definitely miss out on care if we were to not set up a opt-out process."
Last updated: 17 Jul 2018 11:23am
Mr Liam Pomfret is an Associate Lecturer in Marketing in the School of Business at The University of Queensland
"In an environment where we seem to be hearing about a new data breach practically every few days, My Health Record is yet another privacy and security nightmare.
Our health records are some of the most sensitive information we have, yet the privacy controls My Health Record offers to patients are dubious at best.
Opting out of My Health Record isn’t just the one-time act of filling out a form either. All it might take to opt you right back in is someone at your GP’s office being careless as they rushed through typing in your patient data and forgetting to check a box.
Once that record is created, it’s there basically forever. You can opt-out again, but that won’t delete the data that’s already there.
While it’s currently prohibited for My Health Record data to be sold to third parties like insurance companies, just in the last month My Health Record partner app HealthEngine was caught sharing information with Slater and Gordon without the knowledge of patients.
It’s not a question of if My Health Record data will be misused. It’s only a question of when, and by whom."
Last updated: 17 Jul 2018 10:33am
Liam is a board member of both the Australian Privacy Foundation, and Electronic Frontiers Australia. Both organisations are calling for Australians to opt-out of My Health Record.
Dr Cassandra Cross is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at The Queensland University of Technology
"The current My Health Record places a strong onus on individual consumers themselves to regulate the privacy and security settings of their record. While these settings exist, they are not the default option, and instead require individuals to know about this, to log into their record and to navigate the site in order to select the correct settings in order to exercise their control. In requiring an “opt in” model on the privacy settings of the record, this means that many people are unlikely to modify these settings. This may be through a lack of knowledge that the settings exist, uncertainty on how to do this, or an inability to successfully navigate the system.
There are also genuine concerns over the likelihood of data being compromised in some way. While it is argued that there are strong security measures in place, it is naïve to assert that these are 100% foolproof (as demonstrated through data breach incidents with many previous organisations). Health data is an increasingly common and attractive source of data for criminals, and their ability to use personal information to gain reward is a reality. This may be through means such as identity theft, fraud or other offences. Alternatively, the compromise of sensitive health information can open individuals up to blackmail and extortion from offenders, who may threaten to expose an aspect of an individual that has previously been private."
Last updated: 16 Jul 2018 5:54pm
Bruce Arnold is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law at the University of Canberra
"Implementation of MyHR shows that the Australian government has learnt nothing from the UK e-health trainwreck. In the UK patients, health practitioners, IT specialists and privacy lawyers alike condemned inadequate governance, misunderstanding of risk and disregard for patient autonomy. The UK government belatedly heeded those criticisms in, for example, the 2013 Caldicott report Information: To Share Or Not To Share? Independent review of how information about patients is shared across the health and care system. Australia has not.
A properly designed and implemented national e-health regime offers considerable benefits for patients, clinicians and researchers. The risks of an insecure system that conscripts patients (and assumes de-identification will enable problem-free sale of bulk health data) greatly outweigh those benefits. Legal protection for patient privacy under MyHR are for example inadequate. So is the IT framework. Audit trails will not reclaim a patient’s privacy when a data breach occurs. Official expectations that many patients will understand security settings are naïve. MyHR has been sadly over-sold. There’s been little effort to provide patients with the basis for meaningfully informed consent. That threatens the most fundamental aspect of public health: trust"
Last updated: 16 Jul 2018 5:52pm
Dr David Glance is Director of the Centre for Software Practice at The University of Western Australia
"The move to opt out, in addition to being a major privacy risk for the public, ignores the persistent and significant issues with the implantation of My Health Record. After all of this time and with the billions of dollars of investment, the majority of the records are largely empty and the majority of health professionals in Australia continue to refuse to support the system. This programme gives the impression that this is a viable system. It is not and nor will it ever be."
Last updated: 16 Jul 2018 5:51pm
Dr Katina Michael is a professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wollongong
"Electronic health records make sense in a society undergoing digital transformation in every aspect of life. But it must be done the right way. The prospect for data discovery, patient welfare, and convenience is a value proposition that must be weighed up against risks and potential costs to individuals.
Privacy breaches are asymmetric. But the type of confidential information stored on an electronic health record, is unlike having merely your identity credentials stolen- it is like having your whole personhood exposed in terms of your condition, medication, past acts, and more. There are massive implications for those working in pressured workplaces who may have their health record used against them- e.g. pilots, doctors, surgeons, healthcare workers.
The implications for whether health insurance companies will have access to this data in the future is also questionable. Will it cost more to insure a child suffering from autism, or one born with Down Syndrome versus a child who seemingly is "normal". Might this cause a chilling effect over disclosure of illnesses, meaning the people who need the care the most are disadvantaged from the outset.
We need to make people aware of the pros and cons of opting-out, but we also need better more honest reporting by government about some of the potential risks, in essence, to better inform the public. What we have now is a major honeypot of health data, waiting to be hacked for the taking and be available on the dark web. We also need to call for urgent reforms, that if data is compromised, there is a privacy tort allowing people to sue the company or GP or government that has allows a data breach to occur."
Last updated: 16 Jul 2018 5:49pm
Microsoft Chair Professor in Innovation in Computing Director: Advanced Cyber Security Research Centre
"With the rapid increase in the amount of digital information, there has been a growing trend in recent times to store data in such a way that it can be accessed by relevant stakeholders anytime and on-demand.
In this sense, having access to patient records can be highly useful, especially when it comes to requiring them in the case of emergency or even with old age patients. However data security and patient privacy are critical when it comes to healthcare information. Though the New Health Record system has been around for a few years as opt-in, now it is becoming opt-out. This means every Australian citizen will have such a record unless she or he decides to opt out.
From usage point of view, a major issue is education of users in terms of privacy controls and their ability and competency in setting the controls etc. I believe it is important that substantial amount of work needs to be done in this area for the community to become familiar with the system as well as to develop trust.
From a technical point of view, there are access controls in place. However the data itself, at this stage, is in plain format, it is not encrypted. Hence there is a potential for leakage if a breach occurs. With the growth in malware and security attacks, we cannot rule this possibility out. With the Mandatory Data Breach regulation, there will be an onus on the part of the agency that is storing the data to notify the users in case of breaches. But given the personal nature of such information, once the data breach happens the harm done may be difficult to reverse.
In this regard, there are technologies available that can help to protect the data via encryption and still allow the user (patient) requirements and policies to be enforced on the encrypted data.
This also brings another issue as to where is the data stored. If the data is stored in a cloud, then the cloud administrators can have access to the data (there can be many such administrators). This can be an issue especially if the data is stored in plain format. Hence there is a case for the data to be stored in encrypted form thereby reducing the trust on the cloud provider as well as reducing the vulnerability due to a data breach.
Then there are issues down the road as to which other applications and services on the platform (government or third party) are allowed to access the data? What are the controls that are in place (and how much does the patient have a say when it comes to sharing of data between different services)?
On the process side, there are also some issues which are not fully clear. For instance, if someone opts-in now, can she or he opt out later? What happens to their records?"
Last updated: 16 Jul 2018 5:46pm
Source: Various Authors, July 16, 2018, Scimex: breaking science news for Australia and New Zealand: AUS SMC, https://www.scimex.org/newsfeed/expert-reaction-my-health-record-opt-out-period-opens,-but-privacy-concerns-remain
Today marks the beginning of the opt-out period for the nation wide medical information database called the "my health record". If a person does NOT want their medical information stored in a government run database, they have until October 15th to leave the program.
Despite concerns about privacy from the public and interested groups, Dr Steve Hambelton from the Australian Digital Health Agency said, "I can absolutely categorically state that none of the ... My Health Record data will be able to be sold to third parties — that's absolutely prohibited,"
But despite calls from the government for trust in the system, personal privacy remains a point of contention in the medical database. Could it be hacked by a malicious party? What safeguards are in place? Just who has access to the data?
To discuss privacy concerns I spoke to Dr Katina Michael, professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wollongong.
And later on in the show, Rohan McKnight, Digital Health Manager South Eastern NSW Primary Health Network, a company contracted to gather some of the data, joined us.
Citation: Katina Michael with Lindsay McDougall, July 16, 2018, "Opting Out of MyHealthRecord", ABC Illawarra 96.7FM, https://soundcloud.com/doctormcdougall/my-health-report-soundcloudmp3
A company that issues Aviation Security Identity Cards (ASIC) which are designed to prevent terrorists and organised criminals from accessing planes has been hacked this week. Hundreds of people renewing or applying for their Identity cards had learnt on Wednesday through an email issued by the company of a data breach in which they could not even specify what information was stolen. People who have these cards need to give a large amount of personal information in order to gain security clearance in airport, so just changing your password is not enough in this case. 2SER was joined by Dr Katina Michael, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences from University of Wollongong to discuss if Australian airport security is at risk.
Citation: Katina Michael with Sean Britten, July 13, 2018, "Airport Security Data Breach", 2ser.com, https://2ser.com/airport-security-data-breach/
The Alumni Relations Team will present the next Knowledge Series event featuring a panel discussion on The disrupted digital frontier: How emerging technology of today will shape who we become tomorrow.
Technology has created a state of perpetual revolution and is already disrupting traditional markets and social structures, changing the way we interact with the world around us.
Digital disruption will eventually affect every corner of Australian business and society. It will rewrite economics, scramble supply chains, blur category boundaries and make us question our ethics.
The panel includes Professor Katina Michael, Dr Shahriar Akter, Dr Alex Badran, Dr Thomas Birtchnell, Kylie Cameron and Dane Sharp.
Join us on 12 July at The Mint in Sydney to explore the technological, social and economic impacts that these emerging technologies are having.
Many parents will tell you that getting their teenagers away from the screens is harder than sailing around the world in a yacht.
Some parents in Australia have had enough and are sending their tech-addicted teenagers to boot camp to help kick their technology addiction.
Thanks @abcnews for a honest report about our Junior Leader Program. #veteranmentors #adolescentdevelopment http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/veteran-mentors/8984084 …
The nine-day boot camp run by ex-service men and women is using both physical and mental military might to train kids to do “real stuff” and step out of the virtual world, reported 7News.
Glenn Filtness of Veteran Mentors, who is leading the group of soldiers in a bid to transform young Australian lives, said the camp helps children learn important life lessons.
“We have kids coming in that are lacking self-confidence and addicted to technology,” Filtness told 7News.
“It is fun, challenging and can help to arm them with management skills and resilience that will help them forge ahead into adulthood and on into workforce,” according to the Veteran Mentors website.
Filtness said that as soon as participants arrive, it’s strictly no technology.
“The second they get on our bus we take their phones and any technology they have off them straight away,” Filtness told the news station.
Health and wellbeing play a huge role in our Junior Leader Program.
Here are just a few reasons why. https://www.veteranmentors.com.au/choose-health/
Most of the former Australian soldiers who are running the camp have come straight from the frontline of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The participants are put through rigorous daily routines and activities such as physical training and nutritional education, making beds, polishing their boots, ironing their uniform, cleaning their barracks, and marching.
According to the Veteran Mentors website, the benefits of a digital detox include: additional sleep and exercise, better personal control, increased positivity and confidence, less instance of behavioural issues, heightened social skills and interactions, and increased productivity.
“If you ask people to report on how often they use their smartphones, they may under report or they may be missing information and consider themselves average users,” she said.
“We see others on smartphones at train stations, bus stops and at work and we think it’s become a normalised activity,” she added.
Michael said young people were spending a cumulative 3.5 hours per day on social media, reported the ABC.
“I think more and more adolescents are considering that the pressures of social media are so vast that it’s best to get off,” she told the news broadcaster.
“[Young people] need to be connected and feel they can’t be disconnected, and a quarter of our teens are constantly connected and send about 150 texts per day,” she added.
The tech detox, which is held on the Gold Coast, isn’t cheap, at more than AU$4,000, however, Filtness said the program is effective.
“It’s very tough for the participants and that’s why it’s effective – if it wasn’t tough it wouldn’t work,” Filtness told the news station.
Citation: Katina Michael speaks with Mariano Trevino, 18 June 2018, EducationHQ, https://au.educationhq.com/
Citation: Anna Doherty & Julia Zolkiewska, (June 17, 2018), "The Ethics and Advancing ICT", Video Filming, UOW.
Katina Michael with Nick Rheinberger, "Is encryption a human right?", ABC Illawarra: Mornings, May 18, 2018.
Katina Michael with Ally Crew, "Family Planning NSW Data Breach Financially Motivated", ABC Radio National Australia. May 14, 2018.
Thanks to executive producer Eleni Psaltis.
Citation: Katina Michael with Richa Sharma (WION), May 4, 2018, "Facial Recognition in Airports", WION: India's First Global Channel, http://www.wionews.com/
Assistant Producers Latika Chugh (WION); Neha Dan (WION):
TOPIC - Facial recognition at Airports
- --how will it help?
- --can it stops or help catch criminals?
- --how will it make the entire airport experience more efficient?
- --will it use biometrics?
- --will the biometrics be stored?
- --if the biometrics are being used...will the be saved.. or at risk of mis use?
In an Australian first telecommunication companies Vodafone and Telstra have been the first to offer unlimited data mobile packages, following the US. It has been labelled the telecom wars where consumers are set to cash in, however in the past telecom companies have been accused of false advertising for broadband plans by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), leaving the question how much should we trust these companies? The Daily was joined on the line by Dr Katina Michael from Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at University of Wollongong to discuss how this will impact the consumer and the market.
For more information on consumer rights visit: https://accan.org.au
Citation: Katina Michael with Sean Britten, "Telecoms Wars: Unlimited Data Packages", 2SERFM.COM The Daily, https://2ser.com/telcom-wars-unlimited-data-packages/
NOTE: while reference was not made to the correspondence between myself and the producer, the story ran in The Telegraph, the dialogue seems to have been removed at the last stage. This is a common practice when the word length is limited.
>> Tinder, while not the first dating application by a long shot, was a first mover in the smartphone space to take advantage of the phone's swipe feature. Tinder has about 50 million active users on its system.
>> Facebook has over 1.2 billion active users, with WhatsApp at 700 million active monthly users. Clearly the size of the potential if Facebook gets the App right is humungous. Otherwise there will be subscribers who use both platforms and exploit different features in each.
>> Facebook today enables a subscriber to connect with people you know, while Tinder allows you to meet total strangers.
>> We have to consider the Tinder Plus users who are committed to continuing with the platform given the ease of use, and the Apps specificity.
>> Facebook has always been about social relationships. Do they have an advantage? Yes, because profiles are already available and they have access to 1/6 of the world's population. On the flip side they do not have permission just to share these profiles with people who wish to date.
>> Yes, already we are seeing a chilling effect take place when Facebook is mentioned in conversation. The CA scandal has meant that some people have deleted their Facebook accounts.
>> But the real issue is that most people on dating web sites do not realise a) that some of their data is already freely available; b) and their data is being used for non-dating purposes.
>> For now the CA scandal was a "blip" on the s-curve of Facebook services. It did raise awareness of what is possible, some people did delete their accounts, or did minimise their activity on Facebook as a result, but most went "now that it's out it is business as usual". The power to connect may seemingly override the power to keep one's "patterns of life" private. >> Facebook does not need to do this but it is trying to grow its market. Commercials in the US play, presently, with the slogan "together".
>> Facebook is trying to reach a different audience. It will provide a new revenue stream. It will also keep people on Facebook's platform longer to see more advertising. Mobile users that use services like Tinder, are willing to pay for services for connecting with NEW people, not just existing people you know (as in Facebook).
Citation: Katina Michael with Chris Graham, Overnight Producer, Commenting on Facebook Dating Service for The Telegraph UK.
I asked everyone from Facebook to data brokers to Stan for my information. It got messy
28 April 2018
By technology reporter Ariel Bogle
Brands I've never heard of have my details.
Deciphering your Facebook data can be like leafing through a corporate-owned teen diary.
In 2007, one of my first comments was telling a friend she had a "fashionable mullet", but my online data footprint has exploded since then.
I downloaded my data from Facebook in an effort to understand how brands target me with personalised advertising — an activity that accounted for 98 per cent of the social giant's 2017 revenue.
Your name, age and location are the least of it. Every like, link and interaction can add to your profile, whether it's an inferred political preference — are you liberal or conservative? — or an interest in board games.
But as Wired has detailed, Facebook's data download provides an incomplete picture.
To fix that, I asked for my personal data (you can too, thanks to the Privacy Act) from everyone from data brokers to advertisers.
What did I find? That understanding who knows what about you online is a sisyphean undertaking. One that takes dozens of emails and almost one month.
What do data brokers know?
Ever heard of a data broker? If you haven't, that's no mistake.
"They rarely have a public presence," said Sacha Molitorisz, a digital privacy researcher at the University of Technology Sydney.
"My guess is there is an intuition somewhere there, that what they're doing might not be palatable to customers."
Data brokers are companies that may gather online and offline information — census data, surveys and purchase histories, for example — to create consumer profiles that they serve to advertisers.
In the market for a new car? An expectant mother? These are the types of insights they look for.
If advertisers want to reach these people, they can source special audience information from data brokers and target ads to them on Facebook.
This is allowed under Facebook's Partner Categories program, but after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the company said it would be winding the option down.
A Facebook spokesperson said ad campaigns run this way would end by October 1, 2018.
For now, though, Facebook works with three providers in Australia: Quantium, Axciom and Experian.
I contacted all three and asked for my personal data. All three said they had nothing — but that's not the whole story.
How am I targeted?
Earlier this year I was served a Facebook ad for 100% Pure New Zealand. Facebook told me it was based on a dataset provided by the data analytics firm Quantium.
But if Quantium doesn't have my personal details, how does it target me?
The tourism ad was sent to two consumer segments — "outdoor enthusiasts" and "travellers" — a Quantium spokesperson said.
The company received de-identified purchase data, likely from Woolworths Rewards program, which was then used to create anonymous groups likely to purchase something based on their past shopping behaviour.
My de-identified data was probably in there. Then, apparently, Quantium matched it up with my de-identified data from Facebook.
"Publishers like Facebook de-identify their users' personal data utilising the same encryption algorithm used by Quantium," the Quantium spokesperson said.
"The de-identified data from both parties is passed into a secured anonymisation zone for matching purposes. This allows the two datasets to be matched without using any personal information."
In some cases, it gets more mysterious.
In Settings, Facebook lists the advertisers it says are running ads, using contact lists they uploaded to the platform.
Experian said it had no personal information about me, but Experian Data Quality is listed as having uploaded my contact information to Facebook.
A company spokesperson said it could not confirm why I was connected to Experian Data Quality.
"Based on the information you provided to us, we again confirm that Experian's Data Quality and Targeting (Marketing Services) in A/NZ does not hold any personal information on you," she wrote in an email.
Who else has your email?
Brands are only meant to upload contact lists to Facebook for advertising if they have permission to do so.
In the case of the video streaming service Stan, seeing its ad on Facebook made sense — I'm a subscriber, and apparently, I've watched the TV show Billions.
A Stan spokesperson said the ad I saw was intended to remind people "who may be fans of the show" that a new season was available.
It does this to highlight content the company thinks subscribers are interested in, using its internal analytics.
"We matched your encrypted email to data held by Facebook to facilitate the surfacing of that content," she added.
(I also asked for all my personal data from Stan, and the hours of television I've watched makes for a terrifying spreadsheet, by the way.)
The contact list mystery
But Stan is not the only brand that has my information.
As I write this article, there are more than 300 brands that Facebook lists as having my contact information — the majority of which I've never heard of.
There's a sushi restaurant in Perth, for example, called Tao Café. I've never visited.
I got in touch, and Tao Café office manager Annette Sparks was equally baffled about its appearance on my list.
But she said that the food delivery company Deliveroo ran ads on behalf of the company, and suggested that's how my contact details may have been bound up with the sushi venue.
So, onto Deliveroo.
While they couldn't discuss my personal situation, a spokesperson said Deliveroo does provide "marketing support" to its restaurant partners — essentially, it runs ads promoting them as part of the delivery service.
Did Deliveroo then share my email with cafes from Perth to Singapore? The company said no.
"Under no circumstances does Deliveroo share any customer details with restaurants or other third parties as part of these marketing campaigns," the spokesperson said.
I'm left none the wiser about why Tao Café was on the list — and there are other mysteries too.
According to Facebook's list, various American political candidates have my contact information.
As does the official Facebook page of the actress Kate Hudson.
What can I do?
Mark Zuckerberg has said Facebook users own their data, but it's an unusual kind of ownership.
Ownership feels largely meaningless when your data is scattered around the internet.
There is no one company to blame. The architecture of online advertising is set up this way.
"The issue is that in the digital space … personal data is very much sought after, and there are all [kinds of] different players who stand to benefit from access to that data," Mr Molitorisz said.
"There needs to be greater transparency with how our data is used."
This is the reality of surveillance capitalism, according to Professor Katina Michael, a privacy expert at the University of Wollongong.
Our data is a valuable commodity, and time is not on our side when it comes to understanding who wants it and where it's going.
"We don't measure it, we don't write it down like we do calorie-controlled diets," Professor Michael said.
"We don't realise how much we're giving away."
Ariel Bogle, April 28, 2018, "I asked everyone from Facebook to data brokers to Stan for my information. It got messy", ABC Radio National, http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2018-04-28/i-asked-everyone-from-facebook-to-data-brokers-to-stan-for-my-information-it-got-messy/1752610
Original source here
“The Future Of…” series asks a variety of UOW experts and researchers the same five questions, to provide insight into the potential future states of our lives, communities and world.
Katina Michael is a professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology at UOW. Katina is formerly the long standing IEEE Technology and Society Magazine editor-in-chief (2012-2017), and presently an IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine senior editor. Since 2008 she has been a board member of the Australian Privacy Foundation
Michael researches on the socio-ethical implications of emerging technologies. She has written and edited six books, guest edited numerous special issue journals on themes related to radio-frequency identification (RFID), supply chain management, location-based services, innovation, robotics and surveillance/uberveillance. In 2017, Katina was awarded the prestigious Brian M. O'Connell Award for Distinguished Service to the IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (IEEESSIT).
What are you researching or working on in 2018?
At the heart of my research is the interplay of engineering, law, policy and society. Alongside MG Michael and my colleagues, I will continue to add to the research on uberveillance (exaggerated pervasive embedded surveillance) at the operational layer with respect to the internet of things, data protection and human rights. This extends to the ongoing two-factor authentication requirements with the aggressive rollout of biometrics - especially facial and behavioural recognition systems and also unauthorised and covert tracking technologies and notions of transparency. In the same vein, I will also investigate the use of wearable cameras and corresponding visual analytics for augmented reality capabilities in law enforcement.
I’ll continue to examine socio-ethical approaches to robotics and artificial intelligence developments and their implications for humans, as well as the risks of bio-implantables.
Blockchain registers and everyday transactional data flows in finance, education, and health are also something that interests me.
In regards to your field of study or expertise what are some of the most innovative or exciting things emerging over the next few years?
Advances within the health sector including devices and implantables, acting as the hub for body area networks allowing for precision medicine and read-write shares within a world built on the Internet of Things ideology. Solutions will be created that allows remote health systems to monitor your drug taking behaviours, daily exercise routines, and wander/fall-down alerts.
Human modification will continue to become popular with exoskeletons, transputation (humans opting for non-human parts), and the ability to do things that were once considered ‘superhuman’ (e.g. carrying 2-3 times one’s body weight, or extending human height through artificial limbs).
Brain to computer interfaces to help the disabled with basic accessibility of communications and everyday fundamental necessities (e.g. feeding oneself). However, breakthroughs in this space will quickly be adopted by industry for applications in a variety of areas, with the primary focus being entertainment and search services.
Personal Artificial Intelligence (AI) services that will be able to gather content and provide for you thought-specific level data when you need it will become available - your life as one long reality-TV episode, captured, ready for playback in visual or audio, adhering to private-public space differentials. Captured memories and spoken word will be admissible evidence in a future e-court.
In regards to your field of study or expertise what are some of the things readers should be cautious/wary of over the next few years?
The technology we are being promised will get very personal and trespass privacy rights. Whereby in 1984 we were assured that at least the contents of our brain were private, today behavioural biometrics alongside detailed transactional data flows, can provide some level of proactive profile of everyday consumers.
Retaining anonymity is difficult, some would say near impossible. We have surveillance cameras and smart phones and watches that track our every movement, smartTV’s and smart hub devices that watch and listen to us in our homes, IOT devices that monitor motion detection and human activity in private spaces, and social media that has the capacity to store instantaneous thoughts and multimedia across contexts. This loss of privacy will have psychological impacts and fallout, whether it be in increasing rates of mental illness, or in the personal space we require to develop and grow as human beings, that right to freedom to learn and reflect from our mistakes in private.
Technology will provide a false sense of security and impact on fundamental values of trust in human relationships. For some an over-reliance on wearable and implantable technologies will mean a dysfunctional life as they wrestle with what it means to be human and answer the fundamental question of who-ness.
Learning to live with technologies such as robots and AI will create paradigms that will take some getting used to - new laws, policies, and business models will need to be developed. Do robots have rights? And if so, do they ever supersede those of human rights? What will happen when ‘machines start to think’ and make decisions?
Where do you believe major opportunities lie for youth thinking about future career options?
This is pretty simple, although I am biased, it is ‘all things digital’. If I was doing a degree today, I would be heading into biomedical engineering, neuroethics and cybersecurity. On the flip-side of this, I see the huge importance of young people thinking about social services in the very ‘human’ sense.
While we are experimenting with brain implants for a variety of illnesses, including for the treatment of major depressive disorder, and DNA and brain scanning technologies for early detection, I would say the need for counsellors (e.g. genetic) and social workers will only continue to increase.
We need health professionals, psychologists and psychiatrists who get ‘digital’ problems: a sense of feeling overwhelmed with workloads and instantaneous communications. Humans are analog, computers are digital. This cross-road will cause individuals great anxiety. It is a paradox. We’ve never had it so good in terms of working conditions, and yet we seem to have no end to social welfare and mental health problems in our society.
As life expectancies continue to grow in most economic systems, pressures to find solutions to food security (e.g. fisheries), renewable energy sources, biodiversity and climate change will increase. What good is the most advanced and super networked world, when rising sea levels will inevitably cause significant losses? Today’s youth could more discerning to use our computing powers to model and predict changes to the earth to implement long term solutions.
In regards to your field of study or expertise, what is the best piece of advice you could offer to our readers?
The future is what we make of it. While computers are helping us to translate better and to advance once remote villages, I advocate for the preservation of culture and language, music and dance and belief systems. In diversity there is richness. Some might feel the things I’ve spoken about above are hype, others might advocate them as hope, and still others might say this is their future if they have anything to do with it.
Industry and government will dictate continual innovation as being in the best interest of any economy, and I don’t disagree with this basic premise. But innovation for what and for whom? We seem to be sold the promises of perpetual upgrades on our smartphones and likely soon our own brains through memory enhancement options.
It will be up to consumers to opt-out of the latest high tech gadgetry, and opt-in to a sustainable future. We should not be distracted by the development of our own creations, rather use them to ensure the preservation of our environment and healthier living. Many are calling for a re-evaluation of how we go about our daily lives. Is the goal to live forever on earth? Or is it to live the good life in all its facets? And this has to do with our human values, both collectively and individually.
For more from Professor Katina Michael you can visit her UOW Scholars profile, which links to her papers and publications.
You can also explore more of Katina's work and projects on her website here
A story featuring Katina titled 'Disconnected' also features in The Stand. View it here.
Citation: Carly Burns with Katina Michael, "The Future Of: The Technological Society", UOW Research Newsletter, https://www.uow.edu.au/research/newsletter/2018/UOW245398.html
伍倫貢大學（University of Wollongong）網路成癮專家邁克爾教授（Katina Michael）表示，科技公司精心設計了讓人上癮的應用程序，「他們實際上在竊取大腦，內容正在轉向洗腦，甚至可以在高度上癮的用戶肉體上看到痕迹，例如拇指和食指上的瘀傷，這種成癮可能隨時發生在任何人身上。」
Original source: http://www.exmoo.com/article/60967.html
PHONE-addicted Aussies are spending up to six hours a day glued to their devices amid fears they are sacrificing quality time with their loved ones.
New research provided to the Sunday Herald Sun shows some smartphone users unlocking their devices an astounding 216 times a day — equal to once every three minutes over 12 hours.
The average Australian spends nearly 2½ hours a day on their mobile phone, with women aged 56-65 the worst offenders. The figures provided by smartphone usage tracker AntiSocial show our phone addiction ranks among the highest worldwide. Only Russian, British and American users are hooked more.
Chris Eade, from tech firm Bugbean which developed AntiSocial, said most phone users underestimated their usage and were shocked to learn the reality.
“When you look at the data it’s crazy to see how much time we spend and what we do on our phones,” Mr Eade said.
The statistics — based on the phone usage of more than 130,000 AntiSocial users over two years — point to a worrying pattern of compulsive checking and social media use, according to experts.
Australians are launching mobile applications an average 101 times a day, with people aged 18-25 averaging 118 launches daily.
One AntiSocial user averaged 341 launches a day — opening Instagram 89 times and Snapchat on 103 occasions.
Social media apps take up the majority of Aussie users’ phone time with Facebook accounting for 20 per cent of total time spent “in app”. Dating applications averaged 40 daily launches, Mr Eade said.
University of Wollongong internet addiction expert Prof Katina Michael said technology companies were engineering applications to make them as addictive as possible.
“They are literally hacking the brain — the content is turning to brainwashing,” she said.
“We can even see physical signs on highly addicted users, things like bruises on thumbs and index fingers from excessive swiping. It (addiction) can happen to anyone, at any time.”
The University of Adelaide’s Daniel King, a specialist in behavioural addiction, said it was important not to paint addiction as black and white.
“An addictive disorder relates to a person’s ability to control their time spent and whether or not it’s impacting function,” he said.
“It’s not obvious that just using your phone is addictive, though it can facilitate addictive behaviours.” For those who think they have a problem, Mr Eade recommended leaving the phone off for the first and last 30 minutes of the day and tracking daily usage to self-regulate.
Turning social media notifications off or removing apps for extended periods of time could also help people feel less anxious about their phones. Mr Eade said: “More important is what you’re doing on your phone. We all need our phones, but things like aimlessly scrolling social media just isn’t productive.” Beaumaris mum Robyn Svojtka and her two daughters enjoy quality family time but admit mobile phones sometimes get in the way.
“I use my phone for absolutely everything,” Mrs Svojtka said. “We use it for talking, texting, online banking, social media, work, WhatsApp — everything.
“It’s a vital form of communication. I’ve got teenage daughters who are going to parties and friends’ houses — they’re independent. If I’m not contactable, I can feel nervous.” Mrs Svojtka said her biggest concern about phone usage in her family was her daughters missing out on opportunities to learn and excel in other areas of life because they were focused on their devices.
“They waste a lot of time looking at things that don’t matter, that they could spend on things like guitar practice. It bothers me a lot.’’ email@example.com
WORST AGE GROUP FOR DAILY PHONE USE
- WOMEN AGED 56-65 2:35:08 HOURS
- MEN AGED 14-17 2:24:49 HOURS
AGE GROUP WITH HIGHEST DAILY UNLOCKS
- WOMEN AGED 18-25 40.14 UNLOCKS
- MEN AGED 18-25 43.12 UNLOCKS
HOW AUSTRALIA’S DAILY PHONE USE RANKS WITH WORLD’S TOP USERS
1 USA 2:37:17 HOURS
- 2 RUSSIA 2:32:01 HOURS
- 3 CANADA 2:26:54 HOURS
- 4 UK 2:24:02 HOURS
- 5 AUSTRALIA 2:14:58 HOURS
- 1 USA 2:54:06 HOURS
- 2 UK 2:37:16 HOURS
- 3 AUSTRALIA 2:29:59 HOURS
- 4 CANADA 2:29:58 HOURS
- 5 RUSSIA 2:14:10 HOURS
APP LAUNCHES A DAY
- AGED 14-17 95.17 TIMES
- AGED 18-25 118.73 TIMES
- AGED 26-35 105.35 TIMES
- AGED 36-45 85.4 TIMES
- AGED 46-55 87.42 TIMES
- AGED 56-55 63.67 TIMES
- AGED 66-75 51.91 TIMES
HOW TO GET YOUR LIFE BACK
Don’t use your phone for the first 30 minutes of your day, or the last 30 minutes If there was important news to be heard, a friend would call you, so no need to check social media endlessly Be real, don’t use social media when with friends, and engage and live in the real world Turn off notifications from social media and turn off distractions Put your phone on silent during meals and put it somewhere so you aren’t tempted to look at it Try to have a phone-free morning once a week Delete social media apps from your phone and see how long you last. Be brave, you can do it!
Leave your phone in another room for one hour per day — you won’t actually miss anything
TAKE THE TEST ARE YOU A PHONE ADDICT?
Citation: Peter Batchelor, "Mobile phone addiction", Herald Sun, https://myaccount.news.com.au/sites/heraldsun/subscribe.html
SMARTPHONES are changing the way our brains work.
Emerging research suggests excessive mobile phone use can rewire neural pathways, increase anxiety and mimic the symptoms of autism and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Professor Katina Michael, from the University of Wollongong, has been researching phone and internet addiction for more than 20 years. She said obsessive compulsive-like behaviour on phones was having an enormous impact on society, particularly in younger generations.
“We have a whole generation of kids unable to identify mood from facial expressions,” Prof Michael said. “Addictions to social media like Facebook can mimic symptoms of autism in adolescents.” Prof Michael added that compulsive use of devices was hijacking the brain’s pleasure and reward centres.
“It creates an unending feedback loop in the brain,’’ she said. “The brain is never satisfied — no matter how many ‘likes’ you get or times you check your phone. That’s where the anxiety comes from.” Phones could also have an effect even when not in use.
A University of Chicago study found negative cognitive effects of mobile phone use remained even when the phone was off but nearby. Prof Michael said children needed classroom lessons on the addictive qualities of smartphones.
Citation: Peter Bateman, April 8, 2018, "Autism-like symptoms showing up", Herald-Sun, p. 27.
PHONE-addicted Aussies are spending up to six hours a day glued to their devices amid concern quality time with loved ones is being compromised.
Research shows some users unlock their devices an astounding 216 times a day – once every three minutes over a 12-hour period.
The average Australian spends nearly 2½ hours a day on their phone. Women aged 56-65 were the worst offenders.
The figures – from smartphone usage tracker AntiSocial – show Australia’s phone addiction ranks among the highest worldwide. Only Russia, the UK and US were worse.
Chris Eade, from tech firm Bugbean, which developed AntiSocial, said most phone users tended to underestimate their usage and were shocked to learn the reality.
“It’s crazy to see how much time we spend and what we do on our phones,” Mr Eade said.
The statistics – based on the phone usage of more than 130,000 AntiSocial users over two years – point to a worrying pattern of compulsive checking and social media use.
Australians launch mobile apps an average 101 times a day. Those aged 18-25 average 118.
Social media apps take up most user’s phone time, with Facebook accounting for 20 per cent of total “in app” time.
University of Wollongong internet addiction expert Prof Katina Michael said tech companies were engineering apps to be as addictive as possible.
“They are literally hacking the brain – the content is turning to brainwashing,” she said.
But University of Adelaide behavioural expert Daniel King said addiction was not black and white. “It’s not obvious that just using your phone is addictive,” he said. For those who think they have a problem, Mr Eade recommends leaving the phone off for the first and last 30 minutes of the day and tracking usage.
Citation: Peter Bateman, April 8, 2018, "Aussies are hung up on phones", The Advertiser, p. 7.