National Security Risks Associated with the Strava App

The Strava App story seems to have mesmerised readers worldwide. Understandably so. People as sensors is a concept that has gathered momentum in the fields of location-based services, social media and crowdsourcing applications. In 2003, I recognised the potential of GPS/GIS and ran a study titled Spatial Database National Australian (S-DNA) that was funded by the University of Wollongong. Here are some of the first outcomes of the work, that later grew to be funded by the Australian Research Council as a Discovery Project:

Source: https://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/australian-military-says-strava-tracking-app-doesnt-breach-security-1806287

Are you an addict? Turns out we're all tech junkies

How many times have you looked at your phone today?

Chances are you're looking at it right now.

Before you try and deny you're addicted, here are some stats to consider:

Australian men unlock their phones more than anyone in the world - on average 45 to 46 times a day, while for Australian women it is around 42 times.

Those figures have been calculated by AntiSocial, an app developed by Melbourne software company Bugbean, to monitor people's use of social media.

It is a free app with no ads that is only available on Android because the creators say Apple does not allow such monitoring, but the idea is to encourage users to put down their devices.

Australians spend around two hours a day on apps

According to AntiSocial's developer Chris Eade, Australian men and women spend about two hours a day on their phones, and that is not including use for music streaming, video streaming, or making calls - that is pure Facebook, web surfing, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat.

VIDEO: Watch the discussion between Emma Alberici, Adam Atler and Katina Michael (Lateline)

Adam Alter, from the Stern School of Business, has written a book called Irresistible - why we can't stop checking, scrolling, clicking and watching.

He told Lateline around 50 per cent of the adult population has some form of behavioural addiction.

"I think you can ask yourself if you have a problem and you'll know," he said.

"[People] feel that their lives are being encroached upon by devices, their social lives, maybe their relationships with their loved ones and friends. They're not experiencing nature. They're not exercising."

Our boredom threshold at rock bottom

Mr Alter said smartphones have changed human behaviour so much that we no longer allow ourselves to experience being bored.

"Our boredom threshold has declined to the point where you'll get in an elevator for five seconds, take out your phone," he said.

Hooked on social media

All in the Mind zooms in on the relationship between social media use and our mental health.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/allinthemind/hooked-on-social-media/7885492

"Boredom is very important for productivity, for creativity and new ideas, and if you never allow yourself to be bored, you will never have those ideas."

Mr Alter has written about a private school near Silicon Valley that uses no technology, yet surprisingly 75 per cent of the students' parents work in the tech sector.

"You'd think their children would be the biggest users of tech. But what you actually find, it's the reverse that a lot of these tech titans refuse to let their kids near technology," he said.

"Steve Jobs in 2010 in an interview said things like, 'you should use this device, but we do not allow it in our home and we won't let our kids near it'. He was talking about the iPad."

How to break up with your device

Katina Michael, from the University of Wollongong's School of Computing and IT, specialises in online addiction, and she told Lateline that tech companies have a lot to answer for.

"I think it's extremely hypocritical," she said.

"The laptop's not made you smarter and more intelligent. I think the companies that Adam was talking about need to recheck their ethics and I think our children need to stop being sold the wrong story about what is going to make their future brighter. We have a lot to answer for as academics."

Professor Michael had this advice for tech addicts looking to wean themselves off their devices:

"Think about replacing the activities that you have done online with offline activities, whether it's going for physical exercise, joining a community group or just getting a job, or just speaking with your family and making real food instead of playing a game about making food," she said.

If you're still questioning whether or not you're addicted, compare how you stack up to AntiSocial's biggest user.

"Our biggest user we have at the moment is a woman in America who uses her phone for 7.5 hours a day, every day on average," Mr Eade said.

"That's a full time job."

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-25/are-you-an-addict-how-australians-are-tech-junkies/8554532

Does Google Maps New Update Breach Our Privacy?

Google Maps have announced their latest feature that allows for a user to share their location with others, by tracking their location in real time on the map. While the app aims to assist its users , the question lies whether the feature enables privacy concerns? Joining me on the line to discuss how the new feature can be abused, is Katina Michael, Associate Dean at International Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at University of Wollongong.

Produced by Brooke Taylor

App to Help Tackle Social Media Addiction

A Melbourne company has developed an App that monitors how much time we actually spend on social media.

As we rely more and more on our smartphones to the point of addiction, a Melbourne-based software development company has launched an App to help us track our behaviour. AntiSocial has been developed to monitor smartphone usage including social media Apps such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram as well as emails and gaming so users can benchmark their behaviour against peers. Users will be able to see which Apps they spend the most amount of time on, at what times of day and cross reference their usage stats with others in the their age range, state and even occupation. Chris Eade, Managing Director of parent company Bugbean, said: “Although other social monitoring Apps exist, AntiSocial is the first to use technology to pinpoint individual Apps and produce accurate reports as well as enabling users to check if they are higher or lower than someone of a similar demographic. “The aim of App is to help us understand what normal is when it comes to how much time we truly spend on our phones. There is so much noise in the media about this issue but most of the data is anecdotal without any real data. Our data will solve this problem. “We are encouraging Android users to download the App for at least two weeks so they get an accurate reading of their habits. Initial trials have shown that once it’s downloaded, people tend to change their behaviour for the first few days but once the App is forgotten about the true data comes to life. “AntiSocial does not track time of inactive Apps so if you come out of Facebook Messenger for instance, that time will stop being tracked. None of the data captured will be used unethically and our Privacy Policy ensures that we can’t read into sensitive information pertaining to individuals.” Wollongong University’s Professor Katina Michael, who specialises in online addiction, says: “This App truly excites me. I have been working within the social implications of technology space for 20 years and this is the first of its kind. “It exists to help people be mindful of their phone usage and hopefully it will encourage people to reflect on their personal goals and patterns of interaction with others in their physical surrounds. “If Fitbit’s are the answer to improving our physical health, AntiSocial is the App for our mental health!”

The App is available for download in the Google Play store simply search ‘AntiSocial’ or follow this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goozix.antisocial_personal

Techtopia: what does your phone know about you?

Original source here: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4535025.htm

ELEANOR HALL: Welcome to Techtopia, our segment on the technologies set to disrupt our future and some of the unexpected questions we may need to ask about them.

Today a technology we're all familiar with: our phone. It has gone from staid, home-based handset to wearable message conveyor, music player, direction giver and so much more. 

But how familiar are we with what our smart phones know about us and what are they doing with that information? 

Joining me in Sydney, as he does every week for Techtopia, is entrepreneur and technology author Steve Sammartino.

Also here in our Sydney studio, is Dr Katina Michael, a Professor at the School of Computing and Information Technology at the University of Wollongong, who is also on the board of the Australian Privacy Foundation.


FEATURED: 
Steve Sammartino, entrepreneur and technology author
Dr Katina Michael, professor, School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Wollongong; board member, Australian Privacy Foundation

L to R: Katina Michael, Eleanor Hall, Steve Sammartino

Citation: Steve Sammartino and Katina Michael with Eleanor Hall, "Techtopia: what does your phone know about you?", ABC World Todayhttp://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4535025.htm