Is it the end of privacy?

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Citation: Katina Michael with Eric Gyors, March 28, 2018, "Is it the end of privacy?", EPISODE: Wednesday Drive – 4:00pm 28th Mar 2018


Now that Facebook have acknowledged "mistakes", what's next?


Citation: Katina Michael with Joe O'Brien, "Now that Facebook have acknowledged "mistakes", what's next?" ABC 24 hrs: Mornings with Joe O'Brien, channel 24, 11am-11.12am.


Joe O'Brien is the host of ABC News 24's morning news program and was previously co-host on ABC News Breakfast. Joe has more than 20 years experience in journalism and has been with the ABC since 1995. He presented the 7pm ABC News programs in both Queensland and New South Wales, and regularly presented the national Midday Report on ABC TV. Joe's extensive reporting experience covers everything from drought and floods to sport and politics. He was first based for the ABC in Rockhampton, and then in Brisbane as a reporter and presenter. Follow @JoeABCNews

Facial recognition, law enforcement and the risks for and against

Katrina Dunn of Ideapod interviews Katina Michael of UOW.

Big Brother la purtător. Microcipurile RFID. N-aţi mai auzit de ele, dar nu înseamnă că au dispărut

This article is written in Romanian. An English translation using Google Translate is below.

Ştiinţa versus etică şi noi valenţe ale controlului social.
Văzută drept o inevitabilitate de către unii oameni de ştiinţă, ideea implanturilor stârneşte îngrijorări printre specialişti.
"Microcipurile RFID sunt, în esenţă, un generator al unui ID unic încorporat în corpul vostru. Aşa cum ştim, numerele pot fi furate şi datele pot fi accesate de hackeri." atrage atenţia Dr Katina Michael, profesor la University of Wollongong, specializată în implicaţiile socio-etice ale tehnologiilor emergente.
Nu este normal, arată specialista, ca problemele care afectează bazele de date şi computerele, precum atacurile hackerilor, să fie interconectate cu corpul uman. Mai mult, ne îndreptăm spre o societate de tip Big Brother în care se doreşte ca oamenii să poarte instrumentul prin care sunt spionaţi chiar în trupurile lor. "Guvernele şi marile corporaţii vor avea posibilitatea să urmărească acţiunile şi mişcările oamenilor, şi să îi încadreze în diferite categorii socio-economice, politice, rasiale, religioase sau grupuri de consum, pentru ca în final să ajungă să-i controleze.", mai avertizează Dr. Michael.
Dr. Michael este în special îngrijorată că oamenii vor fi forţaţi sau constrânşi să aibă un implant, lucru care, de altfel, explică ea, s-a şi întâmplat. "Această perspectivă este atât de îngrijorătoare încât cel puţin nouă state americane au interzis implanturile de microcipuri." a explicat ea.

More here

In English:

Big Brother to the bearer. RFID Microchips. You have not heard of them, but they do not mean they disappeared

RFID Chip.
Thousands of people are happy to swim under their skin, hit by happiness: now they can unlock their homes and cars, they can start their computers or mobile phones with only one hand move. They are not superhuman, but passionate about technology, who injected their own microchips into the body, according to a Sydney Herald article.

Named Biohackers, they use the so-called RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips as the latest technology hurtle that allows them to overcome the "human condition" that presses the lever to open a door and the button to opens a computer. Of the size of a rice grain, the RFID chips can be implanted very easily under the skin with a hypodermic needle.

Once inserted under the skin and activated, the implants send a unique ID (ID) that can be used to activate devices such as mobile phones and locks. The same type of chip is implanted and pets to be easily found if they are lost.

However, biohakers willingly choose to implant their chips, not for fear of losing, but because it is cool and everything seems to be easier. Note, however, that chips do not only send data to the devices we control, but also to huge databases of RFID user information such as personal data, addresses, medical data history, etc. databases controlled by governments, corporations, and which, experience proves, can be broken by hackers anytime.

Some methods of securing the data stored on the chip exist, but they are neither safe nor easy to implement.

RFID Chips

RFID chips are almost everywhere, on credit cards, and newer passports. Some RFIDs are provided with micro-batteries or other power supplies that enable them to operate hundreds of meters away so they do not need to be connected to a reader. This type of microchips can not be made small enough to be embedded in humans.

But others are. Embedded microchips in humans are wrapped in an organic coating that makes them easy to accept by the body, however, and very difficult to extract, once integrated into human tissue.

Everything comes with a price

And if life becomes apparently easier, the remote controls, mobile phones can be replaced with a certain microchip, it should be noted that state-of-the-art technology comes with a price. Cyber pecialist Mark Gasson, from the University of Reading, UK, became the first person to be infected with a computer virus after he injected himself a chip in 2009 to control the electronic devices in his office. The virus replicated on the building access cards used by university staff and infected the institution's database. Despite the "little inconvenience," Gasson and other scientists say the future belongs to the "computerized" population, making this scenario imminent.

The implants will change the world, they think, "They will change the very essence of what it means to be human," says Gasson. "People can no longer interact with society nowadays if they do not have a cell phone We believe that human implants will have a similar path It will be so disadvantageous not to have such an implant that it is essential to be obligatory! says Gasson.

Human communication versus electronic communication from the nervous system to the nervous system

And if humanity values he conscious communication through which people choose from the notion of thoughts to communicate and to whom, science approaches, by microcipation, a completely different kind of approach. Kevin Warwick, a professor of cybernetics at Reading University, implanted into his body an electronic device that interacts with his nervous system, a simpler version of that device being implanted into his wife's arm. The two could receive rudimentary signals from one to the other, proving that between two nerve systems it is possible to make purely electronic communication.

By going over the key question - if we want our thoughts to be known to wives, and vice versa - it should be noted that this kind of communication is, however, appropriate from robot to robot, even science proves it. Warwick's chip allows him to send orders via a computer to an artificial hand on another continent. The robot hand imitates any move made by Warwik's hand with the chip, whereas the connection that the scientist has established with his wife's nervous system is rudimentary, he perceiving only that she moves her hand, not what moves do with her.

Science versus ethics and new valences of social control.

Seen as an inevitability by some scientists, the idea of mplants raises concerns among specialists.

"RFID Microchips are basically a generator of a unique ID embedded in your body. As we know, numbers can be stolen and data can be accessed by hackers." draws attention to Dr Katina Michael, a professor at the University of Wollongong, specializing in the socio-ethical implications of emerging technologies.

It is not normal, the specialist shows, that issues affecting databases and computers, such as hacker attacks, should be interconnected with the human body. Moreover, we are heading towards a Big Brother society where people want to carry the instrument by which they are spied in their bodies. "Governments and large corporations will be able to track people's actions and movements, and put them in different socio-economic, political, racial, religious or consumer groups so they can eventually control them." warns Dr. Michael.

Dr. Michael is particularly worried that people will be forced or forced to have an implant, which, moreover, she explains, has happened. "This view is so worrying that at least nine US states banned microchip implants." she explained.

We recall that the famous ObamaCare, the law proposed by the US president, provided that Americans be "equipped" with medical devices, class II, implantable.

By willing and unwilling of anybody?

In 2007, a company called VeriChip implanted microchips in 200 Alzheimer's patients, with implants going to "shed" data about the elderly into a database of information about their medical history. The elderly, many of them indiscriminately, were in the care of an elderly home in Florida, which benefited from sponsorship from VeriChip.

The scandal broke out enormously after it was discovered that the experiment did not benefit from the approval of the Florida authorities responsible for the safety of people who are doing experiments and research.

The same company, Verichip implanted microchips in Mexico's Prosecutor General and senior team members, microchips having the stated purpose of providing them with access to secured areas in official buildings. It is said that the next step is to put a chip into the military and the police.

Moreover, Solusat, a distributor of VeriChip, announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Mexican National Foundation for the Investigation of Disappearances and Child Abduction to promote the "chipping" of children in the country.

How the chip could help finding missing children is unclear because they do not have GPS tracking technology. And other companies are making strong publicity on microchip implants, and their researchers are working hard to integrate them with GPS technology. Companies in the field expect to have, after doing this, an "enormous sales market."

The success, which shows the opposite of the idea, is a two-edged weapon. "Do you really want someone to follow your child and always know where he is?" ask those who are aware that information becomes good or harmful according to the purposes for which they are used.

Citation: Loredana Diacu, April 20, 2014, "Big Brother la purtător. Microcipurile RFID. N-aţi mai auzit de ele, dar nu înseamnă că au dispărut", Epoch Times

Changes to digital privacy laws – but are consumers aware?

Consumers are not aware of new digital privacy laws, says Associate Professor Katina Michael.


Are consumers really properly protected in this digital era with the introduction of new privacy laws now coming into effect?

According to Associate Professor Katina Michael from UOW’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences and Vice Chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, many consumers are unaware of changes taking place to privacy. In a recent interview broadcast nationally on ABC and a other interviews with SBS Radio and Ten’s Wake Up, Professor Michael said the majority of Australians were unaware who could access their personal information both in Australia and overseas.

She said when applying for a credit card or a home loan, do people really know that their personal credit history is being tracked and precisely what information is being stored about the products they purchase? 

New privacy laws have now been introduced following amendments being passed by Federal Parliament. The laws as they pertain to repayment history information are retrospective to December 2012. Under the new laws, large organisations and agencies that collect personal data are required to take reasonable steps to notify consumers about the collection of sensitive information, why it is being collected and whether or not it is onsold to third parties. Individuals will also be able to request access to their personal information and expect correction to their data if it is incorrect.

Large organisations that send personal data overseas would also be bound by new principles requiring them to take reasonable steps to ensure the data remain private and secure. The Australian Council of Civil Liberties says the laws needed to be updated to recognise the growth of social media websites over recent years where many users are posting personal information about themselves online. Professor Michael emphasised that consumers who used online dating web sites were particularly vulnerable to identity attacks, given the amount of data collected by the agency to perform “matches’ with prospective candidates that was publicly available.

The new laws also include more comprehensive credit reporting which will allow the reporting of information about an individual's credit history over the previous two years to credit providers. Individuals who make a loan or credit card payments more than five days late, may struggle to obtain credit products in the future as a result of the changes. 

Professor Michael told ABC interviewer Rod Quinn: How many consumers are really aware that if they have been only five days late with a payment this will be listed on their credit history? The same goes if one is more than 60 days late for a utility payment. The Australian Privacy Foundation welcomes some aspects of the new laws which it believes will help to strengthen consumers' rights such as civil penalties for companies who are in breach of the Act, and also new enforcement powers by the Privacy Commissioner.

Professor Michael believes the new laws covering personal data could fail if companies send information to countries with weak privacy laws and regulations, or none at all. If a security breach occurs in an overseas organisation organisation it may remain unknown to Australian consumers. She also thinks that small businesses should not have been exempted from the new privacy laws highlighting the fact that 80 per cent of Australia's businesses are small businesses hiring a quarter of Australia's population. Australia made attempts in the 1980s to centralise people’s information on to one card (combining Medicare and Social Security information for example). However, the Australia Card and the Access Card never got off the ground. 

Professor Michael told ABC listeners that there was a real danger in centralising people’s personal data all on to one card should that information fall into the wrong hands or encourage scope creep. “Having all that information in one place is just too penetrable,” she said.
Professor Michael fielded a range of listener enquiries during her ABC Radio interview.

Your credit history could soon be up for sale



While marketing executives may be excited by the prospect of more highly-targeted campaigns, the issue has provoked the ire of civil libertarians and privacy advocates. "On-selling consumer data without their consent is illegal," Australian Privacy Foundation board member Katina Michael told ninemsn. Dr Michael said that when consumers enter into agreements to use credit cards they are not consenting to their personal details being on-sold to third parties. She added that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned that their data is traded by third parties and many are demanding that their personal information be stored in a secure manner and not passed on.

Keywords: credit card, Mastercard, consent, privacy, onsell, terms and conditions

Citation: Martin A Zavan and Katina Michael. "Your credit history could soon be up for sale" | Finance (2011) Available at: