The Robot Who Could Get You Out of a Parking Fine

browder parking fine.jpg

19-year-old Joshua Browder in the UK has developed a "free lawyer robot" which based on input information generates a letter to appeal parking fines. It is believe the robot has successfully appealed $3 million in parking fines.

Dr Katina Michael, Associate Professor in the School of Information Systems and Technology at the University of Wollongong, talks to Nick Bosly-Pask on 936 ABC Hobart Drive about how far could this technology could go and what are the implications in light of other AI's like Amazon Echo and "Hello Barbie"

Katina Michael with Nick Bosly-Park, February 26, 2016, ABC Hobart Drive, https://soundcloud.com/936-abc-hobart/the-robot-who-could-get-you-out-of-a-parking-fine

Dashcams Used to Gather Evidence of Adverse Driver Behaviour: Police Encourage Reporting by Citizen

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Dashcams are proliferating. In some states of Australia, more than 10% of vehicles are fitted with this technology, and about 50% more want it. There has been a boom of followers of dashcam data, one Facebook site has about 200K members. Police in some states are encouraging people to store data that might be used toward prosecuting those involved in adverse driving behaviour, while in other states like Victoria, police are more circumspect about the use of dashcams and body-worn video recorders. Cameras can have an equiveillance effect, power by police is countered by citizen power through crowdsourced sousveillance. Yet, while footage might have been recorded, it is not always readily available given records management cycles and the like. It becomes particularly unappealing when law enforcement do not hand over important data on its officers, and the whole purpose of data retention comes into question. Complaints against officers have allegedly decreased as a result of body worn video recorders used by police forces, and evidence for the "use of force" by police have been supported by camera evidence. However, visual data is not unbiased as most would have it believe. It is contextual and like any data it can be used to misrepresent cases.

Tim Holt and Katina Michael. January 31, 2015, "Dashcams Used to Gather Evidence of Adverse Driver Behaviour: Police Encourage Reporting by Citizens" ABC South East NSW Radio: Mornings with Tim Holt (2015), Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kmichael/516/

Uberveillance on Flipboard

MG Michael and I do not know the creators of this Flipboard: https://flipboard.com/@unsecurity/uberveillance-190rhkgiz that utilises the UBERVEILLANCE meme. One thing is for certain they gather some of the world's most relevant stories in relationship to the broader theme of uberveillance. The issues are organised by @unsecurity @mikeal0102 and @mlcp (Doris Cook).

The Canadian Press News Look- Ahead List from June 30-July 6

EDITORS: Following is a list of news events for Sunday, June 30 to Saturday, July 6, 2013: x-denotes wire, y-denotes picture, z-denotes graphics coverage. Copy from other events based on merit and availability. All times local unless otherwise noted. Queries about these events and stories in The Canadian Press report should be directed to the departments listed below (all phone numbers 416 area code):

Main Desk (National News) 507-2150; Sports Desk 507-2154; Ontario Desk 507-2159; Photo Desk 507-2169; Specials Desk (Syndicated Copy) 507-2152; IT Desk (Technical Trouble) 507-2099 or 1-800-268-8149.

SUNDAY, JUNE 30
G3 Drone Team Logo, Rev 3.png
TORONTO _ Ryerson University holds a symposium on drones and their potential impact on everyday life. Some panellists are Avner Levin (Ted Rogers School of Management's Privacy and Cyber Crime Institute), Katina Michael (associate professor at the School of Information Systems and Technology in Australia) and Alexander Hayes (co-founder of Drones For Good). (9 a.m. at Ted Rogers School of Management, 575 Bay St. (entrance from 55 Dundas St. W.) 9th floor, TFS 3-176)

Citation: CP, June 28, 2013, "The Canadian Press News Look- Ahead List from June 30-July 6", The Canadian Press.

Robots of the flesh open door to future

Man with a chip-implanted hand at uni symposium

IMAGINE a world where a wave of a chip-implanted hand opens doors, turns on your computer, or starts the family car.

Or a world where your entire medical or personal history is carried inside your body to be accessed at the flick of a government controlled button.

Will there be a time when cyborg athletes running and jumping on artificial legs, arms, or even hearts, smash world records with ease?

Such Orwellian scenarios have now left the pages of science fiction to become a potentially frightening reality, with emergence of the latest generation of all-seeing, all-knowing technologies.

Just what the social implications of these emerging technologies might be will be explored during a three-day international symposium which starts at the University of Wollongong today.

Speakers from 17 countries will present more than 70 papers centred on automatic identification, location-based services, social networking, nanotechnology, and privacy and human rights.

Symposium chair, Associate Professor Katina Michael said some of the key topics to be explored will include ethical aspects of bar-code and microchip implants in the human body, the challenge of cyborg rights, tracking and monitoring living and non-living things, and internet filtering and regulation in Australia.

"We have seen an increase in the use of wearable and embedded technologies in everyday life, so I believe it's time for public debate on a range of associated issues," Prof Michael said.

"One recent example of an issue that has posed a number of social and ethical challenges regarding cyborg rights is South African runner Oscar Pistorius, who runs with the aid of carbon fibre transtibial artificial limbs," she said.

"Pistorius's artificial lower legs have allowed him to compete in open competitions, but this has generated claims that he has an unfair advantage over runners with prosthetic limbs," she said.

One of those presenting a paper at the symposium is Amal Graafstra, who has a radio-frequency identification chip implanted in the webbing between his thumb and forefinger.

One of about 300 implant "hobbyists" around the world, he can unlock his car and his front door and even turn on his computer.

Citation: Paul McInerney, June 7, 2010, "Robots of the flesh open door to future", Illawarra Mercury, p. 3.

Social Implications Behind Emerging Technologies Examined

WOLLONGONG, Australia, June 7 -- The University of Wollongong issued the following news release:

A three-day international symposium focusing on the social implications of emerging technologies including microchip implants for humans, cyborgs possessing artificial and natural systems and the growth in nanotechnology is being held at UOW from 7-9 June.

It is the first time that the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society has come to the Southern Hemisphere in more than 25 years.

Symposium Program Chair, Associate Professor Katina Michael, said the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society has attracted speakers from 15 countries who will be presenting more than 70 papers.

Discussions will centre on themes and ideas about:

* Automatic identification

* Location-based services

* Social networking

* Nanotechnology

* Privacy, security and human rights

The symposium has brought together academics and practitioners from multiple disciplines including information technology, engineering, law, sociology, ethics, policy, medical, business, accounting and economics.

Some of the key topics at the symposium are examining:

* Nanotechnology: Will it revolutionise health care?

* Ethical aspects of ICT implants in the human body

* The challenge of cyborg* rights

* Tracking and monitoring of living and non-living things

* Internet filtering and regulation in Australia

[*The first generation of cyborgs is alive, well, walking among us - and even running. Pacemakers, clumsy mechanical hands and renal dialysis machines may not match the movie but they have been the leading wave. Greater challenges are posed by the legs of sprinter Oscar Pistorius].

The full program is available here (http://www.uow.edu.au/conferences/2010/ISTAS/program/index.htm)

Targetted News Service, June 7, 2010, "Social Implications Behind Emerging Technologies Examined".

A high-tech point of view

Helmet cameras and glasses that can record a persons point-of-view (POV) of the world were some of the subjects discussed at a conference held at the Wollongong City Beach Function Centre over the weekend.

The inaugural AUPOV09 national conference focussed on POV technologies - hands-free video and audio technologies that record your POV - and their applied use in an educational training and assessment context.

The conference brought together delegates from private enterprise, the Australian Navy, Australian Armed Forces, University of Wollongong, University of NSW, commercial publishers, educational consultants, and POV manufacturing and retail distributers.

http://www.sports-camera.com/

http://www.sports-camera.com/

UOW academics Associate Professor Tony Herrington (Education), Dr MG Michael (Informatics) and Dr Katina Michael (Informatics) addressed the conference.

Prof Herrington spoke on the topic of Mobile Learning at UOW and the use of emerging technologies such as mobile smart phones in education.

e presented some of the findings of a recent project of which he was a lead collaborator, The New Technologies, New Pedagogies, which investigated and created new teaching and learning strategies using mobile technologies.

Dr Michael and Dr Michael presented a plenary session on Teaching Ethics Using Wearable Computing and the Social Implications of the New 'Veillance'.

Citation: ILM, June 30, 2009, "A high-tech point of view", Illawarra Mercury, p. 24.

MG Michael's Research on Uberveillance

Dr MG Michael with his new book From Dataveillance to Uberveillance and the Realpolitik of the Transparent Society. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Dr MG Michael with his new book From Dataveillance to Uberveillance and the Realpolitik of the Transparent Society. Picture: ANDY ZAKELI

Dr MG Michael, studies the social implications of technology, including the way governments can use it to intrude on the lives of citizens. The term ‘‘uberveillance’’ means an exaggerated surveillance of citizens, an above and beyond omnipresent 24/7 version using tracking technologies which are embedded within the body. Think of it as Big Brother on the inside, looking out.

It is an emerging area of information and communications technology which preoccupies me.

However, if the powers behind some of the intrusive surveillance technologies which I am studying do not pause to consider both the trajectory and consequences of the
new ‘‘machinery’’ they are building, then we are in for a bumpy ride and the effects will potentially be catastrophic.

I am not a naysayer per se, but that’s how I see things as they now stand. This is not to say that technology is not affording us some amazing and groundbreaking possibilities, especially in the areas of biomedics, communications and, of course, business information systems.

I am certainly not a neo-Luddite. But I do not buy into the glossy and predictably misleading publicity of where this ‘‘computer age’’ is supposedly taking us. I genuinely doubt, based on past and present evidence, that we are about to enter the cornucopia of an electric world.

On a more positive note, our work is about promoting discourse among the academic disciplines, the various sectors of the community and the public itself which is a critical and significant stakeholder in this discussion which is shaping both our immediate future and the civilisation to come.

I have been contemplating the social implications of technology from within an apocalyptic framework and narrative for almost 25 years, and have travelled the world during that time listening and speaking to recognised experts in their respective fields.

This group includes both religious persons and those who are firmly fixed to the empirical side of things. It is a truly extraordinary and revealing mix. People might be surprised with some of the points of agreement.

There are several strong connections between the desert and city that we often altogether miss, or choose to ignore.

My research focus extends to:

  • modern interpretations of scripture and the Apocalypse of John;
  • the historical antecedents of modern cryptography;
  • the auto-ID trajectory;
  • uberveillance and Big Brother;
  • data protection, privacy and ethics related issues;
  • biometrics, radio frequency identification and chip implants;
  • national security and government policy;
  • and more broadly the system dynamics between technology and society.

Each one of these subjects intensely fascinates me. There is a noticeable cross-disciplinary indication here; we are finding this more and more in perceived ‘‘monolithic’’ disciplines such as engineering and computer science.

My passion extends to teaching, writing papers, and presenting at conferences. But particularly teaching, above all else. 

I have been invited to present at international conferences and have published a number of papers in the disciplines of IT, bioethics, and biblical studies. More recently we have been given the honour to deliver a paper in the high profile 29th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners which was held in Canada, alongside such keynotes as Michael Chertoff, Secretary, US Department of Homeland Security.

Dr MG Michael is an honorary fellow at the University of Wollongong’s School of Information Systems and Technology.

Q&A


Best part of your research?

Sharing my work in class with my students at the University of Wollongong and listening to what they have to say; meeting and exchanging ideas with colleagues both locally and internationally; working closely with my wife, Dr Katina Michael, who is the driving force behind this funded research collaboration; and educating and regularly surprising myself with new bits of information and knowledge.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Lots of things! One of these, the dream to become a policeman, I actually fulfilled for a short period. I also liked to make believe that my bedroom was a spaceship and that I was an astronaut taking off into the heavens, heading for the Moon.

Has your career followed a straight line?

Positively not. I found myself in the IT world through an unbelievable twist of fate. I really am the proverbial ‘‘accidental tourist’’. In previous incarnations I have been a police officer, high-school teacher, soldier, and clergyman. I have moved about a bit and have found that institutional hierarchies and I do not always see eye-to-eye. I have a habit of asking too many questions! But there are other things which I think matter a whole lot more, and those things I have tried to let follow a straight line. However, like most people, I do not always succeed.

What would you change?

Ten years ago I probably would have said quite a few things; and five years prior to that a whole lot more. But I have increasingly come to the realisation that providence really does know best, and that all things do work together for good. We just need to hang in there.

Advice for young researchers:

Passion for your work; endurance in reaching your goals; humility with your successes; and the desire to become ‘‘builders’’. Also to read as many books as you can, to make this a life-long habit. Be predisposed to biographies. And to make sure that you surround yourselves with suitably qualified mentors. 

Next adventure:

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. (Seize the day, trust least to the future).

Citation: MG Michael, "MG Michael's Research on Uberveillance", Illawarra Mercury, November 27, 2007.

Hi-tech versus Privacy

Hi-tech vs privacy

Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

University of Wollongong senior lecturer Katina Michael researches the use of tracking technologies and their human impact. With the threat of terrorism prompting the increased use of technology to keep track of people, and talk of the reintroduction of a national ID card, KATINA MICHAEL, senior  lecturer at the University of Wollongong, researches these options with a view to their social impact.

I research emerging technologies targeted at mass market applications, and the social implications of these technologies on citizens and business. In 1996 I began researching smart cards and then in the following year expanded my interests to the wider automatic identification industry: bar code, magnetic-stripe card, biometrics, radio-frequency identification (RFID). In 2004, I further extended my research agenda to include location technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS), wireless local area networks, UHF, cellular triangulation, chip implants and geographic information  systems (GIS). 

My work explores the dynamics between technology and service providers,  customers, endusers (eg citizens) and government agencies in the process of technological innovation. I am particularly interested in the technological trajectory of the identification and location-based services (LBS) industry and use a historical method to analyse changes that have occurred over time. 

My predictive studies are based on the  current state of development and verifiable  cutting-edge research. My unit of analysis is multi-layered - the technology at the first  instance, then the application context, and finally the given product or process innovation.


Together with research students, I have developed the 3Cs and 3Ts classification of  location-based applications - Control, Care, Convenience and Tagging, Tracking, Tracing.
This approach lends itself well to usability contexts, used to analyse applications that are focused on identifying or locating objects, animals or people at varying levels of  location accuracy - from precision to proximity. 

More recently I have become interested in how emerging technologies impact social ethics and legislation. My work is aimed at influencing Australian government policy, and for that reason has broader applicability than just in the information technology sector alone.
Currently, the rekindling of the Australia Card debate, the controversial use of RFID and  Biometrics for ePassports, and the newly defined laws in telecommunications interception and anti-terrorism are important issues as they affect not only suspected terrorists and intercountry travellers but all citizens of Australia. 

Consider the 24x7 tracking of suspected terrorists or the obligatory adoption of card schemes mandated by the Government and enforced by law. The latter example appeals directly to the national security debate, in which I have been an active participant since completing my PhD. However, given the area of study, my research has as much applicability to national security as it does to the emergency management sector, as there are common approaches to aiding communication and collaboration using electronic and mobile business applications in either context. 

Perhaps my single-most passionate research area is looking at the development of the human-computer metaphor. I have been studying the implantation of chips into humans for a variety of applications, including for medical purposes. This topic brings together research from diverse fields including medical, robotics, automatic identification,  ubiquitous computing, technology trends, culture and ethics. 

Katina Michael is a senior lecturer in the School of Information Technology and Computer Science at the University of Wollongong.

Q&A

Will it save the world?

No. The best most of us can hope for is that our research plays at least a small part in the wider context of a larger research project which is considered useful to society at large. 

Years spent trying:

My first minor research project began in July 1996 and was titled Social Implications of Smart Cards: an Australian Case Study. So I guess that means I have been researching in the field for about 10 years. Are you getting anywhere? Yes. Research however is a lifelong endeavour. 

Best part of your research? 

Without a doubt it is mentoring younger scholars, collaborating with colleagues, ongoing education and helping break new ground. Have you had a true ‘‘Eureka! I’ve found it!’’ experience? Yes - founding the concepts of ‘‘electrophorus’’ and ‘‘homoelectricus’’ with DrM G Michael while collaborating on a paper. I have also had a great number of ‘‘you  beaut’’ moments, particularly while supervising my research students. 

Has it made you rich?

Not in dollar terms, but rich in experience and  perspective. What did you want to be when you were a kid? I never quite knew what I wanted  to be when I was growing up, although I liked studying English, writing poetry and being a part of theatrical productions all through primary and high school. I never set out to be an academic until after I left my previous workplace. It happened quite unexpectedly. 

Has your career followed a straight line?

I do not think I’ve had the normal academic career path, although I did a Bachelor’s degree followed by a PhD in close succession. When I finished my undergraduate studies, I had discounted further research as an option, until my husband encouraged me to work and study at the same time. It was tough but well worth it. I used my annual leave to hack away at my thesis. One of the toughest things I faced was maintaining  focus on the same research question after long periods away from the university campus but I  was passionate about my PhD topic and in the end that is what got me through the very late  nights and long haul. 

Advice for young researchers:

Persistence, hard work, integrity and passion for learning and sharing. Website: www.itacs.uow.edu.au/school/staff/katina/

Citation: Katina Michael, "Hi-Tech vs Privacy", Illawarra Mercury, October 31, 2006.