When Cameras can Hear and See: The Implications of Behavioural Biometrics

Ms Jennifer Luu is a student at the University of Technology, Sydney completing a Bachelor of Journalism. She also has begun producing stories at 2SER. I am appreciative that our interview on behavioural biometrics was recorded and transcribed by Jennifer herself. Above an audio download, and the full transcription available here.

Spying on MPs

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Katina MichaelUniversity of Wollongong
Eliza HarveyABC Radio

Abstract

An expectation of privacy- the spying phenomenon. Do law enforcement agencies spy on citizens? Do they have a legitimate right to track someone?

Suggested Citation

Katina Michael and Eliza Harvey. "Spying on MPs" ABC Radio: The World Today (News and Current Affairs Radio) Nov. 2013: 12.25pm-12.30pm.

The Spying Landscape in Australia

With spying and phone tapping allegations back in the news, how concerned should the average Australian be about privacy?

The vice-chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, Dr Katina Michael, speaks about phone tapping, GPS tracking devices and other ways our personal information can be taken and traded.

Key Link

Katina MichaelUniversity of Wollongong
Paula TapiolasABC Radio

Abstract

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Spy applications and devices are proliferating in Australia. What is the response of the Australian Privacy Foundation (APF)?

Suggested Citation

Katina Michael and Paula Tapiolas. "The Spying Landscape in Australia" ABC Radio North Queensland: Mornings with Paula Tapiolas (630 ABC) Nov. 2013: 9.30-9.50.

Living In A Smart World

Key Link

Authors

Author: Tiffany Hoy, Editor: Wang Yuanyuan, Global Times - Xinhua China
Katina MichaelUniversity of Wollongong

Abstract

As "smart" devices continue to advance, government regulation is lagging far behind, leaving citizens vulnerable to giving away their private information without their knowledge, said Katina Michael, vice chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation.

People sometimes don't even know what embedded sensors are in the devices that they're carrying, Michael said, but the information that they record can be pieced together to create a frightening surveillance profile. "There are many social implications if I know your whereabouts 24 x 7. I can track your location history, for example -- I know exactly where you were on the Earth's surface, I know how fast you were traveling which tells me your mode of transport, if any, and I'm probably able to infer what you were doing," said Michael.

"If I know through the devices that you're carrying: who you are -- through your ID, where you are -- through GPS or wifi enablement, when you were there -- through a timestamp, and what you were doing -- through the visual imagery you are taking photos or records of, then we pretty much know what is actually in your mind," she added.

Moving towards a more transparent society, where mobile recording devices can be used to capture what's happening at any given time -- with life-bloggers recording every waking moment through autography devices, and police use dashboard cameras and headsets to record video later used as evidence in court, also comes with a trade-off: the erosion of personal privacy.

"There's an asymmetry involved here. The wearer of these wearable devices is always a more powerful constituent in this relationship. Those individuals who choose not to be a part of this new information society may find themselves on the wrong side of any particular imbalance," Michael said. "The asymmetry gets greater and greater as the number of devices grow, (between) those that have wearables and those who don't, and those who don't wish to participate and live off-grid. "Yes we understand that once we step out our front door we can' t expect privacy. But private things can be gathered, such as the clothes that we wear, the places that we frequent, if I want to go to a religious building on a weekend ... I should have an expectation of privacy and there should not be recordings of me going about my everyday life," she added.

Suggested Citation

Global Times - Xinhua China and Katina Michael. "Living in a smart world" Global Times Jun. 2013.

Glogging Your Every Move

Key Link

Authors

Lisa WachsmuthIllawarra Mercury
Katina MichaelUniversity of Wollongong

Article comments

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/956192/glogging-your-every-move/?src=rss

Abstract

"It is one thing to lug technologies around, another thing to wear them, and even more intrusive to bear them... But that's the direction in which we're headed."

"I think we're entering an era of person-view systems which will show things on ground level and will be increasingly relayed to others via social media.

"We've got people wearing recording devices on their fingers, in their caps or sunglasses - there are huge legal and ethical implications here."

Suggested Citation

Lisa Wachsmuth and Katina Michael. "Glogging Your Every Move" Illawarra Mercury: News Nov. 2012: 10. Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kmichael/298

Full article in text here:

YOU wake up, it's a hot day so you put on your smart clothes that keep you cool; you lace up your smart shoes which track your movements while every moment of your day is recorded via an implant in your eyeball.

Sounds like science fiction but the technology is already available and it won't be long before body wearable - and implantable - technologies are ever present, according to a University of Wollongong academic.

Associate Professor Katina Michael said people were already comfortable "wearing" devices like pedometers and iPods - and there were even a number of "voluntary microchip implantees" including Australians.

"It is one thing to lug technologies around, another thing to wear them, and even more intrusive to bear them," she said. "But that's the direction in which we're headed."

Emerging body-wearable technologies were becoming more sophisticated and less visible, said Prof Michael, who will host an IEEE International Symposium of Technology and Society in Canada next year.

"You already see people running around with iPod pockets around their arms, or with a heart-rate monitor on at the gym," she said.

"Over the next few years these devices will become less obvious and more integrated with our clothing and accessories. We'll be wearing smart necklaces and earrings, smart glasses and headbands, smart shoes and belt buckles.

"These smart devices will make 'augmented reality' a part of our daily lives; we'll be able to take photos and video, to collect geographical data about where we've been and physiological data such as our heart rate."

A lot of this technology is already in use - extreme sports people wear cameras with built-in GPS; police officers use special sunglasses to record situations and location-based shoes monitor people with dementia.

"Most of these devices were developed for the military and are now enjoying popularity as commercial devices," Prof Michael said.

She collaborates with Prof Steve Mann from the University of Toronto, who is renowned for his eyetap device - a bit like the Google glasses available to buy in 2014 - which he uses to record his life.

"Steve coined the term 'sous-veillance' which unlike surveillance - watching from above - is about watching from below, by having a camera looking out from your body," she said.

"There's already many 'life bloggers' or 'gloggers' who record their lives - it's a bit like having a black box recorder on your person.

"I think we're entering an era of person-view systems which will show things on ground level and will be increasingly relayed to others via social media."

However, the technologies were emerging so fast that the laws - and social mores - surrounding them could not keep up.

"We've got people like Jonathan Oxer, an Australian who has a microchip implanted in his arm so he can open the door to his house without a key," she said.

"We've got Canadian film-maker Rob Spence who replaced his false eye with a camera-eye so he can record everything he sees.

"We've got people wearing recording devices on their fingers, in their caps or sunglasses - there are huge legal and ethical implications here."

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.