Citation: Katina Michael with Caitlin Dugan, June 20, 2019, “Father Pleads for Access to Encrypted Data from WhatsApp”, ABC Illawarra Radio.
Citation: Katina Michael with Caitlin Dugan, June 20, 2019, “Facebook's Cryptocurrency - Calibra”, ABC Illawarra Radio.
6.30 AM Bulletin
university of wollongong. social media expert says the launch of facebook crypto-currency could dramatically change the global banking system. katina michael, says the move by the us tech giant puts pressure on regulators in australia to catch-up. while the company has a huge amount of users who might be swayed into using digital currency. professor michael says the trust in social media companies, needs to be questioned. should be trusting the company that generates fake news and abide by that he should be trusting a company told how data to marketing firm
8.30 AM Bulletin
plans by social media giant facebook to launch online cryptocurrency could spark a huge challenge for australian banks and credit unions, according to university of wollongong expert katina michael, the move would allow users to buy digital currency that could be used globally after being adjusted to the country's exchange rates. professor michael says it will be difficult territory for regulators
9.30 AM Bulletin
says the launch of facebook cryptocurrency could dramatically change the global banking system. katina michael, says the move by the us tech giant puts pressure on regulated in australia to catch up. while the company has a huge amount of users who might be swayed into using their digital currency.professor michael says trust in social media companies need to be questioned
Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler, March 27, 2019, “Facebook Bans White Nationalism and White Separatism”, Motherboard, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/nexpbx/facebook-bans-white-nationalism-and-white-separatism
Joseph Cox and Jason Koebler, August 23 2018, “The Impossible Job: Inside Facebook’s Struggle to Moderate Two Billion People”, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/xwk9zd/how-facebook-content-moderation-works
Sasha Ingber, March 27, 2019, “Facebook Bans White Nationalism And Separatism Content From Its Platforms”, NPR, https://www.npr.org/2019/03/27/707258353/facebook-bans-white-nationalism-and-separatism-content-from-its-platforms
Katina Michael with Linsday McDougall, March 19, 2019, “Facebook Livestreaming and the NZ Massacre: A question of corporate responsibility”, ABC Illawarra Radio: Drive, https://radioinfo.com.au/news/lindsay-doctor-mcdougall-loves-illawarra-hosts-new-abc-drive-program.
Thanks also to ABC Producers Rory McDonald and Jake Cupitt.
A University of Wollongong data expert has labeled the government's proposed encryption laws delusional and warns they could have catastrophic consequences.
The changes would force technology companies to help police access encrypted messages.
Professor Katina Michael, from the School of Computing and Information Technology says the powers are unprecedented and have no oversight.
She is speaking to ABC reporter Kelly Fuller.
Citation: Katina Michael with Kelly Fuller, “Rushed Encryption Laws Herald a Watering Down in National Security”, ABC Illawarra: Radio, 6 December 2018, https://soundcloud.com/kelfuller/data-expert-warns-encryption-laws-could-have-catastrophic-outcomes
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
Katina Michael with Nick Rheinberger, "Is encryption a human right?", ABC Illawarra: Mornings, May 18, 2018.
Citation: Katina Michael and Lindsay 'The Doctor' McDougall. "Cybersafety and Children: Location-Based Apps, Privacy and Social Implications", ABC Illawarra: Drive, January 30, 2018, https://soundcloud.com/doctormcdougall/your-schoolkids-and-uberveillance
Why people voluntarily promote businesses
University of Wollongong professor Katina Michael studies the psychological impacts of social media, and said the business/customer relationship could benefit both parties.
"These days, people like to be associated with brands, not just global brands, but local brands," she said.
"People feel they're getting something back, even if it's in-kind, which is about building their persona and reputation online, and local organisations can help you do that."
While some people are paid with cash or products to promote items on their social networks, those people are almost always major influencers with a large following.
The reality is that people with a much smaller following who post stylised promotional photos in the hope of picking up a sponsorship are simply advertising a company for free.
Professor Michael said while it could be a win-win for businesses and customers, people should be aware that at the heart of it was a commercial message.
"We should be aware these are business messages and their message is sales maximisation and we are consumers," she said.
Citation: Justin Huntsdale, Scott Murray, Lisa Trujillo and Katina Michael, "From breakfast to business boon: How Instagram photos have become priceless free publicity", ABC Illawarra 97.3 Mornings with Nick Rheinberger, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-02/stylish-instagram-posts-become-free-advertising-for-businesses/8763778
Citation: Katina Michael with Tony Arthurs, "Theresa May Calls for Internet Regulation but is the Internet Really to Blame for Terrorism?" ABC Illawarra: Mornings, 97.2, 8 June 2017, 9.12am-9.26am.
Citation: Katina Michael with Nick Rheinberger, April 10, 2017, "Robots at Aged Care Facilities", ABC Illawarra, Mon. 8.20-8.30am, http://www.abc.net.au/illawarra/programs/illawarra_mornings/
Report by Jusin Huntsdale, ABC Illawarra
Social media monitoring apps targeting programs like Facebook and Instagram are revealing alarming habitual behaviour and extreme levels of smart phone use.
You may not realise it, but you are probably reaching for your smart phone with high frequency.
It just takes a free app to give you the cold, hard statistics.
"If you ask people to report on how often they use their smart phones, they may under report or they may be missing information and consider themselves average users," University of Wollongong technology expert Professor Katina Michael said.
"We see others on smart phones at train stations, bus stops and at work and we think it's become a normalised activity."
Professor Michael is an ambassador for a free app called Anti Social, which not only displays time spent on social media, but also the number of times a user unlocks their home screen and compares the data to other demographics.
She said people are usually shocked at the results.
"It's aimed at everyone because no-one is immune to smart phone addiction or any form of internet addiction," she said.
The demographic most at risk
Professor Michael said she was most concerned about adolescents' social media use.
Not only are they exposed to the risk of addiction, there is also the fear of missing out on seeing things that are posted to social media.
Technology is also a compulsory part of their education as tablets and computers are used to access school resources.
"We are seeing a huge wave of technology into our education systems, and it's allegedly supposed to be bettering our literacy levels and our maths and science skills, but what we see is the increase of technology actually decreases students' ability to read and speak to others clearly," she said.
"We are seeing younger children exposed to [electronic] tablets without any nuanced control of what media literacy is.
"Most psychologists — including one of the famous ones — Kimberly Young [who specialises in internet addiction] says there should be zero screen time between the ages of birth and three."
Professor Michael said statistics showed many young people were spending a cumulative 3.5 hours per day on social media, and it is not surprising that many are either not completing homework or are struggling with assessments.
"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 said.
"[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."
How to address the problem of social media addiction
Apps such as Anti Social work on the assumption that people are aware of social media addiction and want to do something about it.
However a large proportion of the population who have a social media addiction are likely to not even know it.
"What we need to do is get the discussion going between parents and children, between teachers and children, and employers and employees," Professor Michael said.
"A quarter of the workforce uses the internet for non-related work activities at work, we're losing in productivity and having young people mesmerised by this gadgetry.
"It's about teaching our young people independence and responsible use of the technology."
She said young people needed to balance their technology use with some form of physical or real-life social activity.
Part-time work can also be helpful in reducing the amount of time available to spend on social media.
"[This way] there's less appeal to be there because they're not bored," Professor Michael said.
"We need to replace some of this addiction behaviour with real physical activity in the real world."
ABC Illawarra 97.3: Nick Rheinberger Speaks with Katina Michael on Bots, Trump and Social Media Addiction. Aired on February 9, 2017.
What role did psychographics play in the Trump election? How did Cambridge Analytica create personality profiles using the OCEAN approach conjoined with Facebook likes. Do social media companies know more about you than your friends, work colleagues, family, even yourself? What role did political bots play in the defeat of Hilary Clinton and how have these bots been used elsewhere, for example, in countries like Syria? Are you worried about your social media use? Is it excessive? How might you know? Check out Bugbean's App called AntiSocial where you can monitor your usage statistics and do a 2 week challenge to see how you fair against others. For more visit: https://youtu.be/YVSblQbfTrE
Katina Michael, January 11, 2016, "Sounding the alarm over new wi-fi enabled toys", ABC Illawarra.
"Are biometric passwords safe?
In 2013, India rolled out the biggest and most ambitious biometric identity system in the world.
The Aadhaar system collects the iris and fingerprint records for Indian adults and children, with each given a 12-digit identity number.
Dr Michael says the scheme is dangerous and open to problems.
"A lot of advocates in the privacy space are asking 'how can we prove that biometrics on that scale are unique'?
"We know they're unique on a scale of 50 million people, but we don't know at a scale of 1.2 billion, and there's no legislation to support a mandatory adoption [of the scheme]."
She says there is an inherent problem of giving away information that can never be changed.
While you can easily change your password, you can't change your fingerprint or the patterns in your eye.
"We're now giving away a lot of data and there's nothing to prove this will reduce terrorism, fraud or drug mafias participating in money laundering."
What are the other password alternatives?
Visit England and you'll find a country that has not only become accustomed to a largely cashless society, but is open to technology replacing the traditional password.
A Lloyds Bank survey of Brits found half expected to replace cash with new technology, a third would be open to wearable technology as a payment method, and seven per cent even said they'd be willing to use embedded microchips in their bodies.
Practically, someone would select their items from a shop and scan a device either inside them or worn externally on the way out to pay.
The rise of PayPass technology on credit cards without the use of a PIN shows these concepts are not far from reality.
But for now, passwords remain crucial to accessing your personal accounts online, and Katina Michael says there are a number of ways to protect yourself from account hacking and identity theft.
- Don't reuse the same password
- Don't use a dictionary word as a password
- Don't use a short password
- Give bogus answers to security questions
- Use a unique, secure email address for password recovery"
Citation: Justin Huntsdale,September 18, 2015, "Wearing your password on your sleeve in the new age of identity protection", ABC Illawarra, http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/09/16/4313657.htm
"A wolf in sheep's clothing
Social media is presented as a fun, innovative and exciting technology we should give ourselves to because it's a major part of modern business and keeping up to date.
Social media addiction is a special area of interest for University of Wollongong technology lecturer Associate Professor Katina Michael.
She researches how emerging technology affects society and says we have created a 'look down' generation, where people are now obsessed with using social media on their smart phones.
But like anything that stimulates our brain to release feel-good chemicals, it needs to be kept in check, and when it doesn't, the consequences of this new technology are looking bad.
"Some of the implications are grave - some people have begun to link social media addiction with feelings of anxiety, depression and mental health issues," Associate Professor Michael says.
"It can trigger an obsessive compulsive disorder, but increasingly the social impacts on health have yet to be defined.
"We don't have names for the health implications yet because we're just starting to see the effects of it."
How to know when you're addicted?
You might be suffering from a social media addiction without even knowing it.
Katina Michael says you may be hooked if:
You get anxious when you wake up and feel pressure to access your social media accounts, and you do so while you're still in bed.
When you're not on Facebook, you're preoccupied with it even if you're not online.
You close the Facebook screen and instantaneously re-open it and not know why.
You hear social media notifications come through on your phone and act on them, even if you're in the middle of a conversation."
Citation: Katina Michael with Justin Huntsdale, "Unliking Facebook - the social media addiction that has you by the throat", ABC Illawarra, http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2015/01/23/4177043.htm
University of Wollongong Professor and Vice-Chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation, Dr Katina Michael, says that vital pieces of information are being sent to places that we have no control over.
"It's costing us our privacy," she says.
"There is a value attached to information and we must understand that... all that general value that you perceive you're gaining, you're actually losing."
Coles revealed that customers using a Coles Flybuys card are having their data shared with up to 30 different organisations owned by Westfarmers and with third parties in 23 other countries.
Information shared includes an individuals name, personal contact details, household details and transaction history as well as their buying behaviour and interests.
Dr Michael says that organisations should not only release their privacy policies but disclose specific information about where the data is going.
"Consumers should be asking, who are their alliances, who are their partners, who are they selling our private information to and what is the value of this information?"
Countries that Coles have named include the United States, Mexico, South Africa and Argentina as well as countries in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
"This is vital information about individuals in Australia that is being sent to countries that we really don't have much control over in terms of breaches," she says.
"They do not declare if our data has been compromised... these countries that lack privacy laws and principles can go about their business and not declare that a security breach has occurred with your data."