MADHATTERs Weekly – Issue 9, 17 Jan 2017

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MADHATTERs

Tech news with a HAT perspective

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Tech News this week

Sharing is so yesterday. The Information Age is over. The Age of Privacy is next. So says TechCrunch’s John Biggs as we move from the need to share all on social media to seeking security for our personal thoughts and data. At the HAT, we think privacy is a red herring. It’s a right, not a service. Like clothing. You need clothes to leave the house to walk in the park, go dancing… you need privacy so that you might do MORE on the Internet. But wait, we already interact online so maybe we’re naked, or maybe the clothing’s not right for the next phase of the Internet…ok, this metaphor is getting a bit tired now…

The privacy paradox. Remember how Cousin Bob threw a hissy fit when you shared his photo on Facebook? If he’s so uptight about his privacy, why is he sharing all his health info with that fitness app? Turns out that while most of us care about our online privacy, we’re also likely to disclose more than we think we’d like to, thanks to the abstract nature of privacy. But honestly, it really is not JUST about privacy. Privacy is linked to vulnerability and cousin Bob was just feeling vulnerable. Awwwwww…I mean, he spent months building that amazing image of himself on Facebook and you ruined it all with that one drunken photo. Seriously, if he wanted to look gross, he would have orchestrated that perfect duck face, right? Get with the program…

The old techies are joining the privacy party…FOMO much? Microsoft has just launched a new web-based privacy dashboard and a ‘new privacy set up experience’ so that users like Cousin Bob can control their activity data and how it’s collected and used. £10 says he won’t give a toss…

And regulators want to play catch up. Europe’s strict e-Privacy rules on data for telcos may soon apply to the likes of Facebook and WhatsApp, and even Apple and Google. It seems telcos have been crying foul for years that they have to adhere to stricter privacy rules than Internet companies. This is an interesting one to watch coz regulators think they should treat both sectors the same. A bit like treating the water supply company the same way as they treat Evian because they both deal with…er…water…maybe? Maybe not?

Be Cautious About…

App permissions. Companies could be collecting more data then they need through that free app you downloaded, and selling it on to third parties. Remember, no such thing as a free lunch. So check what you’ve agreed to, and wait till it’s adtime on TV then start purging your rarely-used phone apps! It’s a good workout, we promise you…

Autofill. They make life easier, but you may be giving out personal information to phishers. Protect yourself by disabling the function on your browser or settings. The HAT solves this…hopefully soon!

Impress Your Friends With…

Virtual planking. This new VR exercise machine takes getting fit to new heights, literally…

Geek Out On…

More Crystal Maze. The hit 90s game show, a forerunner of today’s escape rooms, looks set to return to TV screens as a full series. The Crystal Dome – and new host Richard Ayoade – beckons…

It’s Never too Early…

Remember the Ladybird reading series for kids? We have a new one…A lawyer who’s rewritten and simplified Instagram’s Ts & Cs in plain English has made it easier for Gen Z kids to understand their privacy rights on social networks. New generation skills, people!

And Finally…

Machine learning lessons. Curious about how Alexa understands your questions and instructions? The Economist explains how machines learned to speak human language.

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HAT News

HATDeX has released a shiny new website as it gets ready to launch its strategic fundraising round. Check it out – you’ll love it! The funding round opens end-Jan so if you want to invest, send us an email. “HATDeX is about putting into practice a revolutionary new way of exchanging data – the HAT way. This site properly champions that. I hope you like it; feedback always welcome, so drop me a line,” says Community Manager Jonathan Holtby.

Also introducing the Hub of All Events. For anyone working or studying data privacy and digital technology in London or Cambridge, the HAT is publishing a new open events calendar. Add this to your own agenda with this ICAL link, or invite this email address (tn58gs7gva69i910lgukhcapd0@group.calendar.google.com) to your events to have it automatically shared with the community.

The HAT Community Foundation (HCF) and Wolfson College Cambridge are hosting the inaugural Wolfson-HAT Annual Symposium on the Digital Person in March/April 2017. Come along and join in on the conversation around digital personhood. Places are limited, so register for your free place now!

Noteworthy Notables

This week on Notables, HATDeX Chief Economist Irene Ng has posed an exam question to ponder over.

 

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