MADHATTERs – Issue 4: 6 Dec 2016


MADHATTERs – the weekly magazine on tech news with a HAT perspective

We’re totally biased – towards personal data/digital empowerment, greater control, privacy, security, confidentiality and freedom.

But we are pro-innovation, pro-economy; yes, some problems are complex, loads of tensions and we need innovation!

Subscribe to MADHATTERS here. Get your HAT on here. Businesses, get involved here


This week on the HAT

Where in the world are HATTERs? We have the results! Only 32 of you accepted the data offers but this was enough to know that you come from 6 different countries! Here’s the map.

HAT on social media. Don’t forget to like the HAT on Facebook and keep yourself informed of all things HAT-related. And follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn! Want more? Join the HAT Foundation Facebook private group and access inside news before it hits the public.

Noteworthy Notables

A gifting season. Remember, we’re giving away £5 Amazon vouchers for the best quote on Notables! It can be an existing one, or an original quote from you. Just put it on a notable (access via Rumpel), and post it on MarketSquare.  Have a look at all the quotes that are up on the Notables chatter here.

Quick Take on Tech News

Calling for data populists. Big tech firms harvesting much of the world’s data has given them advanced AI capabilities. And immense power. So who do you call? Data populists, to fight for the rights of those who provide the data – us. We fight to be given access to our own data, and further, to actually own and control it. And that corporations could pay us to use our data and its AI capabilities, not the other way round. This is what we at the HAT have been saying all along: that individuals should control our data and content. To have more collective bargaining power over what the Internet does with our data. Let the fight begin.

Be careful what you Google for. News dissemination in the Internet era is becoming an information war. Research shows that everyone’s favourite search engine and social network are being ‘gamed’ to create a right-wing propaganda ecosystem. And influence people’s views and opinions, just through search results alone. The political and social implications are chilling: cue recent populist political upsets. There are now calls for Google and Facebook to have ‘algorithmic accountability’. Here’s what we think: In a world where GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is in full force (read the implications here), we’ll synchronise our data with organisations, so essentially we’ll be ‘removing’ our data from their custody and instead keep it with us, yet still make it accessible for Internet services. If we do that and share only for specific uses, the quantity of personal data sat in all the Internet companies will be vastly reduced – the duplication can stop. This is good; we will reduce personal data vulnerabilities and risks. But what’s important is that it chokes the selling of personal data. So all the psychological profiling, targeting that comes from it; the social and political engineering, become a lot harder. And bots can follow you less around the Internet. That means ads become less effective, and hopefully, dry up the supply of click-baiting fake news, nipping all of this in the bud. We can only hope.

Life – and data – is a lottery. Some 26,000 National Lottery accounts were feared hacked last week. Not the first time this has happened with online accounts. Certainly won’t be the last either. We look forward to the day where we don’t have our data sitting in so many Internet services – which just increases the vulnerability of users. In a HAT world, we would synchronise our data with these services, and reduce the risk of our personal data being exposed.

Be Cautious About…

User profiling. Earlier, we talked about Google and Facebook algorithms being used to profile and influence people. The Clickclickclick web experiment tracks you in real time to show how far-reaching – and creepy – user profiling is. Bothered? Here’s how to delete whatever Google has on you.

Location tracking. Uber now collects your location data even after your trip ends. The ride-sharing service says it’s to improve drop-offs and pick-ups. If you say no, turn off location sharing on its app.

Impress Your Friends With…

Your own app. Everyone can become an app developer now with Google’s App Maker. 

Geek Out on…

The poo button. How a hack of the Amazon Dash button helps track bathroom visits, and more…

Are You Being Served?

Delivery robots. A bunch of autonomous robots is roaming around Greenwich in London delivering takeaways for Just Eat. Wonder if you need to tip them…

And Finally…

Get in the mood. Just a matter of time before sex toys joined the IoT. Tech has never been more risqué…

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