Both the state and commercial sector have a disgraceful record of respecting people's data privacy. From the state's viewpoint, surveillance data is way too valuable, for law enforcement, censorship and societal control, to allow people to have any
avenue for privacy. Meanwhile commercial companies, notably Facebook, Google, credit reference agencies, and more or less any website that wants to earn a bit more money from advertising, have all abused people's data mercilessly. And then of course
there are also the hackers, scammers and identity thieves that prey on any data they can steal.
And every one of these snoopers has been continually claiming that they can be trusted with your data. It doesn't matter how often their lies are found
out, they continue to make the same claims.
It is little wonder then that a significant number of people are a little unwilling to sign up for Big Brother surveillance, however well intentioned, the state, and its commercial partners, simply can't
Something that perhaps politicians are starting to realise in Australia. The government as been aggressively pushing its covid tracking app for a week or so, but has got nowhere near the required take up.
app was launched on Sunday April 26. About a million people downloaded it within the first day, but that trailed off with only a tenth of that installing it by the end of the week. The current tally is that about 4 million people downloaded the app, out
of a population of about 26 million.
The Federal Government has warned that millions more Australians need to download the app and has threatened that if they don't, then the lockdown won't be eased.
In fact opposition to the app has
appeared even from the Australian panel of experts working to fight the pandemic.One of Australia's top advisers to the World Health Health Organisation refuses to download the app. University of NSW professor Mary-Louise McLaws said until she knew more
about where the data it collected was stored and secured, she couldn't install it. In particular she is concerned the personal data could be accessed through Amazon's servers under U.S. law.
The government has resorted to all but declaring the
40% threshold is necessary for pubs to open and life to go back to normal. Critics slammed this rhetoric as emotional blackmail, noting that it is hardly likely to win people over.
Of course one of the possible outcomes is that the authorities could
go down the Chinese route and make the app more or less mandatory.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is accelerating its proposals to require social media companies to sare revenue obtained from sharing or linking to Australian media sources.
A mandatory code being developed by the ACCC will
include penalties for Google, Facebook and other media platforms that share news content.
The code originally scheduled for November 2020 is being brought forward as newspapers struggle for income in coronavirus lockdown.
The code originally
required internet companies to negotiate in good faith on how to pay news media for use of their content, advise news media in advance of algorithm changes that would affect content rankings, favour original source news content in search page results,
and share data with media companies. But of course limited success in early negotiations between the platforms and the news industry has led to more of a mandatory imposition approach.
Now a draft code will be finalised by the end of July.