WhatsApp will now allow businesses to contact you, and they’ll share your phone number, your contacts, the last time you used the app, and more, with their parent company – Facebook. This from a company that, only two years ago, at the time of the Facebook acquisition, said “Respect for your privacy is coded into our DNA”. Sorry, WhatsApp, this is not how DNA works. Fortunately, there is a very good alternative, and it’s just as easy to use – Signal Private Messenger (for Android or iOS).
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has decided that census data should no longer be anonymous, and our names and addresses should be linked deterministically to our responses into the future. This is a bad idea, and not the only reason the 2016 census turned into #censusfail. In the lead up to census day, there were many discussions between folks concerned about their privacy about what we could do to protect it.
- Today is census day in Australia, usually a chance for Australians to help “count the nation” and create a snapshot dataset to be used for effective government policy making. But the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has gradually introduced more invasive techniques to the census over the last few decades. This year, they topped it off by taking it online, extending their retention of identifying data and avoiding any external critique by privacy organisations.
- We are a movement of technologists who care about digital privacy enough to use our skills (be they development, design, analysis, testing, security, crypto, usability or writing) to make a difference. That means helping to build and improve software for everyday people to maintain their privacy online, and establishing ourselves as a relevant and credible voice in the privacy debate. Our community has been growing, and we’ve been contributing to Pixelated, as well running meetups, talks, and virtual hack nights.
- Our next virtual hack night is this Wednesday (25th May). This time we are going to focus on scratching our own itch – the Pixelated development environment. To kick off, Andrew will speak for 30 mins about why free and open source software is essential for digital privacy, followed by Q&A (technology permitting). Then we’ll roll into our hack night. We’ve run lots of Pixelated hack nights, and we’ve spent a lot of time getting people’s development environments up and running.