Privacy threats: more than hacking or unauthorised surveillance

When we talk about privacy problems, we tend to focus on the collection or use of personal data without that person’s informed consent – for instance, hacking, unauthorised access, staff (mis)behaviour, or automated data collection.   However, a person’s privacy may be compromised even when they willingly agreed to share their data. Dan Nunan and … Continue reading Privacy threats: more than hacking or unauthorised surveillance

Would providing financial incentives to use health and fitness wearables work?

In recent years, there have been suggestions that doctors should prescribe the use of health and fitness wearables to get people moving and to fight rising obesity levels. Others have suggested that employers and insurance providers should incentivise the use of wearables, for instance by funding their acquisition, or by reducing insurance premiums.   These … Continue reading Would providing financial incentives to use health and fitness wearables work?

Not in front of Alexa, dear

In a recent episode of the “Let's talk about tech – Tech phone-in” podcast, the presenters were debating the extent to which smart voice assistants like Alexa presented a security and privacy threat. Fevzi Turkalp, from GadgetDetective.com, explained: The way that Alexa works (…) is that the smart bit of it is done on the … Continue reading Not in front of Alexa, dear

What do Facebook and Youtube have in common with 19th century cameras?

Many of us may worry that less than flattering images about ourselves will find their way to Facebook or Youtube. I know I do. After all, most people have a camera on them, all the time (their phones). And it only takes a few clicks to post a picture or video online.   So, it … Continue reading What do Facebook and Youtube have in common with 19th century cameras?

October 2015 round up

October was busy. Very busy. This included a lot of firefighting, which I tend to find very draining. My #5pm pictures show that I spent a lot of time at my desk. But, unfortunately, only a minority of that time was spent on writing or, for that matter, on anything remotely related to research. Instead, my month … Continue reading October 2015 round up

UK attitude towards monitoring of internet and mobile communications is surprisingly tolerant

I wonder if you can help me make sense of this. I came across a survey by YouGov for Amnesty International, published earlier this month, about the attitudes of people from 13 countries* towards government surveillance. According to this data, UK residents are more likely than the (study’s) average to support mass surveillance by government … Continue reading UK attitude towards monitoring of internet and mobile communications is surprisingly tolerant

Young Saudi females and their smartphones

That picture of a 13 year old’s mobile home screen reminded me of a really interesting paper written by Sunila Lobo and Silvia Elaluf-Calderwood (who is a whizz about all things mobile) on how young female Saudis use their smartphones. The paper is available here, though, unfortunately, it is behind a paywall.   The research … Continue reading Young Saudi females and their smartphones

How can we make danger more palpable?

I was clearing my e-mail inbox, and came across this link to a news article on the BBC website. It illustrates a very common marketing trick, but with a twist. The old trick Products have a mixture of tangible and intangible attributes. Tangible attributes can be seen and felt and, thus, offer a good clue … Continue reading How can we make danger more palpable?

The role of employees in keeping customer data safe

Most of us will remember a particularly good (or bad) encounter that completely lifted (or destroyed) our consumption experience. I, for instance, have had consistently good interactions with staff at John Lewis who will, generally, go out of their way to help me find an item in store. Conversely, there is this little, family restaurant that serves … Continue reading The role of employees in keeping customer data safe