Australians need to speak up more on areas of national significance.

Australians need to speak-up more on areas of national significance.

In the 70’s university students hit the Streets. Now traditional media and social media do make a difference.

We already have AI that set machines up to do tests and they get better results than humans doing law and accountancy exams. Imagine what AI might occur on My Health Records to predict how many Australians are likely to get various diseases.

I am concerned that those with access to the data will come from the right intent in making decisions for our citizens. Most breaches of data come from within originations that have access to them. I am sorry, I do not believe that insurance companies will not get access to this data so they can make more money rather than protect the citizens they are responsible for.  The media is regularly reporting how greed came first in our banking and insurance industries.

The EU has put their citizens’ rights first, not last.  Extending the opt out times, deleting records permanently and enforcing police to have warrants is not enough.   For chronic diseases this is brilliant. Why can’t we opt in instead.  Australian Citizens future human rights are at risk.

Others Acting On Your Consent

Computer science has come a long way since Alan Turing, a Cambridge University mathematician cracked the enigma code. Machine learning is changing the way we engage with technology. Amazon’s Alexia and Apple’s Siri listen in for our commands and predict what we want. Facebook introduced id enabled voice and facial recognition by adding code which was cool until our trust was breached.

Facebook was punished recently because they allowed someone to do something they were not allowed to do. For years, our data has been manipulated without our knowledge. Governments around the world are playing catch up to the wild west of artificial intelligence and are now tightening up on privacy laws with significant fines. However, in Australia I think they have got it wrong.  Asking people to trust our personal data via the Government’s My Health Record portal is a big no no.

I value my privacy and our health records are about as intimate as it gets. I for one don’t want to share my records and will be opting out. I do not want my Health records shared with 12,960 health organizations and up to 900,000 health professionals.

In fact, I don’t see any health benefits at all. All I see are risks. Remember the Australian Bureau of Statistics Censes two years ago. In 2016, the Australian Bureau of Statistics government database was hacked by overseas hackers in a deliberate act to shut it down and sabotage the national survey. The government had promoted it as un-hackable.

Compiling all data in Australia for the sake of good medicine is fraught with danger. I just don’t trust this data won’t be compromised.

Incidentally, I tried to opt out online and received a message that I have to ring the office and quote a number they gave me to be able to opt out. The right to be forgotten in not as easy as you think. When I get time later today I will ring the office. Fingers crossed, I won’t be on hold for an hour. What a waste of my time. I have to ring the office, even though I have given them the information (two forms of identification, saying I want to opt out).

The media is reporting there has been a surge in opt out’s in the last week.  I bet there would be more if you didn’t have to go through so many hoops to do so

Manipulating Data and our right to be Private

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is something we take for granted. AI technologies have algorithms that analyze our behavior allowing for real time marketing to us which is more likely to convert.

Companies like Netflix and Spotify gather this audience data so they can target more precisely. I love that Netflix’s finds great movie recommendations and how Spotify knows your taste in music amongst millions of songs. They analyze what we watch and listen to multiple times, what we rewind and fast forwarded so they can make the best recommendations. From a privacy perspective, I don’t have a problem with this analysis.

One thing I don’t like is how AI is being manipulated without my knowledge. I recently searched for an electric plug to be used overseas and immediately an advert for it started appearing on my Facebook feed. I wasn’t impressed. Then I started looking for an airfare ticket online and the old price kept popping up even though I had refreshed the page. My friend had found a better price on the same site so I was annoyed. Thank goodness, my daughter alerted me to Chrome’s “new incognito window” so I can search without the online travel site manipulating me into paying a higher price.

Manipulating Data and third party vendors have been helping businesses target us for years. However now that data rules are changing and EU’s GDPR privacy rules have come into effect I expect a few manipulators will be caught out. If you have a European citizens as customers then compliance is compulsory. Any person processed by an EU Data Controller and their processes irrespective of geography either directly or indirectly can be fined 4% of their global income.

Privacy has changed and businesses who use AI to market to us now need to step up and become educated or they might be stepping out of the market with a hefty fine.

Want to know about how to become GDPR Compliant? Check out details here. 

Building Digital Trust

Our personal data says a lot about each of us and what we are doing online – what we have read, done and where we have been and who is part of our network. It is our health status, our financial decisions our political and religious beliefs and affiliations. It is a history of our desires and if we want to book a holiday or if we have signed up for a service or updated our browser.

Artificial intelligence algorithms can check our buying patterns on our credit cards and predict when we are ready to buy a new home or likely to be shopping for baby clothes or holidays. This intelligence can be used to sell us other things and influence who we buy from.

The new Privacy laws in Europe (GDPR) are actually giving individuals the right to be private and not be governed merely by the terms and conditions we click yes to, so we can get on with our transactions. Individuals are not protecting themselves so privacy legislators are putting in place measures so that individual’s rights are protected.

Individuals are saying life is too short to decipher the fine print which has left us open to be exploited online. The new EU GDPR mandatory legislation provides tools to strengthen our rights and allow people to take back control of their data. The mandatory compliance might be more work for business, however, it is really about putting the consumer and citizens first.

The Victorian Information Commissioner is on a panel with business leaders and lawyers talking about the EU’s GDPR mandatory compliance and what it means for Australian business. At the event on 20 June in Melbourne, we will discuss legislation, #GDPR the requirements for increased transparency and accountability from organization’s and the rules to protect us all against theft and loss of data with serious sanctions and fines for those that deliberately or negligently misuse data.