New blockchain tools are helping people reclaim control of their online identities

New blockchain tools are helping people reclaim control of their online identities

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF You lost control of your online information, and your online identity, almost a decade ago, but now companies are using new technologies to help you regain control of it   The Sovrin Foundation, a non profit organisation who’s building a range of online “Self-Sovereign Identity” and...

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Dreamcatchers, researchers announce they can see into people’s dreams

Dreamcatchers, researchers announce they can see into people’s dreams

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We already have the nascent technology that allows us to stream live movies from people’s minds but streaming dreams has been illusive because we didn’t know where they originated, until now.   Throughout the Millennia our dreams, and our ability to dream, has fuelled everything...

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Researchers use brain scanning tech to stream movies from peoples brains

Researchers use brain scanning tech to stream movies from peoples brains

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The brain is one of the most complicated objects in the universe but now scientists are managing to decode it to stream our dreams, emotions and thoughts.   Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanners are an intriguing technology. After all, how many other technologies can...

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Descartes Labs new AI visual search tool lets you find everything on Earth

Descartes Labs new AI visual search tool lets you find everything on Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF People have been using satellites to take photos of the Earth for decades but until now you’ve never been able to search it to find things of interest, or combine it with other data to identify patterns.   Recently a company called Planet increased the...

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Massive new satellite network can watch everyone on Earth

Massive new satellite network can watch everyone on Earth

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new, bolstered, space satellite system to keep watch over the world, it’s the equivalent of Tivo for Google Earth.   Planet, a global satellite company, who recently bought mini-sat company Terra Bella from Google, is used to breaking records. In 2014, a rocket exploded...

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A connected heart just helped convict a man of arson

A connected heart just helped convict a man of arson

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Connecting devices to each other and to the internet can make them much smarter, and much more usable, but increasingly companies and law enforcement are using connected devices to track, log and analyse our activities, and that has some serious privacy implications   People have...

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Hiding on the Dark Web just got a whole lot easier

Hiding on the Dark Web just got a whole lot easier

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new Tor update has just created a new, even darker section of the Dark Web and it’s great news for privacy advocates – and criminals   Only ten to twenty percent of the web can be searched and indexed by search engines, and it’s...

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Australia hails the end of passports as it rolls out biometrics at airports

Australia hails the end of passports as it rolls out biometrics at airports

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Biometric border technologies can scan and authenticate you without you ever knowing, or needing to stop, now Australia are going to use them to replace passports, for good.   Australia, for those that have never been, is a beautiful country – and the last thing...

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Hackers can copy your fingerprints directly from photos

Hackers can copy your fingerprints directly from photos

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Unlike passwords you can’t change your biometric ID’s, and hackers are finding new ways to lift them and use them for their own nefarious objectives.   Thanks Donald. Can I call you Donald? Now pass me your phone and don’t worry – I’ll take good...

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Fringe actors are trying to fight back against our commercial “surveillance state”

Fringe actors are trying to fight back against our commercial “surveillance state”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Whether it’s online or offline commercial organisations and government institutions are increasingly stripping away our privacy with little regard for the implications or moral consequences, now fringe actors are trying to fight back.   You know that you are tracked online. You may also know...

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Banks are using mind reading technology to interview graduates

Banks are using mind reading technology to interview graduates

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Every business is becoming a technology business and nowhere is that truer than in the financial services industry, now as banks try to compete with start ups and established technology companies for tech talent they could find themselves getting into warm water…   Want to...

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Technology and the future of privacy

Technology and the future of privacy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In Millenia past privacy was considered to be a normal part of life but now it is increasingly becoming a privilege and a scarcity, and, if it is not guarded, or looked after wisely, one day it won’t exist at all.   I originally wrote...

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China rolls out its Social Credit Score complete with Orwellian overtones

China rolls out its Social Credit Score complete with Orwellian overtones

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The technologies to create an Orwellian state surveillance and ratings system already exists, but without the will and resources to pull one together they remained relegated to the pages of fiction, until now.   Swiping her son’s half fare student card through the turnstile one...

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The era of pre-crime? Chinese AI can tell you’re a criminal by looking at your photo

The era of pre-crime? Chinese AI can tell you’re a criminal by looking at your photo

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The greatest danger we face is underestimating the power of todays, let alone tomorrows, technology. As we enter an era of persistent online and offline surveillance it is becoming easier to see how one day police forces around the world could create a Minority Report...

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Scientists confirm our brains have unique fingerprints

Scientists confirm our brains have unique fingerprints

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Our brains are unique – even more so than our eyes, faces and fingerprints – but now it’s been confirmed this discovery will open the door for new neurological healthcare treatments as well as accelerate the rise of new brainwave biometric security technologies   People...

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Adobe’s new software lets you Photoshop voices on demand

Adobe’s new software lets you Photoshop voices on demand

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The ability to perfectly “Photoshop”, edit and manipulate people’s voices opens up new opportunities for media companies but it could also create problems for companies who rely on biometric authentication, such as banks.   I love Photoshop – I’ve been using it for the past...

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Watch your mouth, Google’s DeepMind lip reads better than humans

Watch your mouth, Google’s DeepMind lip reads better than humans

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Machines and computer systems that can lip read accurately will help enhance the lives of people living with hearing impairments, but it will also help organisations and “institutions” invade people’s privacy and listen in on otherwise private conversations.   Even professional lip readers can figure...

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Report finds that global internet freedom declines for sixth straight year in a row

Report finds that global internet freedom declines for sixth straight year in a row

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Internet freedom is on the decline with over two thirds of the worlds population now subject to government and institutional censorship.   Independent watchdog Freedom House has issued its 2016 report along with a chilling warning that internet privacy is becoming something of an oxymoron. Freedom...

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Googles new advertising terms unmask the identities of billions of users

Googles new advertising terms unmask the identities of billions of users

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Google takes tracking and identifying individuals to a whole new level.   Whether it is online, or offline, your privacy is under attack – and you’ve known this for a long time but the level of “surveillance” is about to increase – exponentially. Online you are...

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SRI unveils Minority Report like touchless biometric technologies

SRI unveils Minority Report like touchless biometric technologies

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Big brother biometric technologies that can ID individuals remotely arrives.   You are used to being tracked everywhere you go online but offline? Prepare for a world where there is no hiding place. Iris recognition has been used as a biometric for access control applications for...

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