In today’s climate, we are being bombarded with messages about surveillance on a global scale with social media loopholes; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, even photo editing apps.

It often prompts us to ask what is private and what is public information? Some information is initially ‘private’ but for legal or corporate issues, it becomes public. For example, if you were to eat at a cafe or restaurant and later found out they had a prior pest control issue, you as a consumer would want to know that you could publicly access that information. It is a fine balance to manage what we need to know versus what we want to know.

In the last year we have seen an undercurrent begin, the consumers being the trigger for such changes. Europe has recently become the most aggressive tech watchdog, fining Google $57M for not properly disclosing how their data collection is used to create personalised advertisements to customers. The result of these cases could potentially be more transparent transactions between corporate giants and consumers; we can see some evidence of it happening now. The ACCC has proposed new privacy protection rules. They have constructed 23 recommendations to protect consumers, mainly by being more transparent and having higher standards for consent for information collection, use or disclosure, including making notifications intelligible by the youngest allowed user of any given platform. It’s hard to say exactly what privacy will look like in the future and ultimately the next few years will be particularly impactful. We will have to wait and see.

 

-Nat Pearl