Categories
General

Lives at risk: Excessive data collection in apps

Last month, in January 2020, the Norwegian Consumer Council, an NGO, published a report on collection and sharing of personal data in popular apps. The reassuring title: “Out of Control: How Consumers Are Exploited by the Online Advertising Industry”.

On 186 pages, the researchers analysed the data practices of 10 popular Android apps. Amongst those apps: a children’s app, a period tracker, and various dating apps.

What they found was a blatant disregard for governing data protection legislation, notably the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Categories
General

Algorithms: What they are, and why they matter

It seems like algorithms increasingly rule the world. Only this summer, the debacle around the A level results in the UK demonstrated what far-reaching consequences the use of algorithms can have. How did algorithms become what they are? Might algorithms soon replace human decision-making altogether?

Categories
General

Take control of your phone, before it takes control of you

This article was published in the bi-yearly publication of the Computer Science Department Oxford.

Many apps collect detailed data about your life. Some apps share this data with hundreds of companies from around the world. Should you be worried? To help you find answers, we at Human Centred Computing in the Department of Computer Science are developing TrackerControl, a new privacy app.

Categories
General

Einführung einer Bürgernummer


Die Bundesregierung plant die Einführung einer Bürgernummer: eine Identifikationsnummer für jeden, der einen Wohnsitz in Deutschland hat. Datenschützer warnen vor einem Überwachungsstaat. Besteht wirklich Grund zur Sorge oder wird bloß Panik geschürt?

Mit diesem Thema beschäftige ich mich in Oxfords neuer Studentenzeitschrift, The Flete.

Categories
General

Cognitive Load in the Digital

This article is part of a series. Next week, I’ll release a short report on digital learning.

The arguably most studied problem in education is how to conduct education. Whenever someone provides education, this necessarily involves thinking about how to bring across the material at hand.

Education has not changed meaningfully over the course of human history. Whether in Plato’s Academy back in Ancient Greece or in schools nowadays, teaching usually means the transfer of knowledge from a teacher to students.

How does learning work then, what makes it efficient, and what are the opportunities for digital technologies?

Categories
General

Semantic Web in Law

This text was written as part of an application to the Oxford Law Faculty.

Data management has long been a big pain point for companies, creating high costs and operational burden. Engine B develops an innovative data management solution, based on a knowledge graph.

This is a concept known by everyone from Google Search. If you Google ‘register to vote’, you’ll be provided with the necessary steps to sign up to vote in the UK directly in the Google Search results (during elections).