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Australia’s move towards a cashless society

New reports released by payment industry bodies have revealed Australia’s shift to a digital economy is accelerating, with increasing cashless payments outperforming continuing declines of cash and cheque at an unprecedented rate.

As the trend towards a cashless era continues in Australia, Ethan Nash takes a look at an emerging society that will see the future dollar issued and used with no tangible representation.

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Australia passes controversial anti-encryption laws

The Australian government has passed anti-encryption legislation compelling companies to grant authorities access to encrypted information, in a move analysts say will have vast implications for digital privacy.

The new law, which passed the Senate 44-12 this week, will force companies to reveal technical characteristics of digital systems that could help intelligence agencies exploit weaknesses that have not been patched.

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Smart Home Technology: Thought Police in the 21st Century

From smart meters to smart phones, the world has seen increased development of new technologies over the last decade, allowing companies the ability to slowly become major actors in the world of law enforcement and national security.

As the world enters what technology experts are calling the “fourth industrial revolution”, Ethan Nash explores growing evidence suggesting that smart home technology was designed to be a surveillance intermediary for police and intelligence organisations.

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Australia’s rapid shift to digital identification and licenses

Digital identity and instant identification will soon become the new standard.

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Tech alliance unites to condemn new anti-encryption bill

Technology giants and human rights groups have formed an alliance to fight the Australian government’s new encryption bill.

Calling themselves the ‘Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet’, the group consists of industry, consumer and human rights groups, who are criticising the government for attempting to pass legislation that threatens the digital security of Australians.

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Parents opt-out of classroom technology amid privacy concerns

Australians have long moved past worrying about whether digital technology has a place in education, with schools, colleges and universities now replete with a catalogue of digital devices, systems and applications.

Because of this ubiquity, educational uses of technology tend to escape critical scrutiny and questioning, and most remain unaware of major privacy concerns raised when exploring how your children’s personal information is collected, stored and used at school.

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‘Privacy nightmare’: Concerns over new anti-encryption bill

The Australian government has released details of a new telecommunications bill that grants agencies new powers to access encrypted communications data, including enhancing the obligations of companies to provide assistance and new warrants to covertly obtain evidence directly from devices.

In the following piece, Ethan Nash breaks down the legislation, including historical and technical contexts, details of both major schedules in the drafted legislation, and reasons for concerns associated with the broadened power scope granted.

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Revealed: Facial recognition technology to stay following Commonwealth Games

Queensland Government officials have announced that facial recognition technology introduced for security during the 2018 Commonwealth Games will remain in place indefinitely, but won’t say what future use they have in mind for the biometric system.

Civil liberty campaigners say the refusal to release plans for the installed software amounts to a ‘disturbing development in mass surveillance’, with privacy advocates concerned about how the technology will be used in conjunction with the new national facial recognition program.

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Government could allow private firms access to facial recognition data

The federal government is considering allowing private companies to use its national facial recognition database for a fee, documents released under Freedom of Information laws have revealed.

The partially redacted documents released this week show that the Attorney General’s Department is in discussions with major telecommunications companies about pilot programs for private sector use of the new national facial recognition system in 2018.

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Details of new Australian national facial recognition system

The Australian government has unveiled new details surrounding highly controversial changes to ‘anti-terrorism’ measures this week, including the introduction of a new national facial recognition system, following the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra last month.

The changes, outlined in draft documents released this week, describe the use of new ‘federated identity ecosystems’ (or ‘identity federations’) to share information between authorised agencies, including the introduction of a new ‘trust framework’ system to replace traditional legal processes.

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