From South Korea to Norway, our honeymoon with COVID-19 apps is already over

Since China’s contact tracing system went live in February, around 30 countries have released official contract tracing apps. An evolution of traditional contact tracing systems, what seemed a few months ago to be a daunting yet exciting technological innovation has already reached a turning point. A range of privacy rows have ensued, and according toContinue reading “From South Korea to Norway, our honeymoon with COVID-19 apps is already over”

India bans 59 Chinese apps: what developers need to do to avoid the same fate

At the heart of the Chinese app ban lies a problem with the way we build applications. Only by developing systems which hand control of data back to users can we curb the growing concerns around data sovereignty.  On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers were killed in hand-to-handContinue reading “India bans 59 Chinese apps: what developers need to do to avoid the same fate”

Is data ownership just a fantasy? Why it will take much more than a startup to bring about significant change

We don’t need statistics to tell us that most people have a trade-off between convenience and privacy. Despite concerns over data use, Facebook revenues continue to soar, and Google’s search engine market share has consistently held at around 90% over the past decade. But the “privacy paradox,” the inconsistency between privacy concerns and actual behaviour,Continue reading “Is data ownership just a fantasy? Why it will take much more than a startup to bring about significant change”

The European Union must provide a clear regulatory framework for blockchain

Two years on since the implementation of the GDPR, the EU’s data protection law, some significant fines have been handed out to the likes of Google, British Airways, and Marriott. Despite this, the regulation has only begun to scratch the surface of its broader goals of improving data protections for all. Last year was theContinue reading “The European Union must provide a clear regulatory framework for blockchain”

As internet controls in China tighten, privacy and data protection rights slowly make headway

Due to state surveillance and censorship, privacy and data protection rights in China are often assumed to be inexistent. But for private companies, privacy and data protection laws appear to be developing in the direction of European standards. It has taken correcting the worst of abuses to get where they are now, though. Privacy andContinue reading “As internet controls in China tighten, privacy and data protection rights slowly make headway”

COVID-19, data protection, and the consolidation of the Indian surveillance state

India’s contact tracing app, Aarogya Setu (meaning “bridge to health” in Sanskrit), was released on April 2. The app is similar in many ways to other contact tracing apps, but it looked mainly to the model of China: you input data about yourself including your name, age, and travel history; the app enables Bluetooth andContinue reading “COVID-19, data protection, and the consolidation of the Indian surveillance state”

Is privacy less valued in Asia?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, some Western media outlets have been quick to dismiss lockdown and surveillance systems used in East and Southeast Asia as measures that never could be deployed or supported in the West. These beliefs are briskly being swept under the rug. Nonetheless, the question remains; why are many countries in East andContinue reading “Is privacy less valued in Asia?”