Australia Takes Facebook to Court Over Privacy Violations

· Andrew Orr · Link

Facebook logo

Australia’s privacy regulator is taking Facebook to court over Cambridge Analytica. It could impose a fine of AUD$1.7 million (US$1.1 million) for every privacy violation.

“Facebook failed to take reasonable steps to protect those individuals’ personal information from unauthorised disclosure,” the Australian commissioner’s office said.

Big companies like Facebook need fines in the billions of dollars for them to start paying attention.

Traffic Cameras Could Soon Tell if you Text and Drive

· Andrew Orr · Link

Australia will soon install a camera system powered by machine learning that is designed to spot mobile phones in cars.

To let drivers adjust, warning letters will be sent to those spotted using phones by the cameras for the first three months. Australia uses a points system for drivers — unrestricted driver’s licenses have 13 points. After the first three months, drivers caught using their phones illegally will lose five points and be issued a $344 fine. During other periods, the penalty could increase to 10 points. If a driver loses all of their points, they could lose their license.

Distracted driving is absolutely a serious problem, but I don’t think more surveillance infrastructure is the answer.

Australia, Please Don't Scan My Face When I Download Porn

· Andrew Orr · Link

The U.K. recently canceled its plans for an age filter on porn websites, but now Australia has taken up the mantle. It wants internet users to verify their identity using facial recognition before viewing pornography.

Writing in a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs’ inquiry, launched in September, Home Affairs said it could provide a “suite of identity-matching services”.

One example highlighted by the department was the use of the Face Verification Service to prevent a child using their parent’s driver licence to get around any age verification.

At this point, me writing about porn is a running joke now. But stuff like this raises awareness on important privacy issues.

Apple News+ Now Available in Australia, UK

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple news+ text

News+ is Apple’s new subscription service for news, and today it’s available for customers in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Apple News+ subscribers can access more than 150 publications in Apple News+, with a one month free trial available to test the service before having to pay the £9.99 (UK) or $14.99 (Australia) monthly fee.

Available magazines and publications in the UK include The Times and The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan UK, more.

Magazines and publications in Australia include The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, more.

FastMail Challenges Australia Encryption Law

· Andrew Orr · News

Privacy email provider FastMail is losing customers because of Australia’s new anti-encryption laws, and faces calls to leave the country.

Dangerous Australia Encryption Law Passed

· Andrew Orr · News

With the new Australia encryption law that recently passed, Apple could soon be forced to build a backdoor into iOS.

Australia Expansion Comes to Civilization VI on iPad

· Bryan Chaffin · Cool Stuff Found

Aspyr is bringing even the expansion packs to Civilization VI on the iPad. This week the company announced the Australia Civilization & Scenario DLC pack was available on iPad as an in-app purchase, joining Multiplayer, Vikings, and the Poland packs already out. I liked the Aussie pack, though I didn’t beat the Australia scenario. That scenario is economics only, involving growth and exploration. In multiplayer matches, Australia gets a bonus production rate at the beginning any defensive war, coastal cities get Housing bonuses, and Pastures can trigger a culture bomb that steals tiles from other civilizations. The unique unit is a Digger, which replaces Infantry, and its unique building is an Outback station Workers can produce. I enjoy the economic aspects of Civ VI, and the Aussie pack is a lot of fun. The right strategy can use their strengths to dominate the battlefield, too. All of the Civ VI expansions are $4.99 on iPad. The full game is $59.99, but it’s half price until May 17th. If you’re interested in Civ VI on iPad, get it before then!

Australia Expansion Comes to Civilization VI on iPad

Apple in a Standoff with Australia's Banks Over Apple Pay

· Jeff Gamet · News

Apple and Australia banks are fighting over Apple Pay and NFC terms

Don’t count on Apple Pay coming to most of Australia any time soon because the ongoing fight between Apple and the banks is only getting worse. Apple is calling Australia’s banks a cartel looking to squeeze more money out of customers, and the banks say Apple is trying to kill competition. Both sides are digging in their heels, and it doesn’t look like they’re interested in finding a compromise.

Photo Tour of Apple Brisbane in MacArthur Chambers

· Bryan Chaffin · News

Apple Brisbane

Check out Apple’s MacArthur Chambers store in downtown Brisbane, Australia. We have several photos submitted by an Aussie reader, and they really show off this gorgeous building, which was named for General Douglas MacArthur.