Tech Check Digest - September 3, 2021

This week on the world of tech:


We combed through Amazon's 3,000+ word Privacy Notice and were shocked at all the data they collect (via Daily Telegraph - paywalled). As part of the Centre for Responsible Technology's submission to the ACCC's online marketplaces inquiry, we looked at Amazon's unnecessary and excessive data harvesting practices, and found that they ask for things like email addresses from your contact lists, exact location of your computer and device, playlists and even your WiFi credentials. Why? Because they're a data company, not just an e-commerce company. Our submission calls for purpose limitations (collecting data only for the specific reason the consumer intended) to combat this.

Amazon Flex delivery drivers worry for their jobs on a daily basis as they struggle to meet Amazon's harrowing deadlines and work conditions (via ABC). Amazon's brutal conditions for warehouse and logistics workers are well-known overseas, but Australians may not know that it is happening here as well. Amazon Flex drivers in Australia report living in fear and reveal inhumane working conditions.

Amnesty International calls for a ban on online surveillance advertising (via Amnesty International). Amnesty gathered together dozens of digital rights groups in Europe, including Avaaz and The Real Facebook Oversight Board to call for a ban on surveillance profit models online. The campaign urges government to step in an dismantle Google and Facebook's harmful business model.


The digital revolution in schools (via UTS). Digital access is changing the way we educate young people, but unequal distribution of that access has exposed a crushing divide in our education system. In this session, Minister Sarah Mitchell, Mikaela Jade, Leslie Loble, Murray Kitteringham and Verity Firth discuss the role of technology in Australian education.


Tech Policy Press podcast featuring Cindy Gallop and Carissa Veliz (via Tech Policy Press). Cindy Gallop discusses the struggle of the sex industry amidst growing desires to moderate content online, and Carissa Veliz discusses her new book 'Privacy is Power, Why and How you should take back control of your data'.


Former Human Rights Commissioner Ed Santow starts new role as Industry Professor - Responsible Technology (via UTS). Ed Santow will discuss ethical AI in his new role, joined by Mikaela Jade, Founder and CEO, Indigital and Distinguished Professor Fang Chen, UTS Executive Director of Data Science