Friday, August 27, 2021

Most employee monitoring tools are needlessly invasive

 “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.

Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

— Roald Dahl

‘Future Of Work’ PBS Series Showcases The New ‘Precariat’ – People Who Go From One Gig To Another– Digital Nomads And Other Fast-Growing Job Trends Forbes. Oh, so the PMC deigns to notice> Or perhaps a few here and there have noticed the desperate condition of their grad student kids?

Australian Truck Drivers Vow To Block Every Major Highway In Radical Anti-Lockdown Strike | ZeroHedge.

IRS leaks reveal billions reaped through ultra-wealthy lobbying on the tax bill: A cast of dozens.

Fast Company - Most employee monitoring tools are needlessly invasive: “If an employer installs time or attendance-tracking software on your computer, that software can probably spy on you in lots of other ways as well. A new study by the resume-help site StandOut CVcompared the data collection features in 32 of the most popular employee monitoring tools. The group found that 75% of these tools can record employees’ screens and monitor which apps or websites they’re using, while 59% can monitor keyboard and mouse movements. Nearly half of those tools can run in a stealth mode, allowing employers to deploy the software on company-owned computers without workers’ knowledge. The companies behind this software—including Hubstaff, Time Doctor, Teramind, and Interguard—say their businesses have boomed during the pandemic. StandOut CV’s study quantifies just how invasive this software has become across the board as vendors compete to offer the most comprehensive monitoring features…”

The tech industry is blowing millions of dollars to make work from home into a worker-surveillance dystopia

Auditor-General again flags concerns with public sector cyber security


ORWELL WROTE 1984 AS A WARNING, NOT A HOW-TO GUIDE: Nearly half the public favors a digital Ministry of Truth, but it’s a terrible idea.

 It is both a profound political essay and a shocking, ... The Ministry of Truth: The Biography of George Orwell's 1984, by the British 

Mental health challenges caused by ongoing lockdowns around Australia are costing billions in lost productivity, according to new modelling from the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. And small business owners are bearing the brunt.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, the new modelling takes into consideration the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns — particularly in Sydney and Melbourne — on levels of psychological distress, hospitalisations and suicide.

“What we’ve estimated is that the cost is another $1 billion a year in mental health harm, just as a consequence of the ongoing lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne,” Ian Hickie, co-director of health and policy at the centre, reportedly said.

However, July and August alone have cost an additional $1 billion in lost productivity, and another four months of lockdown will cost another $2 billion, he added.

“The longer the lockdowns and the disruption continue, the worse it will get.”

Mental health support for business owners in lockdown

Digital Transformation – Australia as a World Leader’: 2021 Pearcey Oration featuring in Victorian Government’s DIF2021 Festival


Oration to be delivered by Jeremy Hirschhorn, Second Commissioner, Australian Taxation Office; event also including Victorian Entrepreneur of the Year Award announcement

The Pearcey Foundation today announced this year’s Pearcey Oration will be given by Jeremy Hirschhorn, Second Commissioner, Australian Taxation OfficeAt a virtual event on Wednesday, 1 September at 5:30pm, Hirschhorn will provide an insight into how the ATO has leveraged a decade of digital infrastructure investment to become one of the most advanced implementations of digital government services on the planet. That enabled Australia’s rapid COVID-19 response, supporting the introduction of national financial assistance programs including JobSeeker, JobKeeper and cash flow boost for small-to-medium businesses. Tackling topics including automation, ethical use of data and an adaptive public infrastructure, this year’s Oration will continue the debate on how Australia can improve our international competitiveness and extract more value from our own digital resources and innovation.

“The ATO has played a central role for many years in the Australian Government’s digital transformation and service delivery innovation, which has never been more important than the last 18 months. That 18 months has put a spotlight on the role that information technology and digital infrastructure plays in the adaptability and responsiveness of both our public and private sector to a rapidly changing world. The Pearcey Foundation is delighted to have the ATO and Jeremy in particular presenting this year’s Oration, emphasising the importance of digital innovation and technology to Australia’s economy and public life – something that the Pearcey Foundation has been championing for more than two decades,” said Wayne Fitzsimmons, Chair, Pearcey Foundation.

THE GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES: Afghanistan: $2.26 Trillion of Your Money Spent, Much Squandered on Lavish Palaces for Corrupt Officials.

Why a small group of clinical psychologists is helping journalists with trauma

TechCrunch: “For the first time, Google has published the number of geofence warrants it’s historically received from U.S. authorities, providing a rare glimpse into how frequently these controversial warrants are issued. The figures, published Thursday [August 19, 2021], reveal that Google has received thousands of geofence warrants each quarter since 2018, and at times accounted for about one-quarter of all U.S. warrants that Google receives. The data shows that the vast majority of geofence warrants are obtained by local and state authorities, with federal law enforcement accounting for just 4% of all geofence warrants served on the technology giant. According to the data, Google received 982 geofence warrants in 2018, 8,396 in 2019 and 11,554 in 2020. But the figures only provide a small glimpse into the volume of warrants received and did not break down how often it pushes back on overly broad requests. 

When reached, Google spokesperson Alex Krasov said in a statement: “We vigorously protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement. We developed a process specifically for these requests that is designed to honor our legal obligations while narrowing the scope of data disclosed.” Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), which led efforts by dozens of civil rights groups to lobby for the release of these numbers, commended Google for releasing the numbers. “Geofence warrants are unconstitutionally broad and invasive, and we look forward to the day they are outlawed completely.” said Cahn…”

An online fraudster who attempted to steal more than $11 million through a sophisticated operation has been jailed for at least six-and-a-half years.

Adam David Jones was arrested in February 2020 at a Sydney library while attempting to hack into financial accounts using the institution’s own hidden IP address.

Adam David Jones: Scammer jailed over attempted $11m theft


Tweeters Behind Feeds Like DC REALTIME NEWS Make Every Shooting Known

Washington City Paper: “…While some social media spot news reporters such as Alan Henney have been around for more than a decade, several new ones, including DC REALTIME NEWSMoCo PG NewsCordellTraffic, and Killmoenews, have risen to prominence in recent years. Together they have more than 47,000 followers on Twitter. Some show their support with dollars—DC REALTIME NEWS and Killmoenews solicit Cash App contributions on their profiles. Derrick, who asked to be identified by his first name for safety reasons, is behind Killmoenews and is Calhoun’s childhood friend. He says fans send him $300 or more on normal days and up to $1,000 on the Fourth of July.   Local elected officials are taking notice. “It’s a transparency tool,” says Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George. She says she uses information from these accounts to track public safety patterns and direct resources. What she reads lets her know when to visit incident sites. “It’s allowed me to respond quickly to scenes of crimes and get information. Sometimes when I get there, MPD is calling me saying, ‘We want to update you, there’s been a shooting.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. I’m right here. I saw it on Killmoe or Alan Henney.” 

Fast Company - Most employee monitoring tools are needlessly invasive