Security and privacy on the Internet is one of the primary challenges of our time.
What it means to be private is changing in the online world as more people exchange personal information for Internet enabled services. This reshaping of our environment creates challenges of how New Zealanders manage their online identities, retain privacy and stay safe. There is a huge learning process to go through in establishing new norms of behaviour – for people at work and at home, for companies and government.
In this focus area of ‘identity, privacy and security in the Internet age’ we will work on projects regarding controlling and securing your data online.
Every message you think you send privately could be read by your service provider, advertisers, and other organisations. Fortunately, there are some very easy ways you can claim your privacy and ensure that your personal messages to family and friends stay private - by using private messaging apps like WhatsApp or Signal.
Turning on 2-factor protects your accounts by adding a second step to log in. It's easy for you to use, but makes it hard for anyone else to use your identity or get your data.
Transparency reporting is an important check and balance against government surveillance, but it is not widely done in New Zealand today. We have created easy to use transparency reporting tools and guidelines for New Zealand organisations to follow and use in their own work.
Surveillance over the Internet is difficult, if not impossible, to solve domestically alone. The Electronic Frontier Foundation sets out a wide range of activities and impacts that they, and other organisations around the world, can do to help build a world without mass surveillance. We think we have a role to play in contributing to a world without mass surveillance.
An encryption debate is playing our across the world. Some realising the privacy and security benefits encryption technologies allow and others stating encryption is a tool allowing bad people to do bad things. We have written two papers about encryption. The first explains what encryption is, how it is used across the Internet, how it is used for good and how it is used for bad. The second sets out what we think New Zealand needs to do in order to front foot this issue and not get left behind.