4 Jul 2023
Concerns at Westfield digital ads that film and target shoppers
It is a familiar story – you walk into the mall to buy one thing and you walk out with an armful of bags. It can be hard enough to ignore the bright lights and sale signs... Now, it seems AI is giving us a wink and a nudge. Westfield is under fire from advocacy group Consumer for using digital billboards that film largely oblivious shoppers, and serve up advertisements based on age, gender, and even mood.
6 Jun 2023
Tackling harmful content never going to be a simple discussion
Internal Affairs’ ambitious plan to regulate large social media and online platforms and to change the way the media, film, advertising, steaming television, video game and broadcasting industries are policed has quickly run into some pretty heavy traffic.
3 Jun 2023
Why tech is both fantastic and scary
There’s a lot going on in the world of tech, stuff is moving fast… and the thing is, there’s a lot of snake oil out there too.
So, we asked Allyn Robins from tech policy think tank Brainbox to identify three burgeoning areas of technology that he’s excited about, and three that he’s a bit scared of… but, naturally, he didn’t follow instructions...
3 Jun 2023
Tom Barraclough: are your social media threads under threat?
This week the government released a Safer Online Services and Media Platforms 'discussion document' proposing to regulate online content the same way other media is regulated. Its set off alarm bells for everyone from Stuff head Sinead Boucher to the Free Speech Union, yet has been welcomed by others as a big step towards making the internet a safer place.
The proposal doesn't look to expand the categories of illegal content, says Tom Barraclough, and takes its lead from the European Union's recently implemented Digital Services Act.
16 May 2023
Development of AI fakes speeding up
Artificial Intelligence is developing at such speed it can now fake just about anyone from the digital breadcrumbs we leave behind us. New Zealand tech players have been discussing how much choice you get in the matter. Phil Pennington reports.
3 May 2023
Why 'Godfather' of artificial intelligence had to 'blow the whistle' on technology
Geoffrey Hinton, also known as the "Godfather of AI," decided he had to "blow the whistle" on the technology he helped develop after worrying about how smart it was becoming, he told CNN on Tuesday.
29 Mar 2023
Govt says it's monitoring artificial intelligence's implications as hundreds of tech leaders call to pause its development
Some of the biggest names in technology have pushed the alarm button over the rise of artificial intelligence. They say it could pose a "profound risk to society and humanity".
1 Sept 2022
Platforms Are Testing Self-Regulation in New Zealand. It Needs a Lot of Work.
On July 25, New Zealand adopted a new industry-led mechanism designed to provide guidance for social media platforms to enhance safety and mitigate online harm: the Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Practice for Online Safety and Harms.
Curtis Barnes, Tom Barraclough, Allyn Robins
24 Jul 2022
Social media giants agree to 'first of its kind' code of conduct in Aotearoa
Social media giants including TikTok and Meta will soon become more accountable for the content on their platforms in New Zealand, voluntarily signing up to a code of conduct led by Netsafe, which targets issues such as hate speech and misinformation.
14 Mar 2022
Media law review raises thorny freedom of expression issues
New Zealand has been trying to update its media laws for the modern digital environment for over a decade. Experts warn there are no simple solutions, so has the Government now bitten off more than it can chew?
20 Jan 2022
Engaging with Facebook and Twitter is “like talking to kids”
When investors try to flag concerns to Facebook and Twitter about social media-related issues, the two tech giants often respond with stonewalling and obstruction. Google appears little better. Here we set out why.
17 Nov 2021
The deepfake dilemma: How it affects privacy, security & law in Aotearoa
On a YouTube channel called Genuine Fake, a video shows Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as the character of Maleficent. Her husband Clarke Gayford then appears shortly afterwards. Even National Party leader Judith Collins looks a bit like a forest fairy princess.
19 Oct 2021
NZ Super Fund ends campaign to reform Facebook, Alphabet and Twitter in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack
The NZ Super Fund is wrapping up its campaign to get Facebook, Alphabet (Google) and Twitter to prevent violent and objectionable content being broadcast on their social media platforms.
29 Sept 2021
Access Alliance Calls For Life Changing Accessibility Legislation To Remove And Prevent Barriers
Access Alliance, New Zealand’s largest alliance of Disabled Persons Organisations, disability advocacy groups, and service providers, calls on the government to implement the legal framework outlined in the report released today,
7 May 2021
Letter from the editor: Trying to instil trust in the news
There’s an old trope about journalists jostling with used car salesmen and real estate agents for last place in most-trusted rankings. In some cases – when tabloid hacks rifle through rubbish bins or voicemail baskets, or paparazzi hound people in the streets – this has been deserved.
18 Aug 2020
Those who shared Covid-19 rumour could be liable to the Harmful Digital Communications Act, Netsafe says
The man believed to be behind the recent Covid-19 outbreak rumour said he’s willing to accept the consequences of his actions, describing them as “the worst things I’ve ever done”.
17 Aug 2020
‘Infodemic’ evolves as Covid-19 returns to NZ
Analysis: The return of Covid-19 to New Zealand has been accompanied by conspiracy theories about the virus and the Government's response. How big a problem is this and what can - or should - we do about it? Marc Daalder reports
9 Dec 2019
Snapchat unleashes deepfakes feature called 'Cameo'
Deepfakes - putting a person's face on another person's body in a video - are about to go mainstream. So far best-known for internet pranksters putting celebrity heads on pornstars' bodies, the controversial technology is currently being tested by messaging app Snapchat.
4 Sept 2019
Can Kiwis tell fact from fake news in the leadup to the 2020 elections?
Young people are criticised for not engaging in politics but experts say adults today are less likely to be able to tell fact from fake news. Katie Kenny and Tommy Livingston report on the risks of a post-truth political landscape.
Katie Kenny, Tommy Livingston
21 May 2019
Deepfakes and synthetic media: The new age of disinformation is growing
Amidst the threats identified in a new report of the digital threats to democracy are two challenges with sinister sounding names - deepfakes and synthetic media. But what are these emerging risks and why should we care about them?
20 May 2019
'Deepfake' videos could be next social media minefield - researchers
There's growing concern about the damage sophisticated fake videos can have on the public.
A new Law Foundation report says deepfake media could prove troublesome to tech companies and the Government, following the Christchurch Call.
20 May 2019
NZ study highlights the risk of 'deep fakes' on social media - and why our lawmakers should leave it alone
A new study funded by the Law Foundation highlights the risk of "deep fakes" on social media - which co-author Tom Barraclough says "make it look or sound like something happened when it didn't".
20 May 2019
Deepfakes, synthetic media a threat to democracy
Thanks to Donald Trump the phrase "fake news" is, for better or worse, forever embedded in our collective consciousness. But fake news - false information which is spread deliberately to deceive people - is just the tip of the iceberg threatening our democracy.