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Links for 2020-04-29

  • Kim Stanley Robinson proposing “carbon quantitative easing”

    I love this idea. “It would be complicated and messy, sure, but not as complicated and messy as a mass extinction event”

    (tags: finance carbon climate-change kim-stanley-robinson economics quantative-easing future green-recovery)

  • Joint Statement regarding the NHSX contact tracing app

    From over 170 UK infosec and privacy scientists and researchers —

    It has been reported that NHSX is discussing an approach which records centrally the de-anonymised ID of someone who is infected and also the IDs of all those with whom the infected person has been in contact. This facility would enable (via mission creep) a form of surveillance. Echoing the letter signed by 300 international leading researchers, we note that it is vital that, when we come out of the current crisis, we have not created a tool that enables data collection on the population, or on targeted sections of society, for surveillance. Thus, solutions which allow reconstructing invasive information about individuals must be fully justified. Such invasive information can include the “social graph” of who someone has physically met over a period of time. With access to the social graph, a bad actor (state, private sector, or hacker) could spy on citizens’ real-world activities. We are particularly unnerved by a declaration that such a social graph is indeed aimed for by NHSX. We understand that the current proposed design is intended to meet the requirements set out by the public health teams, but we have seen conflicting advice from different groups about how much data the public health teams need. We hold that the usual data protection principles should apply: collect the minimum data necessary to achieve the objective of the application. We hold it is vital that if you are to build the necessary trust in the application the level of data being collected is justified publicly by the public health teams demonstrating why this is truly necessary rather than simply the easiest way, or a “nice to have”, given the dangers involved and invasive nature of the technology.

    (tags: nhs nhsx privacy data-privacy security contact-tracing covid-19 surveillance)

  • Revealed: the inside story of the UK’s Covid-19 crisis

    Wow, the knives are out inside the UK government. Massive leaks from the SAGE and other committees, to the Guardian, as the scientists involve find themselves being blamed for the UK’s COVID-19 disaster

    (tags: uk government covid-19 omnishambles leaks guardian)

  • For future use: “Fancy dataviz” vs “best chart for the data”

    great pic from Rodolfo Almeida on Twitter

    (tags: twitter funny comic dataviz graphs visualisation)

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