In This Issue


PTV blasted by Victorian Information Commissioner for lazy release of 1.8b record Myki dataset

The Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) has released a report on Public Transport Victoria's (PTV) careless release of a huge Myki travel dataset. Back in July 2018, PTV provided a dataset of 1.8 billion Myki "tap on and tap off" events for a hackathon. PTV claimed to have de-identified travelers in this dataset, but researchers at the University of Melbourne found this dataset online and were able to identify people, together with when and where they traveled. Obviously not data you want floating around for any old creep to stumble across. The Department of Transport responded to the report, rejecting the findings that their process is flawed and a compliance notice was "unwarranted". Typical.

Telstra & NBN release financials for 2018/2019

Telstra and the NBN have both released full year financial results for 2018/2019 and provided commentary on what they see in the future for their respective businesses. NBN lost $4.78b, but reckons it on track and on budget to complete the rollout by June 2020. Average revenue per user on the NBN is up to $46/m, but still below the $51/m benchmark in its corporate plan. Unlike the NBN, Telstra still made a profit, but that profit was 39.6% lower than last year at $2.149b. As usual, Telstra is blaming the NBN for that loss, but reckons things will get better soon as it works through its T22 strategy (i.e: cost cutting, sackings, outsourcing and moving all non-mobile assets to InfraCo).

Huawei helped some African countries spy on political opponents

The Wall Street Journal has done a bit of digging around Huawei's activities in Africa and found that Huawei helped the governments of Uganda and Zambia spy on political opponents. The info comes from "senior surveillance officers" who say that Huawei helped the incumbent government view opponent's "WhatsApp and Skype" conversations and "tracking opponents using cellular data". Apparently local law enforcement asked Huawei for help with this stuff and Huawei got the job done. This wasn't Chinese state sponsored snooping, but Huawei was more than happy to do what the Ugandan and Zambian governments wanted, meaning the capability is totally there.

Not News

Google’s past 3 years have been pretty chaotic

Wired's latest cover story is all about the last 3 years of "turmoil" at Google and centers around how Google's employees keep on making noise in public when their bosses just want them to shut up and work. Since day one, Google told staff to "bring their whole selves" to work and to express dissent - it was a cornerstone of Google's company culture. Google's current management however, is constantly afraid of the Trump administration introducing regulation as a way of punishment for embarrassing the President and is keen to move into financially lucrative areas (e.g: the Chinese market, US defense contracts etc.) it would never have contemplated just a few years ago. This friction between management and staff has been fascinating to watch and been probably one of the top 5 themes of The Sizzle since I started it in 2015.


🎶 She Said She Said - The Beatles

😁 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon. Join us on Slack and chat with other Sizzle subscribers.

The Sizzle is created on Wathaurong land and acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia, recognising their continuing connection to land, water and community. I pay my respect to them and their cultures and to elders both past and present.​