Issue 1472 - Thursday 14th October, 2021

In Today's Issue

The News

7-Eleven busted abusing customer privacy with creepy facial recognition feedback system

In July 2020, 7-Eleven put tablets with cameras in 700 stores to get customer feedback and took photos of the customers before and after doing the survey to "ensure that feedback left about a store was genuine". The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner looked into the setup and found that 7-Eleven "interfered with the privacy of individuals whose facial images and faceprints it collected" because "individuals did not give either express or implied consent to the collection of their facial images or faceprints, nor did 7-Eleven take reasonable steps to notify individuals of the collection of personal information". 7-Eleven tried to argue that facial images and faceprints (algorithmic representations of a customer's face) - "are not personal information because they are not used to identify, monitor or track any individual", but the OAIC called bullshit on that and told 7-Eleven to delete all the data they obtained and to stop running this creepy system.

Blue Origin sent 90-year old William Shatner into space and thankfully didn't kill him

William Shatner is back from space and is now the oldest person to make the trip. The 90-year old went up on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket along with "Audrey Powers, Blue Origin's vice president of mission and flight operations; Glen de Vries, vice chair for life sciences and healthcare at the French software company Dassault Systemes; and Chris Boshuizen, co-founder of the San Francisco-based Earth observation company Planet". They went up for a 10 minute flight, experienced 4 minutes of weightlessness. Once home, Shatner told Jeff Bezos that "everybody in the world needs to do this. That was unbelievable" and began to cry. The overview effect got old mate right in the heart. I'd probably tear up too.

Strap yourself in, cryptocurrency ETFs are coming to the ASX soon

Sorry for the paywalled AFR link, but the day has finally come - a cryptocurrency ETF on the ASX - kinda. The BetaShares Crypto Innovators ETF (ticker code CRYP) will track the Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators Index, which "offers exposure to global digital asset businesses, from mining to exchanges". It does not invest in any cryptocurrency itself, but Betashares does plan to make one but "the regulatory framework does not yet exist to protect investors" according to the BetaShares boss. Apparently ASIC is "finalising a consultation process to explore the potential for cryptocurrency ETFs to trade on the local bourse". I'd probably chuck some cheeky cash into CRYP (if you can't beat them, join them), but I dunno about an ETF backed by cryptocurrency entirely.

Something I Saw On The Internet

An argument for why allowing people to remain anonymous online is a good idea

Samantha Floreani has a banger of a story on Overland about how important it is people are allowed to remain anonymous online. The government reckons "unmasking" the people that make fun of them online is a good way to bring civility to "debate", but have you seen most harassment online? There's plenty of people who proudly spew abuse with their real names attached. All that forcing social media platforms to reveal someone's identity would do is expose the vulnerable, who use that anonymity to have a little part of their life safe from the baggage of their name.


The End

📻 Oblivious - Jessica Lea Mayfield

😎 The Sizzle is curated by Anthony "@decryption" Agius and emailed every weekday afternoon.

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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.‚Äč