Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Open public sector information

Greetings from the CSIRO Discovery centre in Canberra where Professor John McMillan (AO), Australian Information Commissioner is speaking on "Is your Agency on the list?". He looks at the 191 Australian Government agencies and their handling of information, as discussed in the report "Open Public Sector Information". The Commissioner mentioned that agencies are now using social media (the Department of Finance is planning training for staff). Also the Commissioner found that many agency staff don't know how to attach metadata to documents to make it easy to find (I designed a course "Electronic Document and Records Management, COMP7420" on how to do this, but it was not popular). Later I will then be talking about the ACS Computer Professional Education Program.

Earlier today I attended a seminar by Alexander Hayes at the ANU (just across the road from CSIRO) about his research into "body worn video technologies in an educational context". The privacy implications of wearable sensors, as popularized by "Google Glass", have not yet been resolved. Some pioneering researchers have been wearing devices which track their movements, take photographs and record sound wherever they are as well as providing a head-up display. I wore an early such device when visiting computer labs in Cambridge. Universities and other institutions will soon have to confront the issues with people wearing such devices: Where and when will they be permitted? What for? How will you know?

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