Digital by default

As I write this, I’m sitting on a stationary train. In a station. The rail app on my phone tells me it’s the train I want. But the signs on the platform are totally blank. And the guy in uniform…

Can I take photos at the school play?

The very fine John the Lutheran has dug out and circulated some guidance that many people find themselves thinking about at this time of year: a few advisory notes from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on the fraught topic of…

Bad beyond compare

A policy so incredibly inhuman that it stops you in your tracks. How could this ever have been dreamed up? Who thought this would ever be acceptable? How on earth did a blank-faced politician manage to express it in cold,…

Greenland Street

I’ve just done a bad thing. As a photographer, I’ve got a great deal of respect for the work of others. When copyright is held by someone else, and I don’t have a licence to take it or tinker with…

Just because you can…

An interesting piece appeared on the Guardian data blog on Friday. It describes a wealth of new data being released relating to court and conviction information. The database shows sentencing in 322 magistrates and crown courts in England and Wales.…

The Accidental Data Controller

It happened a few months back. Facebook (that hideous, grunt-cheering, dumb-arse cesspit of a privacy clusterfuck–but let me try and remain objective) started to put some rather strange suggestions for new “friends” up on the top right. People who weren’t…

On trolls and anonymity

Picture this. You’re walking down the street one day and a strange figure blocks your path. They’re clad head-to-foot in a black sheet. They’ve got some strange sort of voice scrambler strapped to their mouth beneath, and you hear this…

midata: revolution or enigma?

No technology contracts bigger than £100m. Bye-bye proprietary software monopolies–hello Open alternatives. An avalanche of government data to generate new business opportunities and pump billions into the economy. Fast broadband for (almost) all. Agility, everywhere–no more risk-averse, unchangeable systems–instead, a…

The Internet is amazing

This isn’t really a blogpost. Just a tiny anecdote about the power of the information at our fingertips, and how, in less than a minute, it can delight and surprise. I do try and look at photography other than my…

A time and a place for everything

The factual bits: A charity announces its forthcoming annual balloon release. A campaigner highlights the environmental consequences of balloon releases, and posts his objections–backed up with references–on the Facebook page of the charity. The references look to have a sound…

About that Data Protection myth

If you follow me on Twitter you might have spotted a recent exchange of views over the last few days with Vodafone. They do a fair job, it has to be said, of engaging in that channel. I’m not sure…

On communal grief

We’re all entitled to our own reaction. To catastrophe, to unexpected joy, to death. When people get very involved in the death of someone they didn’t know, I am slightly puzzled. Of course it is their right. But all behaviours…

Neither one thing nor the other

In which I look more closely at one particular, well-known data set: what makes it what it is, and what we might draw from the way it’s managed to help us with some other challenging questions about privacy and transparency.…

Coming out

Nobody tells me how to think. That’s important. A core value. Influence me, by all means. Educate me as much as you can. Push me to see something from a different angle. Lend me your shoes and let me walk…