Session 7

[RSVP] When the Music’s Over – COVID, Conspiracies and Content Patterns: An India – China Conversation (September 18)

The pandemic triggered a new wave of misinformation and conspiracy theories, about everything from the source of the virus and its epidemiology, to containment measures, to the science behind prevention and treatment. This ‘infodemic’ has serious consequences for public health, with diverse strains playing on fears and prejudices in different contexts and countries. What can[…]

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Pandemic strengthens China’s platforms as infrastructure providers

After strict lockdown measures went into place in China, nearly all commercial activity shifted online. E-commerce expanded its reach in the form of rural live-streaming (村播): farmers-turned-online-hosts selling fresh produce and the nostalgia of the countryside to tens of millions of urban consumers glued to their smartphones at home. The exchange is simple. Using apps[…]

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The bio-surveillance state: an emerging new normal in Asia

When economic activity gradually resumed in China in mid-February, Chinese residents returned to a “new normal” under a strict surveillance infrastructure. They have their temperatures taken and personal information logged as they enter office buildings, residential communities and large commercial venues. And their freedom of movement depends on an app called Health Code (健康码), which[…]

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All Carrots and No Sticks: A Case Study on Social Credit Scores in Xiamen and Fuzhou

In 2018 Xiamen and Fuzhou, two cities in Fujian province, a region on the coast in the southeast most famous for its historic trader links and global diaspora population, became one of just a handful of cities in China with their own city-level personal credit scores (个人信用评分). These are algorithmically created scores, using data gathered[…]

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A tech upgrade for India-China relations

Chinese technology companies are now world leaders in areas such as artificial intelligence, e-commerce and fintech. After investing heavily in South East Asia, they are rapidly establishing themselves in India, with venture capital firms following suit. This can have a transformative effect on the Indian technology scenario over time and catalyse an Operating System (OS)[…]

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Lead Leapfrogger: Chinese O2O Commerce and The Nature Of Cultural Innovation

I. The Remarkable Story of Everyday O2O Commerce in China Let’s say you were planning to visit China ten years ago. You would have your visa and flights booked, perhaps even a hotel. But the preparations wouldn’t end there. You’d have withdrawn plenty of RMB in cash, which you’d need for just about everything, except[…]

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The Data Protection Convention that We All Need

Once upon a time, in a faraway land (Europe), some countries decided that it would be worth setting in stone (in an international treaty) the protection of persons when information on them were being used (automatically processed by computer). The Convention of the Council of Europe for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic[…]

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Data Privacy about more than Privacy

It is often forgotten that laws concerning data privacy serve purposes other than protecting privacy alone. Research conducted by this writer in New Zealand over the last decade has conclusively established in the first place that the vast majority (around 80% in one study) of litigation brought under the Privacy Act 1993 (the Act) was[…]

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Data protection: How are attitudes to disclosure changing? 

As more of our personal data is held in centralized, remote storage, it has become a tempting target for law enforcement and intelligence agencies.  Through various investigatory powers, these government agencies can demand that social media companies, e-mail providers, ISPs, and other intermediaries turn over sensitive records and message content.  Are governments abusing their investigatory[…]