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Telkom Accused Of Dirty Tricks Not To Recognise ICTU

Telkom logo
Telkom logo

A David and Goliath battle is taking place at Telkom, the country’s biggest fixed-line telephone group, which has allegedly resorted to dirty tricks against a union seeking recognition of their rights.

The union leadership has been charged for various baseless allegations relating to union recognition, according to Thabang Mothelo, spokesperson of the Information Communication and Technology Union (ICTU) in an internal memo, seen by TechFinancials.

The ICTU – an affiliate of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) led by Zwelinzima Vavi – has been seeking recognition at Telkom since 2017.

The union – which has fought a more than two years battle for recognition at the telco – claims the sore point for Telkom, is the labour court judgment on the 16 November 2017 which directed “the union and the employer to conduct verification exercise within 30 days” in order to grant ICTU Recognition rights.

“To this end, Telkom has used all tricks in the devil’s book to frustrate this court directive and their final straw was to charge various leaders of the Union.,” wrote Mothelo in the internal memo.

Telkom did not respond to queries on the matter since this morning.

Mothelo added the ICTU is adamant that its existence is not in the behest of individuals or being in the back-pocket like the other union.

The other union could only imply, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) – affiliated to COSATU and the ruling party, the African National Congress.

“The union existence lies with its membership and compliance with the law,” Mothelo explained.

“We expect that the next trip for the shenanigans will be to speak softly to Department of Labour, to try and any influence union de-recognition. Should they fail, all else would have failed.

“ICTU will uphold its revolutionary character. We make no threats but if we can’t meet with Telkom in the boardroom or in court then we shall meet in hell or heaven if that is the place to get our rights.”

The relentless attack on ICTU, as an organization, its leadership and membership has been ongoing for a long time and soon, very soon it will end abruptly, the ICTU internal memo reads.

ICTU members
ICTU members at Blue Label Telecoms offices

“These relentless attacks are part of a strategy to destabilize and ultimately eradicate the union within. This wish, concocted by forces of darkness, will not see the light of the day. We say come hell or high water; we shall succeed. The union is within its legal right to exist.”

The internal memo states that ICTU has been operating for the past eight years having its first membership in Telkom.

“For over eight years the Unions character has been tested and it remains steadfast until this day. Our resounding and resolute position is that any management may wish us away, but the law will remain triumphant in the end,” reads the internal memo.

“Ours is to communicate that despite allegations levelled against the leadership, we remain true to our promise that we will change the current state of Telkom & BCX salaries, fight to reinstate eroded benefits for the workers.

“We take comfort in knowing that “In the struggle to change black people’s lives for the better, it is black people themselves who are going to be your fierce opponent”.

lourie@techfinancials.co.za

South Africans Don’t Trust Companies To Protect Their Data Privacy

Data privacy. Shutterstock.com / Rawpixel.com

by Adele Da Veiga

Consumers expect that organisations will respect their privacy. For instance, when you buy something online, you take it for granted that your bank details will be kept secure. Or if you provide your identity number at a store, you trust that this will be kept confidential.

But the reality in South Africa is very different. In 2017, a massive data breach saw tens of millions of South Africans’ personal information leaked. A real estate company using an open web server was responsible. There have been other instances also involving large companies.

There are legislative measures in place to protect people’s data, among them the Protection of Personal Information Act. An Information Regulator has been established with the objective of protecting citizens’ personal data. It is also responsible for monitoring and enforcing organisations’ compliance of all organisations with the requirements of the Act once it comes into effect.

Ultimately, though, organisations remain accountable for implementing measures in line with the Act to protect their customer data. Public and private organisations are legally obliged to implement minimum requirements to protect consumer data when they process it.

But research conducted at the University of South Africa has found there’s a huge disconnect between the privacy that consumers expect and are legally entitled to, and what organisations are doing to meet their obligations.

And a survey we conducted as part of the research found that consumers are becoming increasingly disenchanted with South African organisations when it comes to issues of privacy and data protection.

These issues can be addressed in several ways. Organisations must start complying with the Protection of Personal Information Act. This will bring South Africa in line with more than 120 countries that have already enacted data privacy legislation.

Organisations can also adopt and adapt guidelines issued by Information Regulators elsewhere in the world, and can study best practice from other jurisdictions. It could also help organisations if the Information Regulator in South Africa issued guidelines to implement the Act. It would also be useful to set up ways of holding organisations to account. Consumers need to know where to report companies that don’t protect their data.

Deep mistrust

Our survey found that consumers’ were very concerned about the protection of their data. As much as 64% of the participants know someone personally whose personal data has been misused. Unwanted marketing was common, suggesting that contact information which was meant to be kept private, had been shared with others.

Of the 1007 people who responded to our survey across South Africa’s nine provinces, 83% were concerned about the protection of their data. About 94% were especially worried about safeguarding their identity; 92% expressed concerns about the security of their financial data, and 80% about their health-related data. These concerns were higher (79%) for online transactions when compared to face-to-face transactions (57%).

Consumers also weren’t sure what to do if their privacy had been violated. Only 37% felt they knew where they have to submit a complaint in a violation.

Overall, the survey suggested that South African consumers weren’t confident that organisations always used their information lawfully and for the agreed purposes. The survey outlined all of the act’s major conditions – and most respondents felt companies weren’t meeting any of these. This, of course, affects consumer trust and confidence.

It has bigger implications, too. If a private or public company is domiciled in South Africa, it must comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act. If it processes the data of citizens in another jurisdiction, like the European Union (EU), it must also comply with the EU’s regulations for the processing of personal information.

But, given that consumers feel that so many South African companies seem not to be complying with local data regulations, it’s unlikely they are operating in line with global data rules such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. This may affect companies’ ability to engage in international trade.

Interventions

Organisations must take heed of their consumers’ privacy concerns, and ensure the methods they use to process and store data are in line with both the law and customers’ expectations. Compliance plans would be useful as compiled by organisations based on international best practice.

It is also obvious from the survey that consumers don’t know who to complain to when their privacy has been violated. Consumers may also not know what the Act entails and what their rights are as only 44% indicated that they have good knowledge about it. The Information Regulator and other consumer organisations should consider awareness and education campaigns to address these gaps.

Consumers indicated that their preference for receiving more information about their privacy rights are mainly the Internet followed by organisations to whom they give their data, as well as the government and banking institutions.The Conversation

Adele Da Veiga, Senior lecturer, University of South Africa

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Men or Women: Who Is The Better Driver?

Women driving a car
Women driving a car. Shutterstock.com / mimagephotography

When it comes to driving, two conversations are always had.

Firstly, do Cape Townians drive better than their Johannesburg counterparts, and secondly, are women better drivers than men?

After much debate, Discovery Insurance recently released a report detailing which province boasted the best and worst drivers in South Africa.

According to the report, Cape Town drivers come out on top with Port Elizabeth coming in second, while Joburg drivers trail in sixth place! Now that that argument can be put to bed, the question still remains, are women better drivers than men?

Let’s see…

Who Wins The Battle Of The Sexes

Among other interesting South African driving habits, the Discovery Vitality in its road to a healthier South Africa report outlined that women are, on paper, better behind the wheel than men.

Oh, yip you did read that correctly. The lifelong legend that men are better drivers has been put to bed.

The report claims that the country’s best drivers are women over the age of 66, while men between the ages of 18 to 25 take the cake for being the biggest hazard on the road.

According to the 2017 Road Traffic Management Corporation’s Road Fatality report, the highest number of driver fatalities were recorded from the age group of 25 – 44. This age group contributed to 26% of all driver fatalities between 2016/ 2017 respectively. The report also stated that there were more males fatally injured in accidents than females.

Well there you have it folks.

So why does this even matter?

The battle of the sexes will forever remain a contentious issue in society, however, males might feel the financial pinch when it comes to paying for damages caused by reckless driving.

According to 1st For Women’s Jolene Chait, women are currently paying less for their insurance claims. “It’s a well-known fact that statistically, the cost of repairs to vehicles crashed by women is on average, lower than the cost of damage caused by men. This is further supported by statistics that state that in South Africa, the cost of the average car claim by an 18-year old male is R11 997.00, while that for an 18-year old woman is R8668.00.” That’s a pretty penny right there.

Although women have been named as better drivers, many people still argue when it comes to vehicle insurance, vehicle claims are coherent with the people claiming, Many couples take out vehicle insurance under the husband’s name. This means that if the wife has an accident in her husband’s vehicle, the husband’s premium will increase, which isn’t totally fair!

 ‘Women-Centric’ Insurance

So it seems that 1st for Women were on the right track when choosing their business model according to recent reports. 1st for Women is South Africa’s first and only ‘women-centric’ insurance brand and we are wondering if more companies may follow this trend.

Chait explains that this brand has conducted thorough research into women and insurance and have found that women are less of a risk on the road.

In 2004, data depicted that more women were taking out their own insurance, however, there were no insurance companies willing to cater for their needs. “Women are extremely time-pressed and also safety is a huge concern for South African women. Our aim is to keep women safe and make their lives easier while at the same time, provide a product offering that meets their needs and requirements as women,” says Chait.

How Are Females Benefiting?

Women Driver Benefits
Women Driver Benefits. Shutterstock.com / mimagephotography

Although 1st for Women provides insurance like other insurance companies, they offer customers with the Guardian Angel Lifestyle Assistance benefits.

This includes:

  • Roadside assistance;
  • Home assistance;
  • Medical assistance;
  • Tax, finance and legal assistance.

All members are automatically part of the 1st For Women Foundation whereby a portion of all premiums are donated to organizations that protect women against violence and abuse. I think we can all agree this is an amazing initiative.

Chait explains that ‘women-centric’ insurance provides a platform for women to feel as important as men in an environment that previously, was predominantly run by men.

“Today, it’s no longer about being better than men, or the differences that exist between the sexes, but rather about gender acceptance and greater independence on women’s own terms. It’s all about redefining women and their multiple, integrated roles and supporting them to be the best that they can be.” 

Want To Know If You Are A Good Driver?

So if you don’t agree with these recent reports that have been published then test it yourself. Choose your male or female opponent and see who comes out on top with the Discovery Drive feature on the Discovery App. Discovery Vitality has made it easy for drivers to track their driving styles. All Discovery Insure members can download the Discovery Insure App on their phones and then activate the Discovery Drive feature.

This app uses the latest in motor vehicle telematics in order to track and collect information about a driver’s driving techniques.

The DQ- track feature records driving behaviour data that focuses on:

  • Acceleration;
  • Braking;
  • Cornering;
  • Speed;
  • Night driving;
  • Distance driven and cell phone use.

Over the next ten weeks, all South Africans will be able to access the Discovery Drive feature on the app.

If you would like to track your driving habits and find out if you are as good of a driver as you think, download the Discovery Insure App on your App store.

Let us know who wins! – editor@techfinancials.co.za

South Africa’s Aerobotics Named Most Innovative African Startup

AfricArena judging panel with Aerobotics COO Tim Willis receiving President Macron Tech Award at VivaTech 2019 for most innovative African startup
AfricArena judging panel with Aerobotics COO Tim Willis receiving President Macron Tech Award at VivaTech 2019 for most innovative African startup

Every entrepreneur wants to see their company being named as the most innovative African startup.

It’s a great feeling and comes with benefits too.

What is the best place than to be recognised as Africa’s best startup at VivaTech?

VivaTech is the world’s rendezvous for startups and leaders to celebrate innovation.

It also breaks down the traditional barriers between grassroots innovators and global leaders.

Today, South African-based agritech startup Aerobotics was named the most innovative African startup at VivaTech 2019.

“We’re extremely excited to name Aerobotics our leading startup for AfricArena and are proud to be associated with the fast developing agritech company that is making a global impact on farm production,” says Christophe Viarnaud, AfricArena CEO.

“We look forward to Aerobotics’ mission to help shape the future of farming through their AI and crop monitoring software and seeing their success unfold more than ever before.”

Aeroview InField scouting application used in the field
Aeroview InField scouting application used in the field

Recognising that technology is revolutionising Africa, VivaTech featured, for the second time, a dedicated Afric@Tech section – showcasing 50 African startups from four key sectors, among them the ten startups making up the AfricArena delegation.

This year proved another success for tech innovation from the continent of Africa.

“The VivaTech 2019 journey has been an amazing venture”, says Tim Willis, Aerobotics’ COO.

Tim Willis, Aerobotics’ COO
Tim Willis, Aerobotics’ COO, presenting at the AfricArena pitch battle at VivaTech 2019

“Since our 2018 involvement with AfricArena, the accelerator has provided key opportunities to expand our networks, particularly in Europe. Our shared vision to scale African tech into global markets strongly aligns with our expansion plans. The positive uptake abroad of our product is proof that African tech is world class.”

Aerobotics is an artificial intelligence agritech start-up specialising in tree crop pest and disease monitoring processes using aerial data and AI software.

While headquartered in Cape Town, they are serving clients in more than 18 countries. Aerobotics recently expanded its series funding round from $2 million to $4 million.

“Going into a second consecutive year with the AfricArena VivaTech Challenge, we are excited at the prospects of another year of their successful partnership,” says Willis.

“We’ve worked hard to gain the trust of more than a thousand farmers in ten countries and this opportunity is giving us a chance to extend our market expansion strategy to France and USA.”

“This is a win-win for everyone. We know that South African farmers are early-adopters when it comes to new technology. We’re confident that Aeroview can be used to their immediate benefit.”
“This is a win-win for everyone. We know that South African farmers are early-adopters when it comes to new technology. We’re confident that Aeroview can be used to their immediate benefit.”

AfricArena is anchored and endorsed by major international sponsors BNP Paribas, La French Tech, Silicon Cape, Vinci Energies, AirFrance KLM, Engie, Sanofi, Saint-Gobain, Methys, City of Cape Town, Proparco, RCS, and Leroy Merlin.

Next Steps

Africa is the future and African tech is where to invest right now. AfricArena offers the ideal deal-making platform where corporates, angels, VCs and CVCs, incubators/accelerators and entrepreneurs can join forces for the good of innovation and the growth of the African tech ecosystem.

AfricArena 2019 is taking place at the Century City Conference Centre from 11 – 12 November 2019. – lourie@techfinancials.co.za

Discovery Is The World’s Second-Strongest Insurance Brand

Discovery headquarters
Discovery Headquarters. Rich T Photo / Shutterstock.com

Discovery, SA’s largest health-insurance administrator, has been named as the world’s second-strongest insurance brand.

Every year, leading valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance values the world’s biggest brands.

The 100 most valuable insurance brands in the world are included in the Brand Finance Insurance 100 2019 report.

Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy, named China’s Pin An as the world’s strongest insurance brand with its brand value up 93% to $50.5 billion.

Discovery is a new entrant to this year’s Brand Finance Insurance 100 2019, scoring an impressive brand strength index (BSI) score of 85.97 out of 100, making it the world’s second strongest insurance brand.

Discovery is South Africa’s largest health-insurance administrator and has seen major success through its Vitality rewards scheme which awards points for completing various online health assessments and routine medical checks.

The brand has also launched a Discovery Bank.

“What is the purpose of a strong brand: to attract customers, to build loyalty, to
motivate staff? All true, but for a commercial brand at least, the first answer must
always be ‘to make money’,” asked David Haigh, CEO, Brand Finance.

Discovery provides administration and managed care services to over 3.3 million beneficiaries.

It has a market share of over 40% in the overall medical scheme market in South Africa.

The administrator also and manages 18 restricted medical schemes on behalf of leading corporate clients, as well as Discovery Health Medical Scheme, South Africa’s largest open medical scheme.

Telkom Connects Soweto School To The World

Soweto
Soweto. Sunshine Seeds / Shutterstock.com

A high speed, quality fibre connection, provided by Telkom, is set to make a big difference in the lives of learners of Orlando High School in Soweto.

“The internet will be an enabler for us as learners from the township. The teaching and learning environment will change drastically and [it] will open a whole new world for us. We will not be left out as the world moves into the Fourth Industry Revolution,” said Orlando High student representative Thatho Mahlatsi on Friday morning.

The school, which has a rich political history dating back to the liberation struggle, received a fibre connection earlier today as the country marks World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD).

WTIS Day is spearheaded by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and has been celebrated annually since 2006. The day focuses on the importance of ICT and issues relating to the information society.

Speaking at the activation, Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko said the fibre connection at the school marks the start of a broader investment into South Africa’s 26 000 estimated schools.

Maseko views the rollout of fibre internet as a catalyst for economic development and education.

“Our focus is to ensure that many South Africans are connected to quality and fast internet. With more people connected, the less the data will cost,” Maseko said.

Wifi
Wi-Fi. Shutterstock.com /NicoElNino

Telkom is exploring partnering with government to roll out a fibre network to public places like schools, hospitals and police stations so that they get connectivity at zero-rated costs.

With the right technology, Maseko said, this fibre connection can contribute to many other sectors and contribute to revitalising the township economy.

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, who led the WTISD Day celebrations, said information and communication technologies are important tools for advancing a more equitable and prosperous South Africa.

She encouraged the learners to use the connectivity to their advantage and tell the world their stories and history.

Government’s plan is to ensure that policies and regulations are in place so that Telkom and others are able to roll out internet connectivity throughout the country.

“As much as government has made investments in the digital space the main drivers are the industry role players. This is why as a government we are calling on many other networks to join in connecting the unconnected.”

The minister said as much as government is driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the issue of speed and the quality of the connectivity becomes crucial.

She said while President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on investors to invest in the country, the government had to ensure the best infrastructure was in place for their investments. The government will be establishing the Digital Development Fund to assist in the rollout of this infrastructure and move the country towards the realisation of the 2030 National Development Plan (NDP) goals.

Radio frequency spectrum allocation policy

Ndabeni–Abrahams said the government is moving towards finalising the radio frequency spectrum allocation policy directive.

She has extensively engaged the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) to ensure the regulator is adequately resourced to effectively conduct the spectrum licencing process once the policy directive is issued.

The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services has reprioritised its finances and has already transferred R10 million to ICASA which will be used to provide for the requisite additional human and financial resources that will be borne by the regulator.

To ensure an inclusive approach, Ndabeni-Abrahams said she has invited sector stakeholders to provide written submissions on their interpretation of the definition of the spectrum licencing process.

“We want to ensure everybody that we are in charge of the process and that everybody will get what they deserve according to the country’s priorities.”

Through spectrum licensing, the government wants to fast-track 4G spectrum assignment which operators have been waiting for for many years. It will also help transform the sector by attracting new investments while also hastening the growth of mobile communications in the country.

Broadcasting Digital Migration

With regards to the implementation of broadcasting digital migration, the Minister said one of the reasons for the delay was that few people have registered to receive the subsidised set-top boxes, which are needed to facilitate the switch from analogue broadcasting to digital.

With this in mind, they have to extend the rollout until 2020 so as to bring everybody on board. – SAnews.gov.za

SARB Wants To Explore The possibility Of A ZAR-Backed Digital Currency

Stack of Bitcoin coins on Southern Africa flag.
Stack of Bitcoin coins on Southern Africa flag. Wit Olszewski / Shutterstock.com

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) is investigating the feasibility, desirability and appropriateness of central bank issued digital currency to be used as an electronic legal tender, complimentary to cash.

The SARB has issued a tender notification on 14 May 2019.

The tender notification reads:

Request for expression of interest from prospective solution providers in anticipation of a feasibility project for the issuance of electronic legal tender – a central bank digital currency issued and backed by the South African Reserve Bank.

The SARB said in the tender notification it is embarking on a process to identify potential solution providers in the financial technology (FinTech) and related domains, and therefore invites responses to this expression of interest (EOI).

“It is imperative to highlight that this digital currency feasibility project will be purely exploratory in nature, and by no means constitutes any long-term plan and/or a commitment by the SARB to issue a digital currency,” said SARB.

The purpose-led vision of the SARB is to lead in serving the economic well-being of
South Africans through price and financial stability. To this end, the project will aim to
explore the possibility of supporting this vision through the issuance of digital currency.

Bitcoin on South African Rands Banknotes Background.  Eakvoraseth / Shutterstock.com
Bitcoin on South African Rands Banknotes Background. Eakvoraseth / Shutterstock.com

The guiding policy for the exploration of the development of the digital currency is:

  • Digital currency will be issued as legal tender by the SARB only.
  • A possible alternative scenario is for the SARB to back the digital currency and to set
    regulatory standards and interoperability requirements, but with commercial banks
    acting as issuing authorities under the regulatory oversight of the SARB.
  • The supply of digital currency must be limited as determined by applicable monetary policy.
  • It must be possible to issue and distribute digital currency to commercial banks only, or to commercial banks as well as licensed service providers. Such licensed service
    providers could be instrumental in broadening the base for financial inclusion and
    would be authorised and licensed upon meeting a defined set of regulatory criteria.
  • Digital currency must be complementary to cash and is not intended to replace cash. However, it is expected that digital currency would influence the movement of cash or even displace cash to some extent over time.
  • Digital currency must be a liability on the SARB balance sheet.
  • Digital currency must be issued at one-to-one parity with the rand.
  • Transacting with digital currency must be free to the consumer, or at a very low cost
    significantly below current payment channel fees.
  • Digital currency must offer value or an incentive to promote its use, including a lower cost to the industry compared with the cost of cash.
  • Digital currency must be ubiquitous and accepted as a means of payment by all sizes of
    business and by the government.
  • Digital currency must not introduce the risk of destabilising the financial sector and
    mechanisms must be incorporated to give effect to policy decisions regarding its
    supply and movement. Specifically, it must be possible to manage risks such as value
    migrating rapidly from commercial bank money to digital currency, thereby skewing the ability
    of commercial banks to provide credit.
  • Digital currency must provide the opportunity for stakeholders to innovate in terms of payment
    products, but must not be seen to disintermediate commercial banks.
  • Digital currency must be usable alongside the rand in the member states of the Common
    Monetary Area (CMA).
  • Consumers must be able to own and transact in digital currency without the need for a bank account.
  • Consumers and businesses must be provided with the channels to obtain or return
    digital currency in exchange for cash and commercial bank money.
  • Digital currency must be freely and seamlessly interchangeable between an account-based store of value and a tokenised store of value. Digital currency is expected to be interest-free or attract zero interest. This must, however, be a variable attribute to cater for different policy positions in future.

Branding of the Digital Currency

SARB states in the tender notification that the digital currency should be:

  • branded and its ownership by the SARB as issuer must be evident.
  • unique in its design and its SARB ownership must be clear and
    evident.
  • trusted and acceptable to all members of the public as legal tender,
    a safe store of value, and as secure means to transfer value during transacting.

Why Parents Should Think Twice About Tracking Apps For Their Kids

Wearable children tracking gadget
Wearable children tracking gadget. JpegPhotographer / Shutterstock.com

by Joel Michael Reynolds

The use of self-tracking and personal surveillance technologies has grown considerably over the last decade. There are now apps to monitor people’s movement, health, mindfulness, sleep, eating habits and even sexual activity.

Some of the more thorny problems arise from apps designed to track others, like those made for parents to track their kids. For example, there are specific apps that allow parents to monitor their child’s GPS location, who they call, what they text, which apps they use, what they view online and the phone number of their contacts.

As a bioethicist who specializes in the ethics of emerging technologies, I worry that such tracking technologies are transforming prudent parenting into surveillance parenting.

Here are three reasons why.

1. Companies are tracking for profit

The first reason has to do with concerns over the tech itself.

Tracking apps are not primarily designed to keep children safe or help with parenting. They are designed to make money by gathering loads of information to be sold to other companies.

A 2017 report from a marketing research firm estimates that self-monitoring technologies for health alone will reach gross revenues of US$71.9 billion by 2022.

The lion’s share of the profit is not in the device itself, but in the data drawn from its users.

To get as much data as they can, these apps work hard to keep one constantly using them via push notifications and other design techniques.

This data is then often sold to other companies – including advertising agencies and political campaign firms. The primary aim of these devices is not people’s well-being, but the profit that can be made off of their data.

When parents track children, they help companies maximize their profits. Should a child’s information become de-anonymized and fall into the wrong hands, this could put one’s child at risk.

2. Risks of leaking private data

There are also significant privacy risks.

A 2014 study by the security firm Symantec found that even devices that do not appear to be traceable can still be tracked wirelessly, as a result of insufficient privacy features.

Data from tracking can be misused.
Josep Suria

That same year, a study by computer scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that many Android mobile health applications, for example, send unencrypted information over the Internet. Nearly all of these apps monitor one’s location. Researchers at MIT and the Catholic University of Louvain found that just four time-stamped locations could uniquely identify 95% of individuals, making promises of anonymity hollow.

Information related to people’s whereabouts can reveal valuable data about them. In the case of children, their tracking data could very easily be used by someone else.

3. It can break trust

Another reason why tracking one’s child is worrisome has to do with the risk of breaking their trust.

Social scientists have shown that trust is central to close relationships, including healthy parent-child relationships. It is necessary for the development of commitment and feelings of security. A child’s sense of personal privacy is a crucial component of this trust.

A 2019 study shows monitoring a child can undermine the sense of trust and bonding. In fact, it can become counterproductive to the point of pushing the child further towards rebellion.

This risk, I would argue, is perhaps far more serious than those leading parents to track their children in the first place.

A few exceptions

While I think that tracking one’s child is often unethical, there are some cases where it may be warranted.

If a parent has good reasons to suspect that their child is suicidal, involved in violent extremism, or engaged in other activities that threaten their life or that of others, the best course of action may involve breaking trust, invading privacy and monitoring the child.

But those are the exceptions, not the rule. Think twice before tracking your kids.

Editor’s note: This piece is part of our series on ethical questions arising from everyday life. We would welcome your suggestions. Please email us at ethical.questions@theconversation.com.The Conversation

Joel Michael Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts Lowell

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

SingularityU South Africa Brings Together Over 20 Global Thought Leaders

Exponential Finance Summit
Exponential Finance Summit

SingularityU South Africa today announced that more speakers have been added to the programme for the inaugural Exponential Finance Summit.

The summit will take place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 29 and 30 May 2019.

The new speakers include Shane Glynn, Hylton Kallner, Phathizwe Malinga, Benjamin Rosman and Magda Wierzycka.

These speakers add to the already prestigious slate of presentations boasting world-renowned cybersecurity expert Jaya Baloo, economics and exponential business models expert Amin Toufani, blockchain specialist Tanya Knowles, future of cities expert Geci Karuri-Sebina (PHD), Catherine Wood, founder of ARK invest, and data science specialist Manu Sharma. Other headline speakers include Ramez Naam, Kyle Nel, David Roberts, Kirsty Roth, Ashley Anthony, Mic Mann, Shayne Mann, Nathana Sharma, and Paul Pagnatto – one of the top 35 global wealth advisors globally.

This event is the next iteration in SingularityU’s journey to #futureproofAfrica, by creating a global community of changemakers, who are able to implement solutions to solve the world’s Global Grand Challenges by using exponential technologies.

“As part of our journey in future-proofing Africa, we are thrilled to have added more incredible speakers to the lineup for our Exponential Finance Summit. We feel a great sense of pride to be bringing these world-class experts and thinking to our South African shores,” said Shayne Mann, co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa.

“Through the Exponential Finance Summit, we hope to facilitate meaningful networking connections on a global scale, encourage ideas that can change the financial world, stimulate the South African economy, and kickstart a strong venture capital ecosystem. The impact is the currency of the future and these new speakers promise to add exactly that,” said Mic Mann, co-CEO of SingularityU South Africa.

The Exponential Finance Summit is an industry-specific event hosted in collaboration with The Development Bank of Southern Africa, global partners Deloitte, and Discovery, and strategic partner MTN.

The Summit will showcase how exponential technologies are simultaneously shaping and disrupting the financial industry. It aims to empower attendees with the latest insights on how to boost GDP growth, create employment, and attract foreign direct investment—a key enabler of economic growth that is especially important for emerging market economies.

“Exponential Finance will be a transformative experience for attendees. SingularityU South Africa convenes the world’s experts to introduce attendees to exponential technologies and equip them with the mindset and leadership needed to take the finance industry into the future,” said Rob Nail, CEO and associate founder of Singularity University.

“We expect that these two days will incite and inspire action that will lead to breakthroughs in Africa’s economy.”

Similar to the annual SingularityU South Africa Summit, Exponential Finance will focus on creating a collaborative and more economically-inclusive future, whereby partnerships and deals can be conceptualised and developed across the continent.

Networking opportunities will allow attendees to connect with SingularityU alumni.

Exhibitors will present breakthrough ideas and investment opportunities that will run alongside the summit.