Applied Information Technology Discuss Privacy on Live Radio

Do Australians have a right to privacy?
What happens to all the information that we give away to companies and other entities?
How is our data handled and protected?
Why doesn’t Western Australia have its own privacy laws, unlike other states and territories?

Applied Information Technology (AIT) is an ATAR subject offered to students in Years 11 and 12. In this course the students study how technology has impacted life and work. This includes examining our federal Privacy Act, and how it protects the personal data of Australians. The class had a fantastic opportunity to travel to the ABC Studios in West Perth this week.  We were part of a live studio audience for Mornings with Nadia Mitsopoulos as it was broadcast across the state. 

The following panel experts gave us much to think about. 

  • Tama Leaver, Professor of Internet Studies at Curtin University
  • Dr Julia Powles from UWA’s Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab
  • Kathryn Gledhill-Tucker, board member at Electronic Frontiers Australia
  • David Yates, partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Steve Woods from Tannhauser

It was a lively discussion, with our girls fortunate to ask questions on air! We also met with Kate Leaver (Class of 2009), who is a producer at the ABC. Kate studied AIT at Santa Maria when she was in Year 12 and great ways in which the subject has helped her connect learning to life. The girls were also excited to be taken on a tour of the recording studios.

You can listen to the full morning’s segment here.

The Spotlight on Privacy segment begins at 35.01 in and ends at 1:30. 

Santa Maria student Sabine Gore’s question “What should we be doing to make it safer for young people to use the internet and not have all of their information online at an early age?” can be heard at 1:18.

 This week in Federal Parliament, the Privacy Act (1988) is being amended, and the AIT class wonder whether the proposed changes will go far enough to protect personal and sensitive information. Our class look forward to critiquing the changes and advocating for more government accountability in our digital spaces.

Here’s what some of the girls had to say about the experience:

I really enjoyed my time at the ABC Studios. The panel guests were very engaging and gave valuable insights into the way our data is used, as well as the unbalanced nature of the Privacy Act between economical business gain and individual protection. It was great to see how radio works behind the scenes, and how every person, both on and off air play a part in helping the show run smoothly. Grace Robertson

AIT is one of those subjects that applies to nearly every aspect of life, or you will come across it at some point in your life. So, by hearing everyday news on what’s going on in Perth and learning how it relates to the content learnt in class about data security, helps link and put into perspective how important our data is and what we are putting onto the internet. Sophia Schneider

Going to the ABC Studios was a really exciting and a once in a lifetime opportunity. I found it really engaging listening to the experts debate different sides of the argument about data security and whose responsibility it should be to keep their data private and safe from being shared with third parties unintentionally. It will be interesting to see how they deal with these issues in the future! Sumaya Northcott

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