The rise of smartphones means it is easier than ever for governments to tap local telecom carriers to learn where we spend our time, what websites we visit, who we’re calling and texting, and other personal information.
In Hong Kong, a group of researchers and activists is telling residents it’s time to find out how much of their data is being collected.
Access My Info Hong Kong is a new web app built by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Keyboard Frontline, and In Media, two local NGOs, to spur more city residents to learn about what carriers know about them. It follows in the footsteps of a similar project in Canada and a pilot study in Australia, by taking advantage of local laws to force telecom providers to tell you what they’re tracking.
As fears of increasing influence from Beijing grows in Hong Kong, finding out what local companies are actually tracking is more important than ever, they say.