Safe Highway, Safe Car, Safe Driver: the online versions?

| May 20, 2010

It has taken a couple of generations of continuous effort since Ralph Nader and Unsafe at Any Speed to make significant inroads into the road toll; that said, we still have more to do.

The motoring analogy has a lot to teach us about internet safety: online and mobile safety will be the combination of safer networks, safer devices and safer users. There is no way around this: no magic bullet.
But setting aside all the arguments about the weightings these three different dimensions should be given in making the internet safer, here are two ‘here and now’ contributions to the safe use dimension.
The first was launched by the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities during Privacy Awareness Week earlier in May. It is the ID Theft Tool and is a self assessment test you can give yourself right now on how well you are protecting yourself against identity theft. Go on, take the test: it might take you 10 minutes, but I bet you get a surprise somewhere while taking it.
The second is ReclaimPrivacy, the Facebook Privacy Scanner. If you are now confused by all the Facebook privacy settings & want some simple and graphic assessment of the vulnerabilities in your current settings, then go on and take the test. This takes even less effort!
And for some thoughts on what to do at the other levels? Well, if you are in Brisbane on 1 June, come to the Big Picture Seminar that I am giving at the Customs House on Privacy by Design: An oxymoron, an impossibility or the way to go?
Malcolm Crompton is Managing Director of Information Integrity Solutions (IIS), a globally connected company that works with public sector and private sector organisations to help them build customer trust through respect for the customer and their personal information. He was also foundation President of the International Association of Privacy Professionals, Australia New Zealand,


  1. foggy

    May 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    safety online

    nice similes!even if iwere an unsafe driver in an equally unsafe car i would still like my highway to be very safe.there is highway authority to check the safety of close can you get in comparison to check it out online?or do we need to enroll in a bonafide internet safety club? if there is any yet.that is if we cannot look after safety online matters ourselves?

    • Malcolm Crompton

      June 3, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      Nice question, foggy!  The

      Nice question, foggy!  The world is coming to the conclusion that we need more effort on "Privacy by Design".  I am going to blog about this concept in the near future after speaking about it at a NICTA forum in Brisbane.  The NICTA Big Picture seminar is described at