Gathering Personal Information and Publishing It

Articles are a great way to show your expertise and engage with your audience. They can help you drive traffic to your site and ultimately convert customers. However, there are some risks associated with gathering private information and publishing it.


A collection is direct if it comes from the person to whom the information relates or their substitute decision-maker. For example, a children’s aid society may directly collect personal information during an intake interview.

Using a Camera

Since its inception, a camera has been nothing more than a box that controls the amount of light that reaches a light-sensitive surface (film or a sensor). Even though cameras now include many advanced features, they are still at heart a collection device for personal information. Therefore, agencies need to think very carefully about why they want to use such devices and how they plan to ensure that people who appear on surveillance cameras are aware that their images will be captured. This is important because Principle 3 of the Privacy Act requires that an agency be open about why it collects personal information.

Using a Laptop

A laptop is a portable computer that combines a screen and keyboard in a single enclosure. Initially, these computers were designed to be used on your lap, hence the name, but they are now thinner and lighter. Laptops are used by both individuals and organizations, and they often use security features such as encryption and password protection to prevent unauthorized access. Some of the more advanced models even have fingerprint and face recognition sensors.

It is increasingly important for people to be able to protect their personal information from large companies and government agencies that view them as nothing more than lifeless data floating around in vast electronic chambers waiting to be captured, examined, collated and sold. To do so, they need the right tools.

Using a Tablet

A tablet is a handheld computer that sits somewhere between a laptop and a smartphone. It has a touchscreen display and works in the same way as a smartphone. You use the end of your finger or a plastic stylus to control what is happening on-screen and interact with programs. You can also use a keyboard to type things if you need to.

Most tablets are Wi-Fi enabled and can connect to the Internet. They are often smaller than a laptop and lighter to carry around. They can even be used to get online on the go if you have a cellular version that works with data networks like 3G or 4G.

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has recently conducted a study to test whether electronic tablet-based data collection would be acceptable and feasible in healthcare facilities in low and middle-income countries. The study involved seven healthcare facilities and a large maternal morbidity survey in Kenya, India, and Pakistan. The electronic tablets were wrapped in inexpensive, wrap-around, ‘book style’ covers to prevent damage during use. The devices were password protected and’restricted’ prior to use so that data collectors could not access personal email, social media, or the Internet.