April 23

The Handmaid’s Tale

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood was first published in 1985. Set in the near-future, this dystopian novel deals with a society struggling to survive, but at what cost?

One of the themes of The Handmaid’s Tale is that of societal control vs the privacy and rights of the individual. It raises many issues, including how much we should sacrifice the rights of an individual (or a group of individuals) for what is perceived as the public good.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Study Guides to the novel:

The Novel Guide



The Conversation

York Notes


Task: Your task requires you to write a feature article based on a topical dystopian issue.  Some current relevant issues could include:

The following resources provide you with possible topics and a starting point for your research:


Data mining from Facebook

A long awaited privacy awakening is here (CNN Tech)

Privacy issues emerge as major business risk for Facebook (Reuters)

Facebook is playing games with your privacy and there’s nothing you can do about it (Forbes)

Facebook introduces central page for privacy and security settings (New York Times)

I downloaded 14 years of my Facebook data and here’s what happened (CNN Tech)


Trump Campaign mining data

How Trump consultants exploited the Facebook data of millions (New York Times)

Data firm tied to Trump campaign talked business with Russians (New York Times)


‘Big Brother’ surveillance

Big Brother surveillance is our reality (Sydney Morning Herald)

Big Brother isn’t just watching: workplace surveillance can track your every move (The Guardian)

In Xi Jinping’s scary new China, Big Brother meets big data (Financial Review)

They are watching you – and everything else on the planet (National Geographic)


CG2018 surveillance / Facial recognition

Security tech muscles up for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (SENL Security Electronics and Networks)

Commonwealth Games facial recognition software to stay… (ABC News) Audio version of the story is here.

Legislation for Australian automated facial recognition enters Parliament (ZDNet)


Designer Babies

Designing babies (SBS)

Designer babies: an ethical horror waiting to happen (The Guardian)

When baby genes are for sale, the rich will pay (Fortune)

British scientists given green light to edit genes in human embryos (Huffington Post)