This week in data – November 2nd 2016

Yesterday, we were pleased to announce the launch of the Minerva Collective, a Data Republic not-for-profit affiliate dedicated to using data to deliver social good. Established as an independent not-for-profit and spearheaded by Data Republic’s former People, Culture and Productivity Lead, Whitney Komor, the Minerva Collective will connect social impact organisations with access to data and analysts to help them solve social problems.

You can catch up on all the news here:

To coincide with launch, our CoFounder & CEO Paul McCarney penned this personal blog post on why we’re investing in this important initiative.

In other news…

The Australian Red Cross has triggered significant privacy controversy this week following a data breach which saw personal information from 550,000 blood donors made public. The information relates to donors from 2010 to 2016 and includes names, addresses and dates of birth as well as sensitive donation eligibility questions concerning sexual activity, drug use, weight and medical conditions. Both the Red Cross and the Australian Privacy Commissioner have launched investigations into the breach said to have occurred when a file, containing donor information was published to a website.

There are likely to be ongoing legal repercussions for the Red Cross with the incident again highlighting the need for organisations to maintain appropriate data governance and security measures. It has been raised that the full negative repercussions of this breach could have been avoided had appropriate encryption or tokenization principles been applied.

Finally, a recent poll commissioned by the nation’s credit unions has revealed that two-thirds of Australian consumers believe transactional banking data belongs to them and not their bank, while 88 per cent say they should have the right to control access to their account data.

The issue of consumer banking data is a hot topic this week as the Productivity Commission (PC) is expected to release their draft report into the availability and use of data tomorrow. Regardless of whether ‘open banking data APIs’ are recommended by the PC – the survey results reveal a need for the sector to better educate consumers about their rights and the opportunities of data availability.

We’ll keep you updated on the outcomes of the draft Productivity Commission findings.

Until next time.