This Week in Data – 1 November

This week in data – 1 November: Each week, we compile the best stories in data. Get up to speed on this week in data without having to search for it.


Trump attacked for weaponizing data

Yikes. In a blistering op-ed for the New York Times, President Donald Trump is pinned for using federal departments to locate undocumented immigrations for deportation. For instance, ICE used license plate databases in Washington State to locate targets. That has to stop, the op-ed argues, before the citizens’ trust in government data usage erodes completely.


“Resources should be devoted to ensuring that ordinary people know how to download data sets for their own research and curiosity. Already, community organizers and activists have used data to hold government agencies accountable.”


Google targeted by Aussie consumer watchdog

The ACCC is suing the search engine over its mishandling of some location data. Consumers’ location data, to be precise. The ACCC says customers received a message that said data would only be used for certain services, but…that wasn’t the full story, apparently. And the Aussies don’t mess around.


“We consider that because of Google’s failure to disclose this use of data, consumers were and still are deprived of the opportunity to make an informed choice about whether to share their personal location data with Google.”


Uber sues Los Angeles

What’s with all the court action this week? The ride sharing app is taking the city to court over a requirement that forces Uber to share location data related to their privately-owned scooters. LA isn’t the only city to do this, but Uber takes issue: they say the data is personally identifiable. Given all the ruckus over personal data, it’s no surprise that Uber wants to stay clear of any possible data failures.


“To be effective, the department requires reasonable information about the tens of thousands of shared vehicles operated by transportation technology companies that use our streets for profit.”


Facebook vows to protect health information

The social media giant will let users give info about health and flu shots, but it’s treading lightly. The idea is that users will receive information about preventative health measures. Cool. You know what’s cooler? Privacy. Facebook seems to get the jist.


“As a clinician, I’m keenly aware that health care is different, and health information is different, and that we have to treat it differently, and we have,” Dr. Freddy Abnousi, cardiologist and Facebook’s head of health care research.


Aussie state to standardize personal information

In yet another sign that governments around the world are seriously upping their game when it comes to managing personal information, the New South Wales Government wants to standardize personal information gathered from citizens. Essentially, if the Government can understand how much personal information it gathers and where, citizens will be more able to trust them.


“Without getting privacy rights, linking datasets and generating insights without the protection of protecting individual privacy is something that creates a whole world of pain when we’re not doing the right thing with the datasets we’re linking together.”


Most consumers wouldn’t sell their data

A new survey of Californians found 90% of them wouldn’t sell their personal data to make money under the state’s new privacy legislation, which takes effect January 1. This conflicts with some other surveys elsewhere, but it paints a picture of what Californians believe now – which is most important. Are you surprised?


“Though some consumers have indicated they’re open to a value exchange. It’s worth noting that the March survey gave consumers the additional choice of giving their personal information in exchange for a reward. Roughly 1 in 5 consumers chose that option.”


That’s our wrap for this week. Thanks for reading – we hope you found it entertaining and informational. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these articles and anything else data related! Email us anytime at!

Until next week,

Team Data Republic

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