This Week in Data – 10 January

This week in data – 10 January:

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


Census data sharing revealed in more detail

After President Donald Trump was stopped from asking about citizenship in the US Census, he asked the Department of Homeland Security to provide information on the size of the immigrant population in the US. Now the DHS has released a statement detailing exactly how that’s going to happen. Immigration advocates aren’t super happy.


“According to the privacy assessment, DHS data will assist in helping to identify residents that don’t have a Social Security number or a tax identification number with IRS. That will likely reduce the number of U.S. residents that can’t be matched with a Census individual identifier called a protected identification key (PIK).”


United States to create new data council

The year begins with a bang. Of sorts. The United States is developing a new council that will create the position of a Federal Chief Data Officer. That’s pretty cool. Even better is that this person will oversee the implementation of a new strategy to standardize data in the federal government. Now we’re talking.


“The OMB says fully implementing the practices described in the strategy “will require a sustained, iterative, and systematic effort over a ten-year period”.”


It’s time to give data back to the people

Over the past few years we’ve seen several calls for people to gain access to their personal information. Now, Wired has an article advocating for exactly that. What’s new about this one is that it actually goes into detail about exactly how someone would gain monetary value from this data. The big call here: we need to create a marketplace for personal data, with individuals in charge.


“Finally, the market would need to facilitate dynamic data pricing. Given the existing gap between the actual price of data (about $0.0005 per person, on average) and the perceived value that creators attribute to their loss of privacy (about $36), any shift from the current “free data for free services” model to a data market paradigm will have to happen in stages.”


CES highlights privacy challenges

Speaking of privacy, the Consumer Electronics Show is on in Las Vegas right now. Apart from the weird gidgets and gizmos taking centre stage, more companies are talking about privacy. Geekwire takes a look at just a few of them: Apple, Proctor and Gamble, and Facebook representatives sat on a panel with a representative from the Federal Trade Commission.

Considering Apple never shows up at CES, this panel was a big deal.


“The focus on data privacy at CES this year reflects growing concern among consumers about how their information is collected and used. But a parallel — or perhaps paradoxical — trend is also playing out this year. Surveillance tech is all over CES, as AP reports. Smart home devices, face scanning, DNA testing, and other tech that improves our ability to collect information on one another is all over the showroom floor.”


Will banks turn off the data tap?

The past 12 months saw banks around the world open access to transaction information, (especially in countries like Australia where open banking legislation is coming into effect). Banking Dive takes a look at this trend, and predicts the tap will turn off in 2020. Fintech proponents won’t be happy.


“As more banks begin to announce improved security practices, we can expect to see a snowball effect,” Ray Walsh, a digital privacy expert at, told Banking Dive.”


A Privacy Officer’s new year resolutions

New year, new you, right? For privacy officers it seems there’s plenty that could be turned around. At least, the Data Protection Report thinks so. Even if you aren’t in the C-suite, this advice works for anyone adjacent to privacy controls: look at the big picture, implement controls, and stay safe. Pretty common sense stuff.


“Data localisation issues are also set to resurface during 2020.  China’s requirements are tricky, the Russian Data Localisation law now has monetary penalties and the draft Indian data protection bill also imposes localisation requirements in certain circumstances.”


Will data create a retail revolution in Australia?

Maybe! The Australian Financial Review points out that retailers – which have been struggling in Australia and around the world – have more data than ever before. The real kicker comes from the idea that retailers need a reason to exist beyond commodities and transactions, which then leads into a question about data. What aren’t they doing with it that they should be?


“Liquor retailer Dan Murphy’s, for example, is already curating the range in one of its newest stores based on a customer’s online product ratings and making personalised offers based on their preferences.”


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

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Until next week,

Team Data Republic

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