This Week in Data – 13 December

This week in data – 13 December:

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


Facebook, Apple threatened with new data regulation

Wow, Washington isn’t messing around. A bunch of senators have now called for Facebook and Apple, among others, to be hit with new laws that would give law enforcement access to encrypted messages. The companies have long since washed their hands of this, saying that encryption means absolutely no one, including the businesses themselves, can read the messages. Lawmakers say that’s just not good enough.


“You’re going to find a way to do this or we’re going to go do it for you,” said Senator Lindsey Graham. “We’re not going to live in a world where a bunch of child abusers have a safe haven to practice their craft. Period. End of discussion.”


Amazon, Google, and the future of the NHS

You may or may not have heard that Amazon struck a deal with the British National Health Service to access some healthcare data. As Wired points out, people are ticked. With good reason. If you make a health query through your Alexa, Amazon might have access to it. 

With the recent controversy over health data in the United States being shared with Google, it seems health info is set to be a hot topic in 2020. 


“The NHS has not only handed over expertise and allowed the e-commerce giant to directly profit from it – it has also endorsed Amazon to gather patient data straight from our own mouths, in a way that identifies us, with little regard for the consequences.”


Australian state leads push for safe data sharing

Those Aussies, at it again. The state of New South Wales – its chief data scientist, to be precise – is leading a push into safe data sharing. The Mandarin reports Dr Ian Oppermann said it was a key issue for the government, especially in the development of risk frameworks. 


“While our approach is heuristic, the processes we present demonstrate credible ways to consider the challenges of data sharing and — it is hoped — provide a basis for building principles-based data sharing and governance frameworks,” the report stated.”


Transport companies combine to share data

A bunch of transport businesses including Lyft and Uber are joining forces to share mobility data that will help cities with planning. The consortium, which was put together by SAE International, says its goal is to make an international standard. Seems like there is a lot of that going around…


“The way that each operator is reporting is different, the way that the cities are requiring this to be reported are different, so we’re unable to compare apples to apples at this time.”


The transport system of the future is built on data

Speaking of transport, Safa Alkateb, CEO of Autocab, writes a piece over at Data-Economy about how cities are creating new laws to regulate emissions-heavy vehicles. But in order for these types of pushes to work, Alkateb argues we need to create a new mobility system. Apart from the technical implications and challenges, he says, we’ll need to convince governments of this plan. That’ll be the hard part.


“We will also need organisations to recognise the value to be gained from sharing their data. One great example is the work that Transport for London (TfL) has been doing in making statistics about its services accessible to others.”


Open banking will only work if it’s integrated

Back in Australia, you know that open banking regime they’re working on? Well, it’s coming up quickly. But Which-50 points out a critical aspect of this plan: it’s only going to work if the banks do the hard work of embedding this tech within their legacy systems.

That’s…easier said than done. And given customers are more sensitive than ever to these types of problems being reflected in the customer experience, the banks have a solid amount of work ahead of them.


“The reality of the existing hybrid footprint of applications is that some are easy to work with, while others are not. Integration, meanwhile, is driving the end-to-end speed of any related business processes.”


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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