This Week in Data – 13 September

This week in data – 13 September: Each week, we compile the best stories in data. Get up to speed on this week in data without having to search for it.


Data is creating a Chinese retail “explosion”

The Chinese ecommerce market is undeniably huge, but an untold story is that data is at the heart of much of that growth. Campaign Live points out how companies like Alibaba are bringing together data from different pools: electronic vendors, Weibo, and third-party media groups like Focus. With 5G around the corner…Chinese companies have the infrastructure in place to prosper.


Alibaba acquired a minority stake in Focus Media, China’s largest digital OOH media company, in July last year. The partnership shorted the customer feedback loop, allowing for agile product development and – in the long run – brands to serve their customers better.”


Who owns the farmer’s data?

One of the better uses of data in the last few years has been allowing farmers access to information that could yield better results for crops. Weather data, in particular, is highly useful. But international agricultural group CTA says there aren’t enough legal frameworks to protect this information and distribute it properly. 

A recent workshop uncovered the main problem, they say: ownership.


Developing a homogenous and stable code of conduct is just one of the many required processes in protecting farmers’ data rights.”  


Is Australia’s data future in a spin?

Last week we said Australia was on the brink of a new data future. Now, is that future in doubt? As ZDNet points out, the recent government discussion paper on a new data sharing framework still doesn’t define “consent” when it comes to sharing in a proper way. The article comes down to one point: can we really assume sharing data will lead to better outcomes?

And secondly, it points out that the government hasn’t done much with the data it has already. Will simply more data help?


“First, the proposed new legislation, slated to be released in early 2020, seems to be toothless…When something goes wrong, a new National Data Commissioner would decide if there was a breach, and whether there’d be any penalty. If the commissioner isn’t interested in pursuing it, you’re probably screwed.”


Google might be skirting GDPR…

Uh oh. Google is being accused of using “push pages” in Ireland to get around GDPR rules. These pages work by logging browser behaviour to share with third parties, and, “allows companies to pseudonymously identify the person in circumstances where this would not otherwise be possible.” Under GDPR, this might be considered a breach. Whoops.


“In the U.S. none of this applies. However, what happens in Europe is and will be influential in shaping the privacy debate and U.S. policy going forward.”


Precision medicine isn’t so precise

Heard of precision medicine? It’s this practice that makes medical diagnoses more accurate by taking into account tiny, fragmented variations in lifestyle, diet, etc. To do that, doctors need data. They just don’t have it right now. MedCity News points out that the silos are just too strong right now. But…there’s light at the end of the tunnel.


“Given the data tools available, and the dedication of so many research teams within the larger medical ecosystem, it is inevitable that precision medicine will flourish over time.”


Tech CEOs lobby Congress for a data law

Now, isn’t this funny. Usually CEOs are the ones arguing against legislation, but not so. Tech CEOs in the United States have written to Congress asking for a data law. The reason? All the State-based laws – including California’s incredibly strong privacy legislation – conflict with each other and make regulation more difficult. 

The CEOs just want a normal, consistent framework. Hey, it’s progress.


“Earlier this year, in February, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), a US government auditing agency, gave Congress the go-ahead for passing a federal internet data privacy legislation to enhance consumer protections, similar to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).”


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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