This week in data – 15th March

Responding to continued pressure from social activists, Facebook has further clarified and strengthened its position against developers scraping data from Facebook to be used in surveillance activities. The move came following claims from the American Civil Liberties Union that surveillance software start-up, Geofeedia, was crawling through protesters’ posts and selling them to law enforcement.

Back in Australia, credit rating bureau, Experian has claimed that two-thirds of Australians are unaware of looming changes which will see lenders privy to more data on their financial history. Under amended privacy laws as part of new comprehensive credit reporting, new data-sharing rules are being implemented for finance applications which allow Australian lenders to share more than the usual negative data, like defaults and bankruptcies, about a credit applicant. Lenders will now be able to access positive data about an applicant’s repayment history. Great news for everyone who’s paying that credit card off on time!

Over in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (aka chief data watchdog) have announced plans to hire hundreds more staffto enforce GDPR data protection legislation set to come into effect in 2018. On the mass recruitment target, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said;

“With the coming of the General Data Protection Regulation we will have more responsibilities, we will have new enforcement powers. We have given the government an estimate that we will need a further 200 people in order to be able to do the job.”

In other news…

Everyone’s favourite data science platform, Kaggle, has been snapped up by Google in a multi-million dollar deal. Kaggle, founded by Anthony Goldbloom, a former Australian government economist, has the largest and most engaged community of data scientists anywhere on the web. Many are slating this as the latest move by Google to boost their machine learning capabilities against fierce rivals Amazon and Microsoft.


If music is a window to the soul than Ticketek may know more about you than you think! Get a behind-the-scenes look at Ticketek’s analytics operation in this piece by itnews.

Until next week.

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