This Week in Data – 2 August

This week in data – 2 August: Each week, we compile the best stories in data. Get up to speed on this week in data without having to search for it.


Is data privacy a human right?

This guy certainly thinks so. WiseTech CEO Richard White recently told the AFR Summit in Australia that while data platforms can be used for good, companies need to make their data programs “opt in” and have a bigger focus on protecting children. He also advocated for much more regulation for the big tech companies…just like Democratic candidate for US President, Elizabeth Warren, said recently.

…seems to be more of that going around, isn’t there?


“He said tech companies such as Google and Facebook “try to be a good corporate citizen, but sometimes there is a conflict in the lack of regulation on one side, and lack of motivation on the other side – and very strong shareholder pressure for returns”.”


Data giant’s control over data limits SME potential

Oh, speak of the devil. We were at that summit, too. Our CEO, Danny Gilligan, spoke about how the control that the tech giants of the world have on data puts smaller businesses in a difficult position. He also pointed to Singapore as an example of how a country’s government is beginning to use data in centralised ways, instead of having it split across multiple agencies.

Any way you slice it, Danny made a point that those who have access to data will build the future. 


“Professor Salah Sukkarieh, another contributor on the panel on Tuesday, said those who control data will also have an advantage over artificial intelligence systems because training the data to achieve an objective requires access to a lot of reliable data.”


Australian data right to become a reality

Speaking of Australia, the country’s national data right legislation is set to sail through Parliament. This is a big deal, and not only because it’s one of the first of several countries to start enshrining this type of right into law. Expect to see more countries pick up the ability for consumers to move their data easily between telecommunications, banks, and energy providers.


“We hope the broader FinTech industry can demonstrate that this will be a reform that will generate benefit, not just on the basis of wealthy people but for lower income groups too…”


Facebook’s privacy plan is already a failure

Facebook recently suffered a huge, multi-billion dollar fine for violating a privacy settlement. As part of the ruling, it needs to be subject to an external privacy assessor. But a new piece on The Conversation predicts it’ll fail before it starts. The reason? There just aren’t any legal guidelines in place to make Facebook do anything. 

There’s another problem, too: Facebook is making it much harder to leave the platform by buying up apps like WhatsApp and Instagram, not to mention a digital currency – Libra. Whatever data cop works with the company in the future, has to get around that fact first.


“…the fine is a slap on the wrist, and the cop’s arms are tied and don’t reach far enough. This sets a very bad precedent: Both the FTC and Facebook can declare a victory of sorts, while the consumer loses.


Australian welfare system targets fraud with data

Still in Australia, the country’s universal healthcare system is now targeting fraudsters with data matching techniques. The country’s tax authority, the ATO, already does this – but now it’s heading to a new service. The program works by matching documents from other government departments to identify folks who misuse their identity.

The Australian government is a world leader in using data matching to stamp out fraud. Expect more of this in the future.


“Among the list of objectives of the data-matching project, DHS wants to use it to provide rigour around the authenticity of recipient identities that it expects will contribute significantly to the government’s desire to provide more services online.”


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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