This Week in Data – 20 September

This week in data – 20 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.


Majority of Americans accept government data sharing

Well, most people probably assumed this was happening anyway – but now they’re saying they’re okay with it. A new survey from YouGov found 77% of people accept their information is shared across agencies. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t worried. Nearly 70% say they’re worried about how the data is used, and 65% say they’re worried about a cyberattack.

The onus is on governments both in the US and abroad to show how they’re using that information wisely – and protecting it.


Our survey results tell us that the government agencies holding this information need to do more to give them confidence their data and their privacy will be protected.”


Banks share loan data with credit agencies

Credit agencies are smiling today. Australian banks have now given them access to massive amounts of repayment data, giving a much more detailed picture about customer credit worthiness. While that’s bad news for some borrowers, it could also be great news for others – giving a much more accurate view of their financial history.


“How the banks use the new data will also be of interest to the Reserve Bank and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, because the information on total liabilities will provide banks with an accurate snapshot of total borrower indebtedness.”


Australian privacy commissioner speaks out

Speaking of Australia, the country’s interim National Data Commissioner, Deborah Anton, spoke with Westpac about a number of data-related issues but one stands out: the idea of building trust among users about what data is used, and how. 

Timely, given what we just said about citizens in the United States. Anton makes the point that even language here can have a big influence on how users perceive their data being used.


The public want to know that we’re not just having data washing around. We talk about ‘data lakes’ from a technical perspective. Is it all sitting there in a lake and you’re just doing whatever you want with it? I think that is a really inaccurate description. It is more sitting in siloes at the moment and we are combining it for particular purposes, but that has to make sense and it has to deliver a public benefit.”


New government committee takes a look at fintech

Still in Australia, the Senate is forming a committee to take a look at the fintech industry. A lot’s happened within the Australian fintech space, particularly with the rise of open banking and payment facilitators like AfterPay. The Government wants to see if it can help grow the industry, and also spot any problems along the way.

How nice of them.


“Government could play a role in helping first validate and them promoting these services to consumers. Trust is hard to earn in financial services. Government simply talking about new offerings on the market and their benefits would greatly aid FinTechs in building that trust.”


The Philippines and Singapore make friends over data

Aw, friends are nice. Both countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding so the two countries can share data in better and more effective ways. It’s yet another sign that Singapore is pushing forward with the use of sophisticated data agreements – and probably a sign of the pace of data maturity in south-east Asia. Expect more of this. 


“Our work will include developing mechanisms to facilitate cross-border data flow, such as the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules and Asean Cross-Border Data Flows Mechanism, and best practices to enable data innovation, through the use of data sharing sandboxes.”


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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