This week in data – 21st June

Some big news in Australia this week, with Data Governance Australia launching its draft Code of Practice for public view and consultation.

The code is an attempt among the industry to set some industry benchmarks and universal standards on the collection and use of data, with a heavy lean on doing “no harm” to customers.

The draft code is detailed over at ZDNet, with principles including doing no harm, acting with honesty and transparency when collecting or using data, and being upfront about the “facts and purpose” of collection.

The code also delves into some practical steps for businesses, including training for staff for any business abiding by the code, along with easy-to-access data policies and a register of all data that they hold.

ARN has also reported on the release, quoting DGA’s CEO Jodie Sangster as saying the draft code represents an opportunity to lead with self-regulation – and to gain consumers’ trust.

Organisations that meet the standards outlined in the Code will be able to demonstrate that consumer trust is front and centre of their business.”

Meanwhile, America’s troubles with voting records and digital break-ins have continued. The Intercept has published a report suggesting Republican-based voter databases were exposed online, resulting in the personal details of nearly 200 million voters have been leaked.

That information includes names, addresses, date of birth, phone number, registered party, and even modeled speculation about race and religion.

The leak was discovered by Chris Vickey, an analyst at the firm UpGuard, who said the leak came from one analytics group in particular – Deep Root Analytics – which modeled the data. Most alarmingly, the database was sitting on an Amazon server with no password protection.

The Verge takes the story further on this one, suggesting the company used Reddit to scrape a heap of data into one of its databases. The data scraped contains information from communities including some controversial subreddits that have connections to Donald Trump supporters, but it isn’t clear what the firm was doing with the data.

This troubling development comes after an accusation that Russian hackers attempted to infiltrate state-based election registration systems. When it comes to the relationship between analytics and election tampering, it’s starting to look like 2016 was simply the beginning of a new era.

Meanwhile, Facebook is attempting to use artificial intelligence in order to block terrorists from using the site for recruitment and other nefarious purposes. The Washington Post claims that the site – which has already hired hundreds more community managers – will use AI image matching to stop content from being re-uploaded.

An algorithm is also being developed to help analyse written text to keep terrorism-related content off, but this comes at a cost…

According to The Independent, Facebook is using user data to help keep the content offline. In particular, it’s using “cross platform collaboration” across Facebook and WhatsApp to keep the platforms safe. At the very least, the revelation is controversial – and Facebook is being called on to reveal more details.

In other news…

Tesla has been riding a wave of good news lately, with another report now suggesting the electric car manufacturer will be on its way to a higher valuation than Morgan Stanley.

That’s a huge valuation for the company that many people thought would never succeed, but its success lies mainly in data according to one analyst at Morgan Stanley itself. According to the Street, this analyst says Tesla needs to put more emphasis on the data collected by its products in order to reach such a lofty stock price.

In particular, he says, “miles, data and content” is the only market where Tesla can hope to win that type of value.

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