This Week in Data – 25 October

This week in data – 25 October: Each week, we compile the best stories in data. Get up to speed on this week in data without having to search for it.


Australia releases privacy guidelines…and they’re pretty harsh

And rightfully so, yeah? The country’s Information Commissioner released some draft guidelines for the Consumer Data Right, and they are…intense. There’s some pretty standard stuff in there about consent, but companies will also have to make sure they have governance standards in place. 

Also, businesses need to make sure that any information they gain can’t be used to find others. But the real kicker? The size of the fines…


“If a company breaches the privacy laws that underpin the CDR, it can be pursued in court for $10 million or ten per cent of the company’s annual turnover.”


Using data to stop human trafficking

If data were ever used for a good cause, this would be it. According to The World Economic Forum, illegal trafficking is worth $150 billion a year…but data can help stop that. A team of scientists used AI to create a model (with data from various legal and non-governmental groups) to identify trafficking routes. 

This type of cooperation is key, it says, because these organizations are usually the only ones with enough detail about certain trafficking cases to make a difference. With all the data combined? Trafficking can be proactively tackled.


“If our findings identify a particular airline route with a high rate of child trafficking victims, the airline can respond along that specific route right away, and immediate measures can be taken to engage law enforcement before the victim reaches the designated destination…

… Financial data can be combined with existing NGO and open-source data to identify specific signs of trafficking and the risk level of particular transactions and accounts.”


US-UK deal a signal for other nations

But not necessarily in a good way? A recent law enforcement data sharing pact between the two countries is a solid example for the world, says US News. But advocacy groups like the Electronic Frontiers Foundation say the pact is rife with questionable privacy controls, and say the free-flow of data across national borders still needs to be controlled.

With Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Japan also considering deals? Now might be a good time to fix that up.


“Why should a U.S. person worry about their privacy when foreign governments can’t specifically request their data?” asked David Ruiz, former activist at the EFF, in a blog post. “Because even though foreign governments can’t request U.S. person data, that doesn’t mean they won’t get it.”


Customers willing to give data when businesses are transparent 

Here’s an interesting finding: a new Accenture study reveals that customers are more than willing to give over data, they just want companies to be transparent about how they’re using it. But here’s the catch: 55% of consumers don’t want personalized ads. What’s the deal? According to Accenture, it’s all about honesty.


“The finding suggests that tech companies need to provide better disclosures of how they use the data they collect through virtual assistants, which use artificial intelligence (AI) to customize the user experience of individuals.”


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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