This Week in Data – 26 July

This week in data – 26 July: Each week, we compile the best stories in data. Get up to speed on this week in data without having to search for it.


Australian Consumer Data Right reaches Parliament

An Australian law that will let users “own” their data and pass it between banking, energy, phone and internet utilities, is nearly through Parliament. There have been concerns that the process was rushed, but as ZDNet points out, folks like our own CEO, Danny Gilligan, believe the law provides more benefits than drawbacks. Far more.


“The simplest way to view the [consumer data right] is consumers are utilising scraping technologies today to move their data where they want within services…A CDR is really a regulated security and consent framework around what’s already happening today. It’s the same outcome, written in stone, with a much better consideration of security and consent.”


New York City set to ban WiFi location data

Following from a number of cities deciding to ban facial recognition, NYC is taking the initiative to ban WiFi location sharing. This is a fascinating shift – to watch data protection initiatives be encouraged from the bottom-up, rather from the top-down in many cases. NYC says any violation would incur a $1,000 fine with a maximum $10,000 per day, per person. 

The big deal, though, is the inclusion of a privacy “right of action” against telecoms. Legislation is catching up to the modern age.


“The bill also would create a private right of action against telecoms and mobile application developers so that individuals could sue if their data has been violated. The law would have some exceptions for sharing location data, such as if a telecom had to provide it to law enforcement or emergency responders or if a person opts into sharing their data for a specific purpose.”


Could data help students pay their loans?

Maybe! And with over $US1 trillion in student loan debt dragging down the economy, anything helps. Pew reports on a new idea: right now, some students have access to income-driven repayment plans, but they have to reapply annually. Pew argues that by letting the IRS have access to certain taxpayer data, participants won’t have to reapply as often. Sounds good to us.

Just another example of how everyday government services can benefit from a revolution in data.


“When the system works well, those with loans can select plans that fit their needs, make monthly payments, and access short-term relief when faced with financial shocks or difficulties. But when the system falters and is inefficient, borrowers are more likely to face challenges in repayment.”


Russian secret intelligence hacked

Woops. Poetic justice, maybe? Or just justice. The Russian secret intelligence service has been hacked in what the BBC has said is one of the largest in the country’s history. What’s even more astonishing is the projects that have been leaked. They’re mostly related to social media scraping and data collection about Russian companies. 

This leak highlights something more than just a lack of Russian security – the fact that every company or government is open to leaks through the use of contracted material.


“Contractors remain the weak link in the chain for intelligence agencies worldwide—to emphasize the point, just last week, a former NSA contractor was jailed in the U.S. for stealing secrets over two decades. And the fallout from Edward Snowden continues to this day.”


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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