This Week in Data – 29 November

This week in data – 29 November:

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


Data sharing visibility needs massive improvement

Not a great assessment. Security in Depth’s 2019 State of Cyber Security research found Australian businesses aren’t conducting reviews on businesses they share data with. In fact, SID’s CEO went so far as to call the attitude shown by Aussie companies as “crazy”. Harsh words. Less than 30% of respondents say their network is sufficiently secure. One potential answer? Moving security away from IT.


“Those organisations who have removed cyber risk from their IT operations, have seen significant changes in user behaviour resulting in a more mature, resilient and risk averse organisation,” the report said.”


Google fires four employees after data sharing scandal

We’ve mentioned the allegations against Google and healthcare group Ascension in the past few weeks. Now, Google says its fired four employees who accessed and shared sensitive information. That information included medical appointments. This scandal doesn’t look like it’s getting any better for Google. 


“The report comes at a time when Google is under scrutiny over its newly revealed patient data sharing partnership with Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic health system. That project, which is called Project Nightingale and was revealed by The Wall Street Journal, gives Google access to the health information of tens of millions of members at Ascension.”


Australian government formulates plans for the better sharing of data to combat human trafficking

A number of other organizations, including Data Republic, met with AUSTRAC and the Federal Police to discuss how to use data sharing methods and technology to combat child exploitation in Asia. In the wake of the Westpac/AUSTRAC fallout, it was a poignant moment for the industry to come together, to try and solve failures in the AML/anti-crime data supply chain. 


“The authorities are exploring how a variety of data sets can be used to enhance law enforcement. Data Republic, a start-up in which Westpac’s venture capital fund has a strategic stake, will also present to the meeting on Tuesday. It could offer its platform to help banks and law enforcement to securely share data  to find relationships to help improve detection.”


Euro cities share principles for data use

The cities of Bordeaux, Barcelona, Debrecen, Edinburgh, Eindhoven, Florence, Ghent, Helsinki, Manchester, Rijeka and Zaragoza have joined together in creating principles for using citizens’ data. There are a bunch of good ones, but one comes out on top: citizens need access to their information at all times.


“Citizens must be data guardians, the guidelines state, noting that: “Governments have the responsibility to, and must, ensure citizens can have access to and manage their data, as well as influence how it is collected and used.””


Energy sector next to be disrupted…

The arrival of a Consumer Data Right in Australia has targeted banking first, but energy is up for a big change too. Which-50 looks at how energy companies are in the spotlight, highlighting that the entire industry needs to change how it provides services and uses customer information.


“Many of the energy sector’s smaller players, like energy-techs, are expecting to gain access to a trove of customer and energy data which has until now remained largely in the possession of large energy networks and retailers.”


What information do we refuse to share?

A recent survey in both the United States and the UK recently found that some people are more concerned about particular types of data than others. Makes sense, right? Apparently the survey found 43% of respondents believe personal details like name, address, phone number, etc, are the most revealing. That was followed by financial data, then location data. Makes sense – but still good to know. 


“Taking the last spot on the chart in question was professional information (19%). This indicates that only about one in every five internet users consider professional information to be the type of data that doesn’t reveal too much about their day-to-day activities.”


Salesforce plans a major data upgrade

Putting all your customer data in one place is the holy grail. Salesforce says they’ve done it. The next iteration of its 360 platform will bring together protocols to manage customer data from different sources, along with one that will create a unified login – then yet another to identify different users’ online identities within a single framework. 

Plus, and we love this part, a big emphasis on privacy and data governance. With the global push for privacy and transparency, Salesforce seems to have hit on a winner. 


“All of this is hard to do, and while Salesforce is providing all the base level tools you need for a solution like this, time will tell how well all of these components fit together to build the kind of complex customer profile this promises.”


That’s our wrap for this week. Thanks for reading – we hope you found it entertaining and informative. 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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