This week in data – 29th November

There’s been plenty of data news in Australia this week, as both state and federal governments move swiftly to implement new measures – including major changes that will give citizens more control over how their information is used

As reported by ZDNet, the NSW Government has launched dMarketplace, a data sharing platform containing multiple government datasets.

Launched with Data Republic, the platform takes data from different sources and collates them in an easily searchable way – whether they’re being used for personal or business purposes.

Minister of Finance, Service and Property Victor Dominello says the marketplace – available in 2018 – will help solve the problem of unorganised data across multiple departments.

“D Marketplace solves this problem by organising datasets around life events, such as moving to a new suburb or setting up a new business. In addition, it provides visualisation tools so that you transform cryptic data to insights instantaneously.”

For example, a user can look up schools in a local area, then overlay other data such as bus and petrol prices. Some of that data is even uploaded in real time. Users can even leave comments on the dataset for others to read.

But that isn’t even the biggest data news of the day. The Government is now finally set to introduce legislation that would allow individuals to “own” their data.

It’s called the Consumer Data Right, and it’ll be overseen by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, along with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

This comes after the Productivity Commission recommended such a change be made.

“Government is pursuing the very simple idea that the customer should own their own data. It is a powerful idea and a very important one,\” Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation Angus Taylor said in a statement.

The legislation will allow users to easily switch information between providers to get better deals on banking, utilities or a range of other services.

“It won’t be far down the track when you can simply tap your smartphone to switch from one bank to another, to a cheaper internet plan, or between energy companies,” Taylor said.

In other news:

Uber – which has recently gone through a massive organisational change with a new CEO and board members appointed – has admitted a data leak occurred of several million customers’ records.The company has said two individuals downloaded data from a third-party server used by the company, which contained names, email addresses and phone numbers. The number of records reportedly exceeds 57 million.

The people who downloaded the data were reportedly paid to delete it.

Chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi says the company immediately secured the data and shut down unauthorised access once it became aware what was going on – and says individual users don’t need to do anything to secure their information.

“We have seen no evidence of fraud or misuse tied to the incident,” Khosrowshahi said. “We are monitoring the affected accounts and have flagged them for additional fraud protection.”

“We also implemented security measures to restrict access to and strengthen controls on our cloud-based storage accounts.”

Worth a read:

Whether it’s believing that investing in analytics costs a fortune, or that algorithms are failsafe – or even that analytics needs its own department – this article breaks down the 12 myths of data and analytics most businesses believe. CIO.

Data is transforming the way electrical grids operate, which is great news for anyone investing in renewable energy: figuring out how to balance battery storage with the most efficient ways to run these networks will take an immense amount of data analysis. Bloomberg.

Until next week.

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