This week in data – 3rd May

Facebook is in the spotlight this week after being accused of allowing advertisers to target “emotionally vulnerable” people as young as 14, according to a leaked document published in The Australian. The reported purpose was to collect data on high schoolers, tertiary students and young workers – including when they needed a “confidence boost”.

Facebook gave a statement to Mashable saying the analysis was only intended to help marketers understand how people express themselves on the social network – but that it didn’t follow an established process set out by the company.

Meanwhile, sneaky source code watchers have looked into Google’s latest Photos app update – and found some references to facial recognition technology. According to Forbes, while the feature itself isn’t enabled it opens up questions for how it would be in the future – and the data-related consequences of allowing a tech giant the ability to identify your facial features.

After a month of negative press, Uber has announced changes to simplify its privacy controls. Last year the app allowed users to book rides based on a friend’s location or sync with a calendar. But last month, it was reported the company may have been engaging in a practice that allows it to track users after they had deleted the app – which makes the new privacy controls a welcome addition for many users.

In other news…

Andrew Rothwell has spent the last 14 years working at Tyro to disrupt the payments industry – and now he’s joining the team at Data Republic to help transform the way we use and think about data. Rothwell, who CoFounded and helped build up Tyro from three people to more than 400, will be joining as our Chief Operating Officer. Data Republic CEO Paul McCarney said;

“The Data Republic ecosystem is growing fast and as we prepare to scale, Andrew’s proven experience navigating tech innovation and growth in highly regulated environments will be invaluable. As our Chief Operating Officer, Andrew will take a lead role managing platform traction and customer success as well as streamlining operational procedures“.


  • More executives are positive about the way big data is helping their organisations – but there’s still much more to do. That’s according to the latest findings in the NewVantage Big Data Executive Survey, which shows more executives are coming up with ways to make their big data projects work.But there are plenty of issues to solve – only 37% of those that have started data initiatives report success so far.

Until next week.

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