This Week in Data – 6 December

This week in data – 6 December:

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


What do the 2020 presidential candidates believe about data?

With less than a year to go until the 2020 US presidential election, the issues are heating up. Vox pulls together quotes from all the candidates about what they believe on data sharing. It’s all fairly straightforward but there’s a common theme: the candidates say Americans should have more control over their data.


“Elizabeth Warren: We must give people more control over how their personal information is collected, shared, and sold — and do it in a way that doesn’t lock in massive competitive advantages for the companies that already have a ton of our data.”


Facebook in stoush with EU regulator over data sharing

Over in Europe, Facebook is fighting an EU regulation that says it has to share data with other companies. It’s an anti-competitive thing, but the company’s head of global affairs says it isn’t sure that’s really a good idea. Among other things, he says, who’s responsible if the data gets put in the wrong hands? 


““We will not proceed unless regulators are satisfied, particularly U.S. regulators are satisfied, that we have ticked all the boxes,” said Facebook’s head of global affairs, Nick Clegg.”


Australia’s in the middle of total data transformation

The Australian Government is doing something big: combining its digital transformation and data sharing projects. The idea is to make its services arm more efficient, but not only that: they want to make dealing with agencies a “nirvana” for citizens. It’s an ambitious plan – but let’s see if it pays off.


“The IT industry crowd was shown a slick promotional video…the video showed a personalised citizen profile allowing interactions with multiple federal agencies on a single platform, with features like proactive nudges and notifications, chatbots, voice recognition, and integration with personal assistant applications like Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa.”


Open banking is coming, but Aussies don’t know what it is

Hmm, not great! New research shows more than three quarters of Australians don’t know the term or what it means. That being said, at least some part of the campaign is working: over 20% of Australians say they plan to use it when it launches.


“The main reason for participating in open banking was to save money. 49 per cent feel like they are paying too much for their banking and financial services.”


Twitter tweaks rules in privacy change-up

With all the data and privacy changes happening worldwide, companies require global responses. And that’s what Twitter is doing: it’s bringing international accounts under the remit of the San Francisco HQ, not its international subsidiary. That means the company can update privacy controls in a more universal way. Smart.


“Twitter’s new privacy site, dubbed the ‘Twitter Privacy Center’ is part of the company’s efforts to showcase its work on data protection and will also give users another route to access and download their data.”


Estonia urges Australia: take the chains off AI

You read that right. Estonia’s chief data officer said during a conference last week that regulators should leave AI alone. Or at least, go easy on it. As it turns out, Estonia is pushing plenty of AI projects – it’s something of a leader, actually – and Ott Velsberg says it’s because the country has an “adopt first, evaluate later” mindset. Listen closely… politicians everywhere just gasped.


“He cited a recent example of an AI-backed job profiling scheme (used by the government’s employment agency to determine an unemployed candidate’s suitability for particular jobs), which has seen employee retention rates soar by nearly 30 per cent since its deployment just six months ago.”


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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