This week in data – December 14th

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has suffered an enormous hardware glitch over the past 48 hours which has seen ATO employees, Tax Agents and the general public locked out of systems. While the ATO gradually restores service, they’ve launched a full investigation into why both HPE hardware and back up systems failed. IT News is reporting the loss of over 1 PetabByte of data, however, ATO CIO, Steve Hamilton has released a statement saying that no taxpayer information has been compromised. Regardless of a citizen tax data breach, the outage has further fuelled frustration over the Government’s track record in delivering digital services.

Google has again proved their commitment to transparency, publicly disclosing FBI data requests by publishing a series of eight National Security Letters. The letters show the types of data attributes being requested by the FBI and are part of a series of recent disclosures from Google following the USA Freedom Act’s new classification guidelines for data requests of this type.

In other news…

  • Qantas’ Red Planet has announced a new data sharing deal with Fairfax Media & Nine Entertainment.
  • Aussie Farmers have released an app this week which aggregates weather data and industry info to help Farmers keep up to date on weather warnings and market pricing. More data to you fellas!

Worth a read

Or in this case a watch…Check out this video presentation from Ciaron Norris where he explains American Express’ approach to customer data utilization and monetization.

What are the ethics around companies purchasing stolen data – even if it is to protect against fraud? This thought-provoking piece from TechCrunch challenges this increasingly common practice.

Keep your eyes out for our special ‘Year in Review’ edition of this newsletter next week.

Until next time.

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