This Week in Data – January 18

Each week we compile the best stories in data, so you don’t have to search for them. Subscribe to Data Republic to stay in the loop.

Trump signs open data bill

Despite the government shutdown, some progress is being made at least. President Trump signed a new bill into law that creates several Chief Data Officer roles at government departments and helps define the role of open data in government. All non-sensitive data now needs to be open and machine-readable by default.


The law’s mission is to improve operational efficiencies and government services, reduce costs, increase public access to government information, and spur innovation and entrepreneurship. This is a win for evidence-based decision-making within the government.”


Mobile carriers ditch location data sharing…is it the end of an era?

Kinda! A Motherboard story last week found that AT&T carrier data is being shared with unauthorized third parties, which, you know, isn’t great. Marketing Land takes a look at the ramifications: what does this mean for marketing? Are things now going to be a lot harder without this type of data? Again, kinda. AT&T’s decision is a reflection of a growing trend.


“Location data is available from a wide range of sources in the market, including app developers and the programmatic bid stream. The loss of carrier location is not a significant blow to the ecosystem.”


The transport data revolution is coming, but crippled

We’ve all heard about the promises of traffic data various governments and companies are working on. But ITProPortal delves into why this is so hard: sharing the information is just too difficult right now. Even if the data is made available, local councils and municipalities aren’t set up to share information efficiently. There’s a lot of work to do here.


Regardless of the rapid onset and promise of 5G networks, data optimisation will always be needed, but will be shaped initially by operational and regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, sharing data for the ‘greater good’ will tend to be last on the priority list.”


How did tracking and selling data become a business model?

If one company exhibits the public’s ire for data collection, it’s Facebook. Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School, has a new book out about why that’s the case. How did surveillance and capitalism become so intertwined, she asks. This is almost an evolution of capitalism itself, she argues – and it needs to be combated with new methods.


We rely on categories such as “monopoly” or “privacy” to contest surveillance capitalist practices. And although these issues are vital, and even when surveillance capitalist operations are also monopolistic and a threat to privacy, the existing categories nevertheless fall short in identifying and contesting the most crucial and unprecedented facts of this new regime.”


Texas saves $90 million in data sharing agreement

Still, data sharing is great when done right. This new effort from Texas shows how: a data-sharing agreement between two agencies resulted in fewer fraudulent claims for unemployment insurance. The data sharing is so good that offenders now realize…it just isn’t worth trying to game the system anymore.


Officials said that this data-sharing agreement is just one of many formed within recent years that is helping the state to either avoid costs or streamline operations. There’s nothing technically challenging about sharing data in this way, Kelly said. The agencies simply hadn’t thought to form the agreement.”


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

Request a demo

Fill out the form and a member of the Data Republic
team will get in touch to arrange a demo.

Get started with Data Republic

Fill out the form and a member of the Data Republic
team will get in touch to talk to you about your data project