This Week in Data – January 25

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Data sharing crippled during US government shutdown

Canada’s mad. The US government shutdown is affecting the collection of data, which means Ottawa can’t publish trade figures. These figures cover billions of dollars. No small stuff. And, with no certainty about when the shutdown might end, this is not a great situation.


“This has a direct impact on Statistics Canada’s ability to compile, produce and publish Canadian international merchandise trade data, as Statistics Canada will not receive data on Canada’s exports to the United States for the duration of the shutdown,” the agency said in a statement.”


AI powers a new industrial age

The explosion of mechanization and industrialization in the 1800s powered the modern world. Now? AI experts say the next phase of that is coming quickly – but they need data as fuel. Over at ComputerWeekly, Sébastien Boria from Airbus points out that efficient AI needs supervised systems that collect data. The only problem is getting it.


“From the people Computer Weekly spoke to, it would appear that industry efforts in machine learning are creating a proprietary Industry 4.0, where companies work on their own unique digital twin simulation software, and gather their own sensor data to feed their machine learning algorithms.”


Google fined $57 million for violating GDPR

It’s happened! France has smacked Google with a $57 million fine for not complying with GDPR. Specifically, the company didn’t disclose to users how their information was collected and didn’t obtain their consent. Geez. If the big players are getting it wrong, how about the smaller ones?


“French regulators began investigating Google on May 25 — the day GDPR went into effect — in response to concerns raised by two groups of privacy activists. They filed additional privacy complaints against Facebook and its subsidiaries, photo-sharing app Instagram and messenger service WhatsApp, in other E.U. countries.”


Oyo targeted over bold data sharing plans

This is a little weird. Oyo, a hospitality startup in Asia, came under scrutiny when its CEO said it would collect user data and give it to the government. Only problem? Every other company does this as well – in fact, it’s a legal obligation. Oyo is just digitizing it.


“The govt simply provides for servers where the data of the guests will be stored securely to be accessed by law enforcement agencies only after due verification. The objective is to reduce any scope for manipulation or missing information and is, therefore, an improvement over the existing manual version.”


Open banking a complete revolution for fintech

Duh, right? Jane Barratt, chief advocacy officer at MX, goes further – commenting here about the risks around predatory lending. Data could both prevent and encourage lenders in either direction, she says. Governance is the real answer.


“That’s the problem we’re all looking to solve: How do you get credentials out of the ecosystem, how do you protect people’s personally identifiable data, and then how do you provide a level of service and products that are much more oriented around the whole person, rather than just the niche, the slice that you know about them.”


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


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