This week in data – July 27

UN ranks Aussie government second for digital

Say what? Yeah, we’re actually doing okay. That’s according to the UN which says in a new report that Australia is only behind Denmark when it comes to the use of information and communications to deliver public services.


“…the UN did acknowledge Australia’s collaboration efforts for combating cybersecurity, pointing out how the country is a “good example for cooperation”.”

Millions opting out of health records

Easy come, easy go. Last week we mentioned all the docs who aren’t keen about the new health records. Now, Health Minister Greg Hunt says 10% of patients might reject the new system. And the AMA president is weighing in too: she ain’t happy.


“Many of my colleagues that I’ve spoken to, particularly in general practice, are deeply concerned.”- AMA president Kerryn Phelps.

Your data isn’t oil – it’s radioactive

Ten years ago a popular article put forward the idea that data is the oil of the 21st century – it’ll power everything. Now, this TED article suggests something a little different: data is nuclear power. Why? It’s immense potential – to both help and harm. Whatever use it has needs to be safeguarded with care. Makes sense.


“Like nuclear waste, data leaks and breaches: critical excursions and chain reactions lead to privacy meltdowns and the collapse of governments.”

Tech giants collaborate on one platform

What if your accounts at massive tech companies could switch between each one? Sounds…ominous. But Twitter, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are now working on a plan to let users easily transfer their information (like the open banking scheme here). The vision is for open-source data, which could spur more competition in social networking.


“This concept of allowing users to choose products and services based on choice, rather than being locked in, helps drive innovation and facilitates competition.”

Facebook smacks down another analytics company

Yeesh. Just months after Cambridge Analytica got the sack, British firm Crimson Hexagon got the Zuckberg hit-the-bricks routine. The firm uses APIs to get data from Facebook users, but no wrong-doing appears to have been made public. The message is clear here: Facebook is cleaning house.


“The possibility that the company is not complying with its data use rules, specifically that they may have been helping build surveillance tools, was apparently real enough for Facebook to take action.”

Dropbox drops the ball. Maybe.

There are so many data controversies it’s hard to keep up with them all. This week? Dropbox is in hot water for an article published by the Harvard Business Review. The piece highlights that scientists use the platform for sharing data…but it might not have had users’ full consent. Eeeep.


The HBR article originally suggested that 400,000 users’ data was analyzed, while Dropbox says that the study dealt with data from 16,000 customers. “But it still appears this research was conducted without the express consent of the thousands of customers whose information Dropbox and the researchers accessed.”

Well, 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! Contact us anytime! 

Until next week,

Team Data Republic

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