This Week in Data – May 24

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.

Instagram influencers’ data left exposed

Woops. A huge database of Instagram influencers was left accessible without a password. With over 49 million records combined with data scraped from public profiles…it’s a hefty amount of information. The worst part? It contains email addresses and phone numbers.

It’s a good example of how a privacy breach without passwords can still be a huge problem. And it’s growing, too – the list of accounts is getting bigger.


“The scraping effort comes two years after Instagram admitted a security bug in its developer API allowed hackers to obtain the email addresses and phone numbers of six million Instagram accounts. The hackers later sold the data for bitcoin.”


Customers will give up data for lower prices

In the latest edition of, “customers are fine with data connections if they get something out of it”, a new Accenture Study found 58% of Australians will share information with banks and insurers if they get lower prices. Weird though: 32% said they value a human touch and avoid tech.

That’s more than the 21% figure recorded across the world.

Those Aussies. So traditional.


“The report also showed an increasing move towards digital services with 56 per cent of respondents using their smartphones to check their accounts at least once a week and the same number would like banks to blend physical branches and services.”


Is China spying with all of its drones?

Seems like the answer would be “yes”, right? Uh, kinda. The US is cracking down on Chinese drone makers in a warning. The short of it: they think information could be shifted from a manufacturer to the Government.  

With all the Huawei controversy underway, this isn’t a surprise. And it’s rational, too: the Chinese Government is unusually harsh on Chinese companies to give up information.


“The United States government has strong concerns about any technology product that takes American data into the territory of an authoritarian state that permits its intelligence services to have unfettered access to that data or otherwise abuses that access.”


The Notre Dame restoration will rely on data

Well, this is a bit nice, isn’t it? Microsoft is leading a project to help restore the Notre Dame cathedral in France after it was partially destroyed in the big fire. The project analyses data from documents and 3D models. The French Government hope restoration can happen in five years: Microsoft just might be able to help.

Fun fact, Ubisoft, the video game maker, has already pledged to help after crafting one of the most detailed 3D models of the cathedral for an Assassin’s Creed video game.


“GitHub will host temporal models of the building, which can then be easily shared to and accessed by various other initiatives in a concerted effort to maintain accuracy as much as possible.”


Google Pay will make it easier to hide your data

Man, Google is on a roll with its privacy campaign. Now the company says it will make it easier for customers using Google Pay to access privacy controls. In particular, users will be able to stop sharing information with third parties, including personal information, and stop allowing Google to tell merchants what sites you visit. Knowledge is power, right?


“These preferences, which are enabled by default, allow users to limit data sharing with and marketing from other parts of Google. The last option relates to informing third-party merchants, with Google warning that opting out could affect Pay transactions on other sites.”


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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