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What does Amazon's plans to rev Alexa everywhere mean?

Think Facebook only collects your online information? What attributes has Facebook classified you with? Are your kids exposing their personal data online?

What's going to happen to tech in 2017? Should data collected by Amazon's Alexa be able to be used as evidence in a courtroom? Still searching for the perfect cheese and wine tasting?

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A carefully curated summary of the top data-news from the week:


Amazon announced plans to rev Alexa everywhere strategy. Imagine Alexa in your washing machine, your microwave, even your toaster, everything. Suddenly every single appliance is connected to the web - being activated by voice, and Amazon at the hub knowing *everything* about you. 🤔 HUGE implications for data collection and its uses. The future is turning up much much faster than you think. 👀 Also - security needs to be taken as priority for all IoT devices for there to be any chance of haling DDoS attacks. 💀

Think Facebook only collects your online information? An ongoing investigation has revealed that Facebook has been striking deals with data brokers to also collect information about your OFFLINE life, such as "how much money you make, where you like to eat out, and how many credit cards you keep". This information can easily be matched with Facebook profiles - greatly enriching datasets and your overall "advertising profile". 📊

-- In an attempt to draw attention to this, ProPublica has built a Chrome extension which identifies What Facebook Thinks You Like. It has collected more than 52,000 unique attributes used by Facebook to classify users and run super targeted advertisements. For example, even if you had 'Liked' McLaren on Facebook you still may not be an actual customer (yet). 🚗 But by also using third-party data like someone's shopping habits, Facebook now has a much more in-depth understanding of your life which can be given to paying marketers. 🔍

Are your (future) kids unwittingly exposing their private data? Jenny Afia, partner and privacy lawyer at Schillings, argues that "the terms and conditions of social media sites should be rewritten in a language that children can understand to make more informed decisions". ✅ Especially when GDPR comes into action, children cannot be giving their informed consent if they are unaware of what they are agreeing to in the first place. 🙄

Data viz

Andrew Elliott's newborn daughters' sleeping patterns

Redditor Andrew Elliott recorded and visualised his daughter's sleeping patterns for the first 4 months of her life (above). 👶 One continuous spiral starting on the inside when she was born, each revolution representing a single day. Midnight at the top (24 hour clock). So beautiful. 😍

Excellent interactive visualisation of the world's biggest data breaches and hacks by Information is Beautiful. 🙃 Can filter by method of leak, organisation sector, number of records stolen and data sensitivity. Breaches are, of course, still increasing year-on-year. 💀💀

Geoff Boeing, PhD candidate and urban planner at UC Berkeley, visualised one square mile of different cities across the globe (example below). 🌇 "Drawing these cities at the same scale provides a revealing spatial objectivity in visually comparing their street networks and urban forms." Nice! ✅

Square-Mile Street Network Visualisation, by Geoff Boeing


What's going to happen to tech in 2017? 💭

  • A thousand tech IPOs will bloom

  • The Internet of Things will die

  • Real internet TV will wait in the wings

  • 'Uber for X' will be X-ed out

  • Trump's America will bring blogging back

  • Online headlines will get true again

  • Tech will work closely with Trump

NASA's CAMS data has been visualised to display a year in meteor showers. 🚀⭐ Will 2017 be the year we decide to put a call out to aliens? 👽

Thought provoking ethical question - should data collected by Amazon's Alexa be able to be used as evidence in a courtroom? 🤔🤔

Check out this ULTIMATE wine and cheese pairing map. 😋🍷 Interactive goodness. 😍

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