Has the data drilling just begun? Should privacy policies be optional? How can data be stored on magnets the size of a single atom?
What does the future look like for UK-EU data movement? According to a new paper published by the government, the UK will seek "new arrangements" with the EU "in order to allow for the continued free flow of personal data". 🌍
However, this may be scuppered by the Investigatory Powers Act, which has previously been dubbed a "security nightmare" by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and is not mentioned in the paper. 🤔 In addition, the UK will be leaving the EU-US Privacy Shield - potentially meaning that data could "be transferred to the US without EU-worthy oversights".
Furthering the announcement of the new Data Protection Act and discussion around the proposal to criminalise data re-identification, Danvers Baillieu points out that the actual criminal act should be the releasing of badly anonymised data. 💯 In order to keep strengthening systems, it is VITAL that researchers are given a white hat exception:
The protection of whistleblowers should go further and the government should implement a notification system to the ICO so that researchers can easily receive advance clearance for re-identification projects and be shielded from the risk of prosecution.
Highly recommend reading the full article (shorter version in CityAM). ✅
Has the data drilling just begun? 🔍 Ben Tarnoff explores why the true advantages of data are almost-exclusively held by the tech giants:
Silicon Valley is an extractive industry. Its resource isn’t oil or copper, but data. Companies harvest this data by observing as much of our online activity as they can. This activity might take the form of a Facebook like, a Google search, or even how long your mouse hovers in a particular part of your screen.
Alone, these traces may not be particularly meaningful. By pairing them with those of millions of others, however, companies can discover patterns that help determine what kind of person you are – and what kind of things you might buy.
Tarnoff continues with discussing how the giants are now racing to capture our offline movements (for example, Amazon's "smart" grocery store) to gain further knowledge about our lives. 🥑 He argues that the only "solution" to levelling the playing field is "political" and that data should be "governed in everyone’s interest".
KEY TAKEAWAY: Tarnoff points out that the benefits for citizens of data being holistically analysed are clear, but a new system is needed:
Data is a common good. We make it together, and we make it meaningful together, since useful patterns only emerge from collecting and analyzing large quantities of it.
Security researcher Will Strafach revealed that the iOS AccuWeather app has been sharing personal information, such as precise location data, with data monetisation firm Reveal Mobile. 😱 This enables Reveal to gain exact insights on individual users:
When the location is enabled, it sends the down-to-the-meter precise coordinates of the user, including speed and altitude, back to the data firm.