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How is data giving rise to a new economy?

Do you trade data for convenience? Are a billion identities at risk on India’s biometric database? How were Ellis Island immigrants’ intelligence tested? Why are data viz designers so obsessed with circles?


How is data giving rise to a new economy? EXCELLENT article featured in yesterday's print version of The Economist. ✅ Highly recommend reading the full article (or at least condensed version here). It raises numerous thought provoking points around the fuel of the future!

  • Digital information is unlike any previous resource; it is extracted, refined, valued, bought and sold in different ways.

  • There is a disincentive to trade as each side will worry that it is getting the short end of the stick - data can easily be duplicated and used for other purposes than those agreed.

  • If digital information lacks a price, valuable data may never be generated and if data remain stuck in silos, much value may never get extracted.

(Side note - great to see my newest startup Cognitive Logic mentioned.)

Do you trade data for convenience? 🤔 Or even use it as a currency? Anindya Ghose argues that "people are beginning to demand a fair exchange for their data and want to negotiate the terms with brands to mutual advantage". 💪 Ghose summarises:

Instead of fearing sharing data, we should feel comfortable with it—and even start getting excited about it. Rarely do we enter an economic era when the technological upside is so positive for both consumers and the firms that live up to their end of the bargain.

A leaked document reveals that the UK government is pushing for wider internet surveillance. Zack Whittaker reported than the proposed changes would "force internet providers to monitor communications in near-realtime and install backdoor equipment to break encryption". ⛔

Furthermore - Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group, claims that, if passed, "companies may be obliged to lie to their customers about the privacy and security that is applied to their communications". 😱 -- The government has requested feedback from six telecom giants - but not partners in the tech industry. 😳

The Times of India reported that "The Centre told the Supreme Court that citizens can not claim "absolute" right over their body parts" and "refuse to give digital samples of their fingerprints and iris for Aadhaar enrolment." 😠 (Aadhar is the world's largest biometic database containing fingerprints and iris scans of more than a billion Indian residents - who have been issued with a 12-digit identity number).

The number, says Nikhil Pahwa, editor and publisher of Indian news site MediaNama, is "being forcibly linked to mobile numbers, bank accounts, tax filings, scholarships, pensions, rations, school admissions, health records and much much more, which thus puts more personal information at risk".

Also - how can you ensure the world's biggest biometric database is secure in a country with no privacy laws and a deficient criminal justice system? 😳 The data could easily be "used by government for mass surveillance, ethnic cleansing and other insidious purposes".😶 Supposedly over 135 million Aadhaar records have already been exposed online. Frightening.


Were you hit by the sophisticated Google Docs phishing attack? 🐟 Motherboard claim Google was warned about the phishing technique SIX years ago. 🙃

Check out the jigsaw puzzle that was given to Ellis Island immigrants to test their intelligence. 🔍

Examining decentralised social networks - nice blog post by Stream.

These crowdfunded billboards target members of Congress who voted to gut Internet privacy and let ISPs sell your info. 👊

Why are data viz designers so obsessed with circles? 🔴 Manuel Lima explains how "the circle represents happiness, unity, perfection, and wholeness":

Nicholas Felton used a spiral to show the number of articles written on Wikipedia from 2001 to 2010,



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