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Has decentralised technology already outdated the GDPR?

Or will the tech giants be disrupted by new data laws? Can algorithms based on NHS records seed an entirely new industry?


Has decentralised technology already outdated the GDPR? 🤔 EXCELLENT piece by Tom Cox and Andrew Solomon from Kingsley Napley providing an overview of the effects of decentralised blockchain technology on the GDPR. ⛓ Immutability is "one of the key security features of a blockchain" which clearly clashes with GDPR's right to be forgotten:

The GDPR was designed using the assumptions that custodians of data would continue to be centralised entities. However, technologies such as block chain are facilitating a move towards a decentralised model of data management. In spite of the dramatic changes taking place, regulators appear to be taking a ‘wait and see’ approach before considering how best to address the challenges of the future.

Although the new data protection regulation seems to be solving yesterday's problems, a recent survey conducted by the Financial Times found that the tech sector is struggling to prepare. Personal information has become the "backbone" of the industry, as it helps to generate "new product ideas and advertising revenues", and so it has been suggested that the GDPR could be "one of the most expensive pieces of regulation in the sector's history". 💰 Side note -- check out Bank of England's working paper on the economics of distributed ledge technology for security settlement.

Or will the tech giants be disrupted by new data laws? 🔍 This article written by Dr Johnny Ryan reached the top of hacker news this week. In my opinion, Facebook is highly unlikely to need any new permissions, as it is a free service provided in return for users being targeted for advertising. Google, on the other hand, relies on the collection data across a whole range of services which is then used for targeting on 3rd party websites. These additional purposes may create GDPR compliance issues. ⌛ Furthermore, I highly doubt that one single "opt-in" button will be considered explicit consent for all Google services. ✅

Jessica Davies explores the "hottest trend in German media: cross-industry alliances that prioritise consumer data privacy". 🔥 Verimi aims "to provide a single login for customers across all partner sites" in order to try to compete with the Facebook-Google duopoly. Interesting idea. ⚖ Furthermore, Kadir Dindar emphasises how marketing needs data integration in order to benefit from AI:

Co-operative databases, including data from other organisations in the same sector, allow you to see whether your customers are still buying, but from elsewhere, and give you a more comprehensive picture of the market.

Can algorithms based on NHS records seed an entirely new industry? 💡 Hannah Devlin, Science Correspondent for the Guardian, details an independent report which calls for "very urgent" action "to secure NHS data for the British public". Led by Sir John Bell, the report argues that "the most significant value lies in the datasets used to train algorithms" and, as the NHS has "one of the most comprehensive health datasets in existence", this should not be given away for free. 🏥

-- This report comes as documents were released which reveal DeepMind's intentions back in 2015 to apply AI to the NHS data gained through their controversial information sharing agreement with the Royal Free NHS Trust. 🤖


🐍 Analysing cryptocurrency markets using Python.

📚 Neat beginner's guide to AI/ML by Vishal Maini.

🚗 Uber's Movement data is now available to the public.

📺 Write up on Netflix's Summer 2017 Hack Day - bring on Spookyflix!

🔮 Looking forward: Uber's new CEO.

🌍 Data viz - making every country on a map the same size:

by Mustapha Mekhatria


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