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DataScan: Issue #55

Why Bitcoin is rapidly rising in value. Data brokering industry warned by UK watchdog. Data protectio


November 5 · Issue #55 · View online
Curated digest on the world of data.

Why Bitcoin is rapidly rising in value. Data brokering industry warned by UK watchdog. Data protection laws alone can’t fix data monopolies. Go beyond GDPR for a competitive edge. 
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The Bitcoin bubble. Excellent write-up in The Economist explaining why people are really buying Bitcoin and the implications. The three reasons why “there is some demand” - limited supply, fears round fiat currencies and the need for anonymity - simply do not explain its rapid rise in value. 💥 Instead:
People are buying Bitcoin because they expect other people to buy it from them at a higher price; the definition of the greater fool theory. 
Bitcoin surged past $7,000 earlier this week - ONE transaction now uses as much energy as your house in a week. The crash is inevitable and will be dramatic. Side note – only 1/10 tokens are in use following Initial Coin Offerings. 👻  Check out this clear explanation from early blockchain investor Fred Wilson on why most Initial Coin Offerings are scams. 💸
Data brokering industry warned by UK watchdog. Following an investigation into the “so-called data brokering industry”, data hoarder and trader Verso Group was fined £80,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The company reportedly “specialises in surveys” - and then uses the answers “to target respondents with unsolicited marketing calls”. 💩 The ICO’s deputy commissioner, James Dipple-Johnstone, commented:
We have concerns about the impact of invisible data processing on UK citizens and are currently looking at the data broking industry including how businesses trade and use personal data behind the scenes
Data protection laws can’t fix data monopolies. Rebecca Hill reports on a House of Lords committee discussion with industry experts on how “personal data should be owned, managed and used”. Data regulation is crucial but it won’t prevent data monopolies, according to the Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. 🔍  Instead, competition authorities need to “stop mergers and acquisitions where the purpose is to exploit more personal data”. But, for natural-language processing, it’s already too late as the tech giants already have such large “databanks”. 👀
Go beyond GDPR for a competitive edge. Writing for Computer Weekly, Warwick Ashford interviews Phil Lam, co-founder of Lam Advisory, to explore how companies should adopt a “risk-based approach to privacy” to gain “an advantage in winning and retaining customers”. 🔮 For example:
A bank could move from storing personal data centrally or using a third party to store that data, to a more distributed model.
This week in data breaches. In what appears to be one of the largest data breaches in Asia, the details of 46 million Malaysian mobile phone subscribers were leaked and have been available online for years. 😱 The data “likely came from multiple sources” and is “extensive enough to allow criminals to create fraudulent identities to make online purchases”.  
Furthermore, Australia experienced its second most significant data breach to date. 😳  The personal details of 50,000 employees from “various companies across Australia” were exposed due to a third-party contractor misconfiguring an Amazon S3 bucket. – Hilton Hotels was fined $700,000 after “mishandling two separate credit card data breaches”. 💳
💯  Trump’s Twitter account was shut down by worker on their last day.
🙌  TransferWise announced a whopping $280M investment round.
🛩  Google will stop feeding airfare data to travel websites.
😰  Russian ads show the sophistication of influence campaign.
🎃  Halloween costumes designed by a neural network. 
🤖  Google’s Hinton outlines new AI advance that requires less data. 
📊  Grafiti: “Instagram for data” viz. 
😑  What boredom does to you:
Wandering thoughts, via Manoush Zomorodi
Wandering thoughts, via Manoush Zomorodi
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