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DataScan: Issue #64



February 11 · Issue #64 · View online

Curated digest on the world of data.

Are the most innovative companies just the ones with the most data? Equifax hack might be worse than you think. All the data we lost to incompatible APIs. Why the Web 3.0 matters.
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Are the most innovative companies just the ones with the most data? Writing for Harvard Business Review, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Thomas Ramge argue that decisions and so product innovation is now driven by data rather than human “aha-moments”. 💭  Although this shift needs to be addressed to keep markets competitive and respect customer privacy, this must be done “without stifling data-driven innovation” and progress. 💯  Whatsmore:
For many innovative companies, the next few years will be a time of reckoning: as the power of data-driven innovation increases, these more conventional innovators will have to find access to data to continue to innovate. That necessitates at least two huge adjustments. First, they need to reposition themselves in the data value chain to gain and secure data access. That’s difficult if, for instance, all the data is captured upstream in the data value chain. Just ask suppliers in car manufacturing, or book publishers. Second, as innovation moves from human insight to data-driven machine learning, firms need to reorganize their internal innovation culture, emphasizing machine learning opportunities and putting in place data exploitation processes. 
Equifax hack might be worse than you think. AnnaMaria Andriotis reports for the Wall Street Journal on a disclosure by Equifax on additional customer information which was breached last year, such as “tax identification numbers, email addresses and driver’s license information”. 🙈  This again highlights the dangers of vast amounts of personal information being held by one company:
The disclosure comes some five months after Equifax said it had been breached and personal information belonging to 145.5 million consumers had been compromised, including names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and addresses. The fact that hackers accessed even more data shows both the vast amount of information that Equifax holds and the risks at stake for consumers given the level of personal information that has been compromised.
Amazon and Facebook fare badly in personal data test. The FT’s Barney Thompson explains how well 6 large companies responded when challenged on their readiness on both the 1998 Data Protection Act and the GDPR. The global finance newspaper sent them “subject access requests” and, interestingly, “two huge companies - Amazon and Facebook - did not reply to the written requests”. 🤔
– This contradicts the assumption that “large companies which are used to handling data and can afford data protection teams are likely to be the most prepared to comply with the incoming regulations, while small and medium-sized businesses will struggle”. 🔍  –> GDPR is coming, and data management platforms are in the crosshairs.
All the data we lost to incompatible APIs. Pritam Roy questions whether we are heading towards a data black-hole, as “the systems of the future will not be able to render the files of the present”. 🔮  Food for thought:
As we are creating more data, we are also erasing our past often permanently. If a consumer web company gets acquired or liquidates, it has no incentive to keep it’s data centers running as what happened when Home automation company Revolv got acquired by Google Nest and its automation hub was shut down leaving owners of the smart home product feeling pretty dumb about their decision. Similarly a bank or a financial institution may have no incentive to keep transaction records beyond what is needed by business and regulatory requirements.Consider that almost none of the popular blogs, or social media platforms that we see today will be around in 50 years, it’s hard to imagine what will happen to all the data that these companies would have amassed over the years. The data that would have been chronicles of our life and times.
👏  Why decentralised governance matters. –> The meaning of decentralisation.
💯  Why the Web 3.0 matters and you should know about it. 
👀  Facebook patents tech to detect users’ socioeconomic status
📊  The current state of advertising data, in 5 charts.
🤖  An AI that reads privacy policies so you don’t have to. –> Andrew Ng launches $175 million AI fund. 
💸  92% of blockchain projects launched in 2016 are now dead.
🔍  A beginner’s guide to investigative data journalism. 
💉  Modifying your own genes is just an injection away
⛓️  How DNA could store all the world’s data in a semi-trailer. 
🙈  Fitness app Strava lights up staff at military bases:
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