Articles about Data

UK.gov denies data processing framework is 'sinister' – but admits ICO has concerns

The government has moved to allay fears over amendments to the Data Protection Bill that critics say could undermine both the law and the powers of the UK’s privacy watchdog. The changes, for a Framework for Data Processing for Government, were quietly inserted at the Bill’s final committee stage in November – but soon faced a …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jan 2018

Think tank: Never mind WannaCry, update NHS IT systems for RoboDoc

The Reform think tank has told the UK government to improve the quality of NHS data and stop relying on paper-based systems to take advantage of the purported benefits of artificial intelligence. In its report (PDF) Thinking on its own: AI in the NHS, published today, the think tank argued that AI has the power to speed the …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jan 2018
Fidget Spinner

Fancy a fidget? Craze makes debut entry into PornHub's top searches

PornHub's annual deep dive into user stats and searches has revealed that, in 2017, people decided to take the fidget spinner trend to new levels. According to the mainstream porn site's year in review, visitors were interested in new ways of using the seemingly innocent, if highly annoying, kids' toy. (Top tip: El Reg did an …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Jan 2018
Max Schrems

Max Schrems: The privacy bubble needs to start 'getting sh*t done'

Interview "The problem we have in the privacy bubble is that we're great at saying how evil and bad everything is... but we're not that great at getting shit done." Max Schrems, the privacy activist known for reducing the Safe Harbor data-sharing deal to tatters, is making one final attempt to spur the community he's been at the heart …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Jan 2018

We've heard of data gravity – we're just not sure how to defy it yet

Software engineer Dave McCrory coined the term "data gravity" in a 2010 blog post. Since then he's come up with equations and otherwise thought hard about how to put numbers on it. He even talks about it today in terms of information theory, network evolution, and similarly heady topics. But it stems from a quite simple idea. …
Gordon Haff, 2 Jan 2018
Parliament photo by Shutterstock

Hancock's hour: Minister of fun makes quips as GDPR questions cover old ground

UK digital minister Matt Hancock has been doing his best to help silly season live up to its name, injecting quips about sport and theatre among prosaic data protection questions. Yesterday he had the chance to entertain the House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, which had set out for him a fairly pedestrian set of post …
Rebecca Hill, 21 Dec 2017

UKIP appeals against ICO request for info on Brexit data dealings

UKIP has appealed to the information tribunal after the Information Commissioner's Office ordered it to hand over details about its use of data analytics during the Brexit campaign. The data protection watchdog launched an investigation into the use – or misuse – of data analytics in political campaigns, especially the EU …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Dec 2017

Netflix silent about ridicule as it discusses punters' viewing habits

A tweet sent in jest from Netflix's official Twitter account on Sunday evening has called the company's data practices into question. "To the 53 people who've watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?" a company representative said, via the social media and election-swaying service. To the …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Dec 2017
Bait

Sucks to be a... chief data officer, when they're being told: Boost revenues

Chief data officers are increasingly asked to help monetise the data companies hold, rather than purely managing and protecting that data, according to Gartner. The analysts firm has predicted that this focus on “value creation over risk mitigation” will grow over time, as companies look to data bring in new revenue streams. …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Dec 2017
box

US politicos wake up to danger of black-box algorithms shaping all corners of American life

In Washington, DC, on Wednesday, academics and policy wonks warned US Congressional representatives about the perils of inscrutable algorithms, a red flag entangled by tangential worries about privacy, data collection, and net neutrality. As framed in a letter submitted by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, democracy …

Another toothless wonder? Why the UK.gov's data ethics centre needs clout

Amid myriad bodies offering advice, opinions and rulings on the use of data springing up all over the shop, the government used the Budget to announce plans to create yet another. The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation is described (PDF) as "a world-first advisory body to enable and ensure safe, ethical innovation in …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Nov 2017

Peers told to push for cut-price access to med tech developed with NHS data

The UK's health service should get cheaper rates on healthcare products developed using NHS data, peers have been told. In the latest installation of the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee's eponymous inquiry, peers quizzed experts on whether the NHS risked under-valuing - or failing to realise the value of - its …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Nov 2017
PCISIG slide on bandwidth

Fore! PCI Express 4.0 finally lands on Earth

Somewhat later than expected, the Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group, or PCI-SIG, has finally gotten around to releasing the PCIe 4.0 specification, which describes the technical requirements for connecting devices through the PCI Express I/O bus in personal computers and servers. "The delivery of the …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Oct 2017
Man looks put off by something he's seen on a tablet

International data watchdogs: Websites don't tell you who sees your privates

The privacy notices used by websites and apps to tell users what data they collect and how it will be used fail to offer the necessary specifics, an international study has found. The work, carried out by 24 data protection regulators across the world, assessed the notices, communications and sign-up processes used by 455 …
Rebecca Hill, 25 Oct 2017
Massive human has key to little person's house.

Huge power imbalance between firms and users whose info they grab

Mass commercial data gathering and opaque decision-making processes have a “massive potential” to damage personal autonomy and dignity, a report has said. Data gathered and stored by companies is increasingly being used to make decisions that can affect people’s lives, but the systems that drive these processes are often …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Oct 2017
search

Google, Bing, Yahoo! data hoarding is like homeopathy. It doesn't work – new study claims

Data, it has been argued, is the new oil – the fuel for the information economy – but its importance to search engines may be overstated. In a paper released on Monday through the National Bureau of Economic Research, Lesley Chiou, an associate professor at Occidental College, and Catherine Tucker, a professor at the MIT Sloan …
Thomas Claburn, 19 Sep 2017
Business: Stressed man with pile of paperwork works against the clock

Tick, tock motherf... erm, we mean, don't panic over GDPR

Welcome back from the summer. Feeling refreshed? Good, now let’s talk General Data Protection Regulation from the European Union, due to swing into effect on May 25, 2018. You now have eight months to get your data infrastructure, tech policies and related procedures ship-shape. Not feeing so refreshed now, are you? Plenty of …
Dave Cartwright, 14 Sep 2017
Cat peeks outside cardboard box. Photo by shuttertsock

A big ask for any nerd, but going outside (your usual data sets) can be good for you

So, you want to be data driven. About time too. It amazes me to watch companies basing their forecasts on experience, assumption and instinct when their storage area networks are teeming with data that they could use to make what they do more scientific. It seems obvious that you would use the data you hold to make your …

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