Tag Archives: data

Data is a new oil?

Until recently, companies managed just traditional assets such as machines, money and intellectual property. The digital era brought a new type of asset – data. This is the raw material from which forecasts, insights and very big money currently are made.

Big data is becoming the main driver of growth for companies and a new resource for the economy. Companies collect data on customer behavior and equipment operation along the way creating new services based on received information.

The only problem is that people usually are not aware of what data is collected from them which creates many legal disputes on whether companies allowed or not to “spy on their clients”. With adoption of data protection rules in many countries all around the world, tech giants such as Facebook, Google or Amazon are facing a real threat for their businesses.

The common phrase “data is new oil” has become dangerous for companies whose business depends on third-party data. In my opinion, comparison is not completely wrong because who controls the data controls the entire market. But for tech giants, comparison with oil barons can result in image deterioration, luck of trust and loss of customers.

Because of that Google’s chief financial officer, Ruth Porat, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, tried to popularize a more upbeat way of describing data: “data is more like sunlight than oil,” adding, “It is like sunshine — we keep using it, and it keeps regenerating.”

It is clear that if Google is considered to be an environmentally friendly solar power station, and not a vertically integrated oil company, then so many questions are immediately removed. I do not think everything will work out right away, but the attempt is worthy: the desire to compare technology companies with oil bars is also exaggerated and very incomplete analogy. Maybe it will end up finding an adequate middle.

Sources:

https://www.businessinsider.com/google-data-is-more-like-sunlight-than-oil-france-gdpr-fine-57-million-2019-1?IR=T

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Facebook sells its users’ data!

The fact that web portals manage the data of their users without their awareness is known not from today, but the way in which Facebook does, it’s just beyond comprehension.

The New York Times is showing the truth.

In connection with recent reports from The New York Times, we read that Facebook sold access to various types of “sensitive data” about its users to such companies as: Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo, Netflix, Spotify. Netflix and Spotify had even access to private correspondence. In most cases, the data obtained by the companies were to help in the selection and positioning of advertisements for users of the said portals. It does not change the fact that through the sale of these data Facebook broke an agreement from 2011 with the American Federal Trade Commission, which clearly states that Facebook can share user data only if it is given accurate and explicit consent.

Companies answer the allegations!

All companies mentioned in the report of The New York Times issued a special statement. One of them is the statement of the Netflix press office regarding access to private correspondence of Facebook users. We read in it about:

“Over the years, we’ve tested various solutions to help Netflix understand the wider community, one of which was a feature introduced in 2014 that allowed site users to recommend their favourite series and movies to their Facebook friends via Messenger or a Netflix account. It has not been that popular as we assumed, which is why we decided to remove it in 2015. At no time did we have access to private messages of Facebook users, or we asked for the possibility of receiving them. “ – Netflix press office says.

The New York Times was really well prepared for this investigation.

It doesn’t change the fact, that The New York Times interviewed more than 60 people, including former employees of Facebook and its partners, former government officials and privacy advocates. Thanks to that we can be sure that Facebook did something illegal and now tries to bury the truth.

“The Times also reviewed more than 270 pages of Facebook’s internal documents and performed technical tests and analysis to monitor what information was being passed between Facebook and partner devices and websites.” – as The New York Times said.

What is my view about this situation?

In my opinion, companies that have access to sensitive data of their users should make every effort to ensure that this data does not leak. In this way, eg. Apple, which extremely highly appreciates the safety of data users of their products and whenever they commit some “mistakes at work”, they plead the guilty and try to repair the whole situation (eg. icloud leaks affair).

Facebook approaches similar situations in a different way, which tries to whitewash the truth and pass the buck on others. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is a perfect example of frauds and deceptions, thanks to which we learned how Facebook can influence election results in one of the most powerful countries in the world, such as the USA is. That sort of stuff is not conducive to peace but exacerbates the conflict on the Facebook and Users relations.

Counter-argument to this whole situation is the fact that the majority of Facebook users do not care about privacy policy. They accept all consents without prior reading. They do not follow the basic security rules on the Internet. They share their private lives via Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc. For this reason, it can be assumed that such users agree to full surveillance, which is not said to be bad. If we have nothing to hide, why should we be disturbed by the fact that someone can earn from it. I believe that if there is already such a situation, it would be great if the company / person who earns money on their users, would inform them about everything and admit theirs guilt when they fails.

Sources:

https://cnn.it/2LJ9ZYd
https://cnn.it/2EUlpGY

Photos:

https://bit.ly/2SuobXh
https://bit.ly/2EZFLiM
https://bit.ly/2CH3Zfx

author: Michał Żelazo

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No More Privacy. Thank you.

 

Healthcare, like so many other sectors of the economy, is being transformed by technology. 

TechCrunch

 

All eyes on the transformation of healthcare to one of the most personalized products we are able to purchase. No questions asked, eHealth, along other similar term creations are among the top buzzwords this year and in the near future. Finally, Startups and VC firms seem to realize the huge potentially big data, mobile and other technologies can have on our health. Consumers realize that, there are vast possibilities to track your own health and life a healthier lifestyle. While customers, producers and investors seem to feel the changes in technology based healthcare solutions knocking on our door, it is often an outdated and inflexible legal system that prevents the revolution in healthcare to finally gain momentum. In many cases, governments do not seem to be ready for this change to happen. Furthermore, often the basic data infrastructure required for these technologies are not developed enough.

Data privacy is a big issue in healthcare, as data about our health is probably one of the most private and sensitive pieces of data each and every one of us has to offer. Nevertheless, applications like SkinAnalytics, which helps in early Melanoma detection, points out how valuable large amount of data can be in order to early detect and prevent diseases from spreading. Clinical research would be one of the first to benefit from a lift in healthcare data protection and thus everyone could be benefiting from better-adjusted healthcare solutions.

From a business point of view, companies that are early able to position themselves on the market, despite the strict regulatory framework, will have a good competitive advantage toward the new entrants, that join the industry as a result of lifts in the law. Cracking the legal code is key to success here, as the technology is already available and well used in all kinds of different sectors.

An eCommerce example of an organization struggling with a tight regulatory framework and constant pressure from organizations that rather hold on to what exist now, instead of aiming for a better development, is 1001Pharmacies.com. The French startup set out to revolutionize the French Online-pharmacy landscape had his fair share of battling with the legal environment and parties that would rather keep everything as it is, instead of working towards better and more efficient solutions.

What is the point of all of this? A call to the liberation of data privacy and legal aspects of pharmaceutical and medical laws. The creation of an environment that triggers creative solutions in this sector. Solutions that we all would be benefiting of one day.

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