From our very own version of Numberwang, to utilitarianism, the precautionary principle, the Plague of Athens 430 BC, to Gartner’s latest tech trends, the SmallDataForum serves up another mixed bag of goodies and smarties.
I kick off by offering a selection of ciphers for our very own SmallDataForum Numberwang from:
Continue reading “To vaccinate or not to vaccinate – or, when Uschi met Jezza”
- 0.1 (Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s silly argument that 0.1 is “a real rise”), to
- 6 (the number of episodes of Adam Curtis’s latest take on the dark forces at play in our modern world), to
- 10 (the maximum prison sentence in the UK Government’s culture war inspired Crime Bill for violating a statue, which according to Labour’s David Lammy “makes protecting statues more important that punishing rape”), and related to 118 vs 1, (the number of women killed last year where a man was charged or convicted vs ‘statues killed’, as per the unrivalled Marina Hyde)
- 10 in 21 (the Top Ten data and analytics tech trends in 2021 according to Gartner) to
- 40 vs 12 (percentage of population COVID vaccinated in the UK vs EU average)
- 25,000 (excess UK COVID deaths due to the delayed winter lockdown, according to a new report)
- and last but not least, $450m (the sum Cision paid for Brighton based social analytics firm Brandwatch, leaving the three of us a bit speechless, and NOT AT ALL ENVIOUS of founder CEO Giles Palmer…).
“We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.“ So the famous US Supreme Court Justice and ‘crusader for social justice’ and breaker-upper of Gilded Age monopolies, Louis D. Brandeis is said to have said, perhaps sometimes in the early 1930s.
Today, perhaps the best-known neo-Brandeisian anti-trust advocate is Tim Wu, Columbia law professor, ‘father of net neutrality’ and author of a series of books likening today’s commercial excesses – in particular in the digital space – to the ‘Gilded Age’ of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Of course, it is not really an either-or debate. It’s a complex and convoluted, tangled web of interests and angles, and any claimant of simple solutions has likely got a degree from snake oil university.
Continue reading “To regulate, or not to regulate, that is the question…”
The latest episode of the Small Data Forum podcast sees the founding trio of Neville, Thomas, and me striding confidently into our early 20s. Who knew that the fledgling born at an event in Covent Garden’s fashionable London in May 2016 – pre-Brexit, pre-Trump, pre-Cambridge Analytica farce – would endure to its twenty-second episode.
We start our latest offering with a look at Facebook’s latest, topical woes: a technical vulnerability leading to a breach of security for at least 50m European users last month. And probably 40m more.
Thanks to a favourite topic of the SDF Podcast, Facebook were required to report the breach to the EU within 72 hours under new GDPR rules. Playing by the book, Facebook did so, contacting the Irish Data Protection Commission.
Continue reading “Zucker time or time to take in Berners-Leesy?”
“If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” A modern version of this 18th century thought experiment by the philosopher and cleric George Berkeley might read: “If the EU fines a big tech firm billions of dollars, and no one has the power to enforce it, has it actually happened?”
A recent opinion piece on AdExchanger discussed the connection between Google’s $5bn antitrust fine, and the enforcement of fines for GDPR non-compliance. Europe is committed to taking a stand against corporations when it comes to privacy rights of consumers, intellectual property rights of content producers (although the planned law is controversial), and anti-competitive market positions.
Continue reading “GDPR, ePrivacy, copyright & antitrust: the EU’s long game”