Location Data, Fitness Data, Mass Surveillance, Alt Data, Data & Investments, and Reddit Data



This week we begin with an article on the deanonymization of location data and its worrying implication on individual civil liberties. Every day, millions of people publicly share enormous amounts of personal health information; the next article is about the risk of sharing anonymized fitness data and call for systemic reform. Following this is an analysis of the investigation on Clearview AI’s facial recognition — that scraps photos from social media for use by law enforcement — and how its practices amount to mass surveillance. The following piece is on the importance of alternative data in improved lead generation in businesses. Next is an article on the need for investments in creating robust information systems. To end, we have an analysis of the growing interest among deep-pocketed investors in alternative data services that track Reddit and Twitter messages for mentions of publicly traded companies.

They Stormed the Capitol. Their Apps Tracked Them.

In 2019, a source came to us with a digital file containing the precise locations of more than 12 million individual smartphones for several months in 2016 and 2017. The data is supposed to be anonymous, but it isn’t. We found celebrities, Pentagon officials and average Americans.

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When fitness data becomes research data, your privacy may be at risk

Google’s $2 billion acquisition of Fitbit last month has been met with concern from privacy advocates worried about how the tech giant will use personal fitness data. This reaction prompted the tech giant to clarify that the acquisition is “about devices, not data.” The deal has brought to light a larger issue that we all seem to gloss over: Every day, millions of people publicly share seemingly innocuous personal health information with many stakeholders, including employers, insurance companies, providers and even publicly on the Internet.

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Clearview’s facial recognition tech is illegal mass surveillance, Canada privacy commissioners say

Clearview AI’s facial recognition amounts to mass surveillance and the company should delete the faces of Canadians from its database, Canada’s privacy commissioners said Wednesday. Commissioner Daniel Therrien said what Clearview does — scraping photos from social media and other public sites for use by law enforcement — is “illegal” and creates a system that “inflicts broad-based harm on all members of society, who find themselves continually in a police lineup.”

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Improve Lead Generation with Alternative Data

High-quality data has become an inseparable part of many efficient business operations. And when it comes to lead generation, the importance of data is especially great. Leads are recognized and converted precisely by utilizing various types of data. Among the many important types of information for lead generation, one that could and should be utilized more is alternative data. This is the information of how and by whom the company has been funded at its various stages of development. Utilizing this data can significantly improve lead generation.

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Why investing in data is never money wasted

In 1935, officials in the British Air Ministry were trying to figure out whether it was possible to shoot down enemy aircraft with a death ray. Reader, they did not succeed. Fortunately, the effort spawned something much more useful. Robert Watson-Watt and Arnold “Skip” Wilkins of the Radio Research Station suggested a better use for radio beams: spotting incoming bombers when the beams reflected off them.

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GameStop short squeeze fuels new stock-market services tracking Reddit messages

Day traders are credited with sparking a revolution on Wall Street, helping to juice the shares of GameStop Corp. GME, 4.85% and AMC Entertainment Holdings AMC, -2.12% and rattling the foundation of segments of the hedge-fund industry in the process.

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Source:  https://mailchi.mp/zigram/data-asset-weekly-dispatch_08 February 2021

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