The Edinburgh festival, Rain & Privacy

The wonderful, eclectic, chaotic whirlwind which is the Edinburgh festival is in full swing, which can only mean one thing: it’s raining.

A Scottish Summer is always fickle but every year it seems to save up the rain for the tourists in August. And so with the hoards, the shows, comes the rain. It’s thus a little wet today, but still brilliant and with our main base at the glorious Bayes centre , Trace® are in the thick of it all: in the thick of data-driven innovation and protection, and in the thick of the festival; neither of which will be perturbed by a little rain.

And nor will the Privacy stories, they keep coming at pace, and feel ever more fascinating and global in nature. So here’s our round-up of the ones which caught our eye this month:

Trump, Big Tech & Regulation

Writing for the Guardian this week, Peter Lewis talks Trump’s rhetoric on the “dark recesses” of internet and makes the case for tighter Big Tech regulation (a case which Trace® support, with the caveat that regulation needs to be effective, enforceable, agile and involve technologists).

“The honeymoon where anything online was considered a self-evident good is now over”

Read the story

FaceApp & Global Data Residency

Wired do a good post-FaceApp furore reflection piece which is worth a read. From our perspective, the hyperbole surrounding FaceApp was interesting to watch play out. It’s often the ‘story behind the story’ which is most significant. Much like Cambridge Analytica last year, the spotlight shines on one person, story or company but the broader insight goes much further.

It’s positive that we’re now in an era where people are more conscious of the surveillance capitalism model and how their data is used, and also of data residency (for example when you use cloud services and upload your data, where in the world is it actually stored and why that matters). FaceApp use AWS, but the focus on Russia was interesting.

The take outs from the FaceApp story?

  1. Read the terms and conditions, the privacy policies: this goes for individuals as it does for businesses

  2. Businesses need to be more transparent, aware and accountable for data and for their 3rd party data processors. This means knowing where data centres are based globally, what legislations apply and how personal data is safeguarded. Find out how to locate your business global data footprint.

India seeks Adequacy

And building on this story of data residency, a critical part of GDPR compliance is ensuring that personal data is processed in an adequate country. Interesting, but not unexpected to see India seeking adequacy status from the EU, read more on the story. The global map of Data Protection and sovereignty is changing, and one which we’re watching closely and mapping into our platform.

Must watch, Must read

And finally, if you haven't seen it do watch The Great Hack on Netflix: it humanises an important political, data and tech global debate. Or for those of you who have more time on your hands, try Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism (she coined the term). It’s a long read but makes an important case about how big tech are mining data to predict and shape our behaviour.

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Sorcha Lorimer