This week we begin with an article on the architect of the web as we know it, Tim Berners-Lee, and his futuristic project on personal online data stores (Pods) that seeks to give individuals more powers over their data. Next is a report on how the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington (DC) have crowdsourced detective work to help identify subjects of the unprecedented mob attack on the Capitol Building. The following article is on the role of alternative data, with greater emphasis on environment, social and governance (ESG) data, in making responsible investment decisions in 2021. Following this is an article about the use of satellite data analysis for investigative journalism. Next, we have an analysis of new legislation passed by the US congress that cracks down on shell companies, and further combat corruption. To end, we have an article on data decay, the gradual loss of accurate data, and the cost incurred as a result of bad data.
He Created the Web. Now He’s Out to Remake the Digital World.
THREE DECADES AGO, Tim Berners-Lee devised simple yet powerful standards for locating, linking and presenting multimedia documents online. He set them free into the world, unleashing the World Wide Web. Others became internet billionaires, while Mr. Berners-Lee became the steward of the technical norms intended to help the web flourish as an egalitarian tool of connection and information sharing.
Online Researchers Scramble to Identify Capitol Raid Participants
For years, police have been warning about the dangers of crowdsourced detective work — but on Thursday morning, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of Washington, DC decided to do just that. In the wake of an unprecedented mob attack on the Capitol building, the MPD has released an open call for help identifying subjects.
Volatility and Recovery: The Role of Alternative Data in 2021
Demand for alternative data grew significantly in 2020 as institutional investors sought to understand market volatility from more dimensions. This growth means that datasets that were previously the domain of hedge funds, discretionary asset managers will be more accessible to non-institutional investors as well, to make equally informed decisions.
Eyes in the Sky: Using Satellite Data Analysis for Investigative Reporting
Investigative reporting is dangerous. Powerful organizations go to great lengths to protect their secrets and journalists are often required to travel to high-risk conflict zones. According to Reporters Without Borders, 941 journalists have been killed over the past 10 years, with the large majority killed in war zones. It makes sense that journalists would use every technology available to protect themselves. Including satellite imagery.
A Quietly Passed Law Cracks Down on Shell Companies to Combat Corruption
For years as a federal prosecutor in New York, Daniel R. Alonso led teams that had to search through a maze of anonymously owned corporate entities to expose criminal activity. “It required all kinds of shoe-leather investigating to identify who was really behind these shell companies,” recalled Alonso. “You’d have to subpoena bank records and lawyers, as well as human sources, and even then you frequently hit a dead end.” Now, thanks to a watershed overhaul of U.S. money-laundering laws, locating the proceeds from foreign bribery, drug trafficking and financing for terrorists could be as easy as a few keystrokes.
The High Cost of ‘Bad’ Data: $3 Billion Annually
Bad data impacts performance, revenue and overall efficiency, costing U.S. companies $3 billion per year and losing businesses as much as 20% of potential revenue. Even good data can go bad, caused by changes that lead to data decay (the gradual loss of accurate data).