This week we begin with an article by Harvard Business Review which discusses the common pitfalls that make data related to COVID-19, untrustworthy. Then, we have a story on a probe that was conducted by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) on TikTok’s handling of data related to young users. The next piece talks about the use of alternative data by banks and financial institutions for the assessment of the creditworthiness of borrowers lacking a credit history. The following story talks about a surge in the use of alternative data by large hedge funds. Lastly, we have included an article on the detection of floating plastic pollutants in the ocean, using satellite imagery.
Which Covid-19 Data Can You Trust?
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a tidal wave of data. As countries and cities struggle to grab hold of the scope and scale of the problem, tech corporations and data aggregators have stepped up, filling the gap with dashboards scoring social distancing based on location data from mobile phone apps and cell towers, contact-tracing apps using geolocation services and Bluetooth, and modeling efforts to predict epidemic burden and hospital needs. In the face of uncertainty, these data can provide comfort — tangible facts in the face of many unknowns.
Dutch watchdog to probe TikTok over how it handles children’s data
TikTok has become immensely popular worldwide including India. The short-video sharing platform, however, has not been without its share of controversies, especially around user privacy and security. The social networking company is once again under scanner. The Dutch privacy watchdog has said it will now probe how the Chinese company handles data of its young users.
Credit scoring: Going alternative
When assessing applicants’ financial reliability, lenders globally have traditionally relied on a limited range of data sources. In the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Germany, creditworthiness is determined primarily based on credit scores provided by large credit reporting agencies (e.g. Experian, Equifax, SCHUFA).
Hedge funds’ use of alternative data tipped to surge, new industry study finds
More than half of hedge fund managers are now using alternative data to gain a competitive edge, according to a wide-ranging new study into alt data trends by the Alternative Investment Management Association and fund services provider SS&C.
How satellite imagery is helping to detect plastic pollution in the ocean
In 2018, Lauren Biermann was scouring a satellite image of the ocean off the coast of the Isle of May, Scotland, searching for signs of floating seaweed for a project at her university. Her eyes were drawn to lines of white dots gently curving along an oceanfront.