The EQ Data Debrief 28.01.19

We're talking about Facebook's AI research, record Google fines, personalised recommendations and more in this week's Data Debrief.

Jamie Acutt

Facebook funds new AI research centre for data ethics

Over the weekend Facebook announced that it would be supporting a new independent AI ethics research centre, in partnership with the Technical University of Munich (TUM), with a $7.5 million investment over five years. The centre will be dedicated to the ethical challenges around AI and how technology can be used responsibility to benefit society. AI is an integral part of Facebook’s system with data labels and algorithms which include curating news most relevant to particular users on their feed. The decision to collaborate with TUM reflects Facebook’s desire for more academic research to help resolve the issues which arise as technology evolves, both for themselves and society in general.

French data protection body fines Google a record £44 million

An investigation by CNIL, the French data protection body, has found Google wanting when it comes to clarity around its use of consumer data and targeted advertising. CNIL says the search giant fails to transparently display adequate information and obtain, “valid consent regarding the ads personalisation”; two violations of GDPR which have resulted in a €50 million fine (£44 million). The watchdog discusses how information is difficult to access for users, with there often being 5 or 6 steps for instance before users can understand how their data is collected for personalisation. CNIL also notes that the display of ads personalisation is pre-ticked with users having to actively change this setting.

Dutch surgeon wins legal battle to have Google remove search results about suspension case

A Dutch surgeon will see Google search results regarding her previous suspension removed in a ground-breaking ‘right to be forgotten’ case regarding medical negligence. The doctor argued for the case as her original suspension was changed meaning she could still practice, however search results for her name continued to direct users to an outdated page where she was listed as a backlisted surgeon. Following the court ruling Google will clear the search results data, however the tech firm and the Dutch data privacy body, Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens, had first fought against the request stating that the suspension information remained relevant. The decision to publicise this case could mean Google will have to remove other pages in similar cases.

Personalised holiday recommendations reign supreme with UK consumers

A new survey has found that 85% of UK consumers would welcome personalised holiday suggestions from travel companies, while over 50% would pay extra for a tailored booking experience. The survey was conducted by personalisation software specialist Monetate and Viga, asking 1,500 UK consumers how they prefer to search for holidays and the type of service they expect from travel companies. Interestingly, mobile smart devices are also increasing in popularity as a booking mode with 40% of respondents using a mobile phone or tablet during the booking journey.

Jamie Acutt Head of Marketing at Equiniti Data
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