Welcome to this first episode of Mind The Gap!
Mind The Gap is our new weekly newsletter, where we share our reading and thinking on the world of privacy and (data) engineering. STRM was founded on the observation there is still a large gap between privacy from a legal and engineering perspective. With Mind the Gap we aim to pull those worlds a little closer together.
Every week we will highlight a few items to wonder and ponder about privacy and (data) engineering and how to bring them closer together.
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-Pim from STRM
Tim Cook defends privacy
Hear hear! At the annual IAPP Summit, Apple commander Tim Cook delivered a keynote with a specific focus on data collection. Apple is in the connecting spot between data producers (consumers) and data users (companies) and so has (a) incredible leverage to help advance on the issue globally and/or (b) a commercial position to defend. We're not taking a stance on that one...
(OK, both a+b are probably true).
Cookie Consents are shit UX, actually
While Tim was on stage, CMU's CyLab was finishing a study on the (usability) impact of Cookie Consent screens. Spoiler: it defeats the purpose. It's interesting how a basically fine idea, left to the market, was painted in dark design in every way possible. A clear case for regulators to provide more guidance or even technology instead of just legislation? I once dreamed of a EU Cookie Consent API! I believe there's clear value in having a standard established from a governing body.
Now Alibaba's into privacy, too.
Staying inside research communities, Alibaba Research just released a new open source federated learning platfom that includes privacy-preserving computation: FederatedScope.io
(Federated Machine Learning is a type of ML that only updates models with sensitive information on a local device, so it never has to leave the device itself)
Now, before you frown upon the words "Alibaba" and "Privacy" in one sentence (wait until you read about Facebook's efforts in this department): it's important that open source options are starting to include privacy as a basic feature, as it greatly reduces the effort necessary to "think about privacy" - in this case as batteries included for when you need some very advanced ML for your app.
This privacy thing will probably only work if it's by design, I tell you. 😇
As a bit of a first for us, we went off the beaten path of deployment tutorials and developer talks and took a stance on a recent paper about the impact of GDPR on innovation by the US Bureau of Economic Research.
“Whatever the benefits of GDPR, they come at substantial costs in foregone innovation.” the authors put forward. But as it’s the “whatever” that matters, we couldn't resist the itch and started writing.
In our latest blog we argue avoiding potential privacy train wrecks through GDPR can actually drive -not limit- innovation.
And that's our #1
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Our team is working every day to bridge the gap between privacy and engineering.
Let us know how we can help you, and remember: Mind the Gap!
Pim Nauts, co-founder STRM Privacy