Studying the past is futile in an unprecedented crisis. Science is the answer – and open-source information is paramount
Wherever we look, there is a demand for data about Covid-19. We devour dashboards, graphs and visualisations. We want to know about the numbers of tests, cases and deaths; how many beds and ventilators are available, how many NHS workers are off sick. When information is missing, we speculate about what the government might be hiding, or fill in the gaps with anecdotes.
Data is a necessary ingredient in day-to-day decision-making – but in this rapidly evolving situation, it’s especially vital. Everything has changed, almost overnight. Demands for food, transport, and energy have been overhauled as more people stop travelling and work from home. Jobs have been lost in some sectors, and workers are desperately needed in others. Historic experience can no longer tell us how our society or economy is working. Past models hold little predictive power in an unprecedented situation. To know what is happening right now, we need up-to-date information.
Jeni Tennison is technical director of the Open Data Institute.Continue reading...
UK supreme court says retailer not to blame for actions of employee with grudge
The UK’s highest court has ruled that Morrisons should not be held liable for the criminal act of an employee with a grudge who leaked the payroll data of about 100,000 members of staff.
The supermarket group brought a supreme court challenge in an attempt to overturn previous judgments which gave the go-ahead for compensation claims by thousands of employees whose personal details were posted on the internet.Continue reading...
At least one person from outside Virgin Media accessed non-financial details
Almost a million Virgin Media customers had their personal details stored on a marketing database that had been left unsecured since last April, the company has admitted.
Records show that the database has been accessed by at least one person from outside the company, Virgin Media said, although it does not yet have any evidence that the information has been used illegally.Continue reading...