It's the end of techUK’s Data Protection week (21-25 May), and we've been scanning many of the blogs, contributions and commentary published this week. Here's our personal selection of the best, for an exclusive Data Observatory digest.
The basic building blocks of a quantum computer are fundamentally different to their classical counterparts. Whereas a classical computer relies on the ‘on’ or ‘off’ of an electrical current, quantum computers rely on particular properties of microscopic particles that are observed to be in only one of two possible states.
Tracking online behaviour has become central to the business model of many online services. By collecting and analysing large amounts of data online retailers offer advertisements tailored to individuals. Offline retailers are facing a serious disadvantage as they cannot reap the benefits of this very valuable information. However, they have found a different way of inconspicuously collecting useful data about their customers’ behaviour: Wi-Fi tracking.
Despite recent progression in gender equality, the technology sector is still lagging behind. Women struggle to reach the same technological access and opportunities as men; 250 million fewer women than men are online worldwide. Women in rural areas of less developed countries are often those which are most affected by this gap.
There is one technology that shows particular promise in providing trust in the legitimacy of electoral processes and results: blockchain (see our earlier article on why everyone is talking about blockchain). Estonia’s successful implementation of internet voting, over a decade ago, has sparked new interest in using technological solutions to improve democratic elections.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, with this figure predicted to rise and reach more than 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2051. One person every three minutes will develop dementia in the UK and a new dementia diagnosis is made every 4 seconds worldwide. Dementia is a broad term to describe a variety of brain disorders with the Alzheimer’s Society describing symptoms including “memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding”.
A new model for research dissemination has been borne out through Open Access (OA): an international movement to make academic publications and data generated from research to be freely available online.
Where would someone buy a gun? Or Class A drugs? Or false identification documents? If this were 20 or 30 years ago, the first port of call might have been the local dodgy-looking pub, but today there is a new place to go to shop around for the latest range of illegal goods, and that’s the dark web.
According to the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey, one in five working age people in England has a mental health condition at a given point in time. Mental ill-health affects not just an individual’s health but it is also associated with high costs to the UK economy recently estimated between £74 billion and £99 billion per year.
The primary motivation behind the push for more sustainable transport is to mitigate externalities associated with private car use and urban sprawl, of which there are many. These negative societal impacts include traffic congestion, road incidents, air pollution, noise pollution, climate change, soil and water pollution, increased costs to provide municipal services, and energy dependency.