Only Good News From Google

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Google has launched a brand new feature for its artificially intelligent Google Assistant that’s designed to cheer people up by filtering negative news. Simply ask your phone (or the Google Home speaker) to ‘tell me something good’ and you’ll be given a nice summary of positive stories about people solving real problems.

‘These days we’re consuming more news than ever, and sometimes, it can feel like there are only problems out there,’ explained Ryan Burke, a creative producer at Google’s Creative Lab. ‘But the fact is, there is a plethora of ‘good news’ happening, and we’re not talking about unlikely animal friendships or random acts of kindness.

Real people are making progress solving real issues—and hearing about those stories is a crucial part of a balanced media diet.’ The stories come from a wide range of media outlets, curated and summarised by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Solutions Journalism Network organisation. ‘Solutions journalism empowers and energises audiences, helping to combat negative news fatigue,’ said Burke.

‘It’s an important part of a balanced news diet, so we’re exploring how to incorporate more solutions journalism wherever you access Google News.’ The company acknowledges that it’s not a magic bullet solution and that sometimes bad news is needed. But it argues the balance has tipped too far one way and suggests this is ‘an experiment worth trying’.

Read more on Metro:

https://metro.co.uk/2018/08/22/because-everythings-so-bad-google-will-now-filter-out-negative-news-7870518/?ito=cbshare

 

 

You Think You Don’t Know Enough About GDPR? You Are Right and Here’s How

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The EU has taken the first step in protecting the data and privacy of its residents. Through the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), people are now able to have the protection they are looking for online. This means changes for businesses everywhere that are planning to reach consumers in the EU.

Companies need to look at the way that they are handling the personal data of their customers and have an action plan in place to ensure their privacy is protected. Without a strong understanding of what the GDPR means and how it affects your business, you could find yourself in a situation with the EU that you didn’t count on.

Fifteen members of Forbes Technology Council discuss some of the more unexpected consequences of the new GDPR regulation. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Restriction Of Privacy And Innovation

GDPR is the latest version of Y2K compliance — long on speculation and fear, short on reality. In my opinion, regional enforcement of global technology is an impossibility and will restrict — not enhance — privacy, freedom and innovation. The result will be regions of non-compliance (GDPR havens), enormous expense and uncertainty. – Wayne LonsteinVFT Solutions

2. Roadblocks For Blockchain Data Storage

GDPR could impact the decisions and data sets being stored and collected in emerging private and public blockchains. This may create roadblocks for companies looking to embrace blockchain to store any data that may fall under GDPR. – Aaron VickCicayda

3. Opt-In Fatigue

One of the most unexpected consequences of GDPR is the wave of new regulations in jurisdictions outside of Europe, including California, New York and perhaps soon in Asia. Another unintended impact is “check the box” fatigue where opt-in consent language is presented so frequently on websites and apps that consumers don’t read the consents and just check the box, waiving their privacy rights. – Silvio Tavares, CardLinx Association

4. Poor Customer Service

One GDPR byproduct distortion or unintended consequence is excessive regulation leading to poor customer service. The pendulum has swung too far and will be moderated by citizen feedback. – Jeff BellLegalShield

5. Small Businesses Getting Hurt

The companies that are best prepared for GDPR are the big ones: Facebook, Google, Amazon — those that have the money to pour into their tech and legal teams for ultimate compliance. The small and medium-sized businesses, however, may be less prepared, making them more vulnerable to potential fines and penalties. – Thomas GriffinOptinMonster

6. The Slow Death Of Free Services

If a service is free, then your data is the product. We all love using Facebook, YouTube and the many other social media platforms. However, we fail to realize how these businesses operate. If regulations strangle business, then the alternative is a paid model. Just look at YouTube and how it’s strugglingwith its paid subscriptions. – Daniel Hindi, BuildFire

7. Talk About Similar Regulation In The U.S.

The most unintended consequence has been the multitudes of discussions about a similar impending regulation in the U.S. In fact, reading between the lines of Facebook’s testimony to Congress, it is clear to me that tech leaders realize more care ought to be given to sensitive data, and users should have more rights. They are preparing for coming regulation stateside. – Michael RoytmanKenna Security

Read more on Forbes:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/08/15/15-unexpected-consequences-of-gdpr/#2ce5537f94ad 

Facebook Seeks Financial Information From Banks in Exchange for Users

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The social-media giant has asked large U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about their customers, including card transactions and checking-account balances, as part of an effort to offer new services to users.

Facebook increasingly wants to be a platform where people buy and sell goods and services, besides connecting with friends. The company over the past year asked JPMorgan Chase JPM +0.24% & Co., Wells Fargo WFC +0.60% & Co., Citigroup Inc. C +0.96% and U.S. Bancorp USB +0.62% to discuss potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger, said people familiar with the matter.

Facebook has talked about a feature that would show its users their checking-account balances, the people said. It has also pitched fraud alerts, some of the people said. 

Data privacy is a sticking point in the banks’ conversations with Facebook, according to people familiar with the matter. The talks are taking place as Facebook faces several investigations over its ties to political analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which accessed data on as many as 87 million Facebook users without their consent.

One large U.S. bank pulled away from talks due to privacy concerns, some of the people said.

Read more at Wall Street Journal: 

https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-to-banks-give-us-your-data-well-give-you-our-users-1533564049?mod=hp_major_pos16  

 

 

 

 

 

3 Timeless Business Lessons from a Real Life Superwoman

My Mother is 86 and doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile. But if she ever did, her headline would read something like… “Former ingenue, entrepreneur, dreamer, and the rest is none of your damn business, honey.” But to those who’ve had the privilege to know her over the decades her mantra has always been, quite simply, to treat everybody with dignity!

Here are 3 timeless business lessons she’s taught me to go along with that mantra.

3. The worst “they” can say is “no.” – Opportunities were not exactly flowing in depression-era Los Angeles, but that didn’t stop one young lady from putting herself out there. She helped my father through chiropractic school by working long hours as a Hollywood extra throughout the 50’s and 60’s. Though never quite achieving stardom she knocked on enough doors to get a lot of work, save some seed money and establish relationships that would eventually transform her life. Mom leveraged her new, tough shell to find opportunities, sell her strengths and laugh off rejection.  “It’s no big deal,” she constantly told me as a kid. At the end of the day you should never be afraid to ask for what you want because the absolute worst “they” can say is no. And you still get to keep your dignity.

2. Get everything in writing. – Unurprisingly, Mom had to learn this lesson like most of us… the hard way. This was the mid-century after all and commonplace to make agreements on a handshake. But it only took a few rotten deals for her to realize that keeping good records was key to helping a business stay on track and prospering. Putting it in writing lets the other person know that you need to be, and you will be, treated with dignity.

1. Don’t burn your bridges. – The keyword in the old adage that you can’t make a lot of money without making a few enemies is few. Just as one door opens and another closes, Mom never wanted to find herself in a new room with an old enemy. By treating everybody with dignity she managed to avoid burning many bridges. And for every bridge she burned, she’s probably built a thousand more. When a job or a deal doesn’t go your way, take the high road and don’t make it personal. You never know what the future brings or who might be bringing it.

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Mom’s success, not just in business, but among the people she calls colleagues, friends and family is based on dignity. And while there were many times in her life where she was unfairly treated, put at a disadvantage and rejected, she never forgot that. I guess that’s why I never had much of a problem following the 5th Commandment. Anybody remember that one?

Digital Bondage and the Fallacy Of Work-Life Integration

Forget your elder’s sage advice on maintaining a good work-life balance. There’s a new patently absurd approach (promoted here by the time-strapped PhD’s at Berkeley Haas), and it’s spreading like wildfire throughout the business world. They call it… “Work-Life Integration!”

The term “Work-Life Integration” is so misleading because at this point we’re all enduring an increasing degree of overlap between our personal and professional lives. It may be sold to us as “convenience” but much of it is not exactly “optional.” This obsessive and all-in-one approach to time-management ends up usurping the little personal, spontaneous and family time we still have left.

It reminds me a little of Chris Rock’s famous bit on “Job v. Career.”

But not everybody is as fortunate as Chris and there’s a bigger impact to his lifestyle than he’s letting on in the above clip. And so “Work-Life Integration” also makes me think about Cecil DeMille’s classic The Ten Commandments and the famous scene where a worker is about to be trampled by a giant stone moved by “her colleagues.” Moses’ character, played by Charlton Heston, comes down from his managerial pedestal to save the poor soul, who later turns out is his own Mother! It’s a metaphor for how easily, often and unfairly, we as society, put work before family, friends and for believers, even God. And when it negatively impacts others it is arguably immoral.

I was most recently educated on this 24/7 mindset by an executive who boasted, “Say I’m on flight to Hawaii with my family for the weekend, and I’ve got to approve a purchase order for half-a-million. I can do it right here from my iPhone!” Well, that’s nice, but it highlights the disconnect between those who literally have the world at their fingertips and those who get interrupted with email from their boss on the weekends. The same technology fix that feeds the workaholic is now invading the space of almost everyone, not just the guy or gal with a “career.” It’s affecting their partner, their children, their social circle, people on the road. And in many cases it is invasive, counter-productive and unhealthy for the family and the self. Do we really want to live in digital bondage?

In many ways, this digital bondage is reminiscent of the days when men and women of all ages built the Pyramids until they dropped dead. Sure, the Pyramids still stand as a testament to architecture and ingenuity, but to many they will also always represent a chapter in history when there was seldom a break from work. Luckily today we have a choice.

We must stand firmly behind the importance of rest and personal space. Sure, working remotely through technology has given us flexibility. There’s no denying that. But half-baked ideas like “Work-Life Integration” have adversely impacted the very relationships and working-conditions they were meant to improve.

Some in the Jewish faith believe that one of the Ten Commandments, to observe a day of rest on the Sabbath, is a cornerstone of not just spiritual growth, but what ultimately may lead to success in other areas of one’s life. Most cultures share this important value but as it erodes across the globe and the lines between work and rest are blurred, we all suffer.

Stay off the devices this weekend as much as you can. Find true balance by freeing yourself from digital bondage.

Directing The Flow Of Information – Interview with Jones Lukose of The International Criminal Court

Second in a series of interviews with leaders in the fields of Risk, Compliance and Information Governance across the globe.


Jones LukoseJones Lukose, MBA, PhD is the Information Management Officer for the Criminal Court in the Hague and has over twenty years of experience developing and implementing strategies to achieve operational effectiveness and regulatory compliance for engineering firms, in energy and utilities sectors as well as for international and judicial organizations in Africa, Europe and the Americas. I interviewed him this past February to learn more about his unique insights into information management fundamentals and our future.

Jones, your work and research has taken you to many corners of the world including Kenya, Rwanda, Botswana, Jamaica, Uganda, the UK and now the Netherlands. It’s there you presently direct an important Information Governance program for the International Criminal Court.

What do you consider the most common theme in the information management challenges you’ve faced across so many unique cultures and how has that experience shaped how you think about solutions for international organizations?

I have worked in organisations where data is everywhere but the common challenge has been that it seems no one is directing its flow. There is a lot of evidence of information collected and stored that does not fit with the organisation’s strategy. The organisation may say that it is going in a particular direction but the data it holds does not provide the required evidence or proof.  My experience in this regard has led me to reconsider my role in the organisation as an Information Manager. In such environments, it is my first priority to help determine the real purpose and value of data to the organisation. In other words lend a hand in crafting the strategy of the organisation by leveraging information management.

How can we, as information management practitioners, as data stewards, effectuate best practices in our workplace in the face of constant, sometimes paradigm shifting changes in technology?

We now live in a world where small sets of information can alter the economies of the most powerful organisation and states on the planet. It is a world, where small streams of sensitive information can digitally leak and cause violent reactions from people living far and beyond the source. Tiny words or images transported via exotic technology can lead to wide-spread panic across whole populations even wars. A world where information is fragmented infinitely raising an infinite number of world views and identities. It is a world where the same information is interpreted differently in space and time. It is a world where information is presented in constant flux with the only constant being surprise.

Whatever your personal convictions, I challenge you to consider that we need a new way of looking at information management. It won’t help to retreat to our old maps and models because the more frustrated we become. We need new information management techniques to navigate the chaos, filter the wrong and point us to the significant. The new information manager will thrive and even love to embrace the chaos of information by applying new lenses and insights. He or she should be ready to be inspired to experiment and try out new ideas and solutions.

Read More

The Future of Compliance – An Interview with Professor of Financial Law Miguel Mairlot

First in a series of interviews with leaders in the fields of Risk, Compliance and Information Governance across the globe.


Miguel MairlotMiguel Mairlot is the Risk and Compliance Officer for Lombard International Assurance and a Professor of Financial Law.  I sat down with him at the beginning of the year to learn a little more about his experience in the field of Risk and Compliance and pick his brain on issues like GDPR, the future of privacy rules, the role of A.I. in “fintech” and any advice he can offer millennials looking to get started in the business.

What is it about the business discipline of Risk and Compliance that originally attracted you to the field and keeps you interested?

I spent the first 10 years of my career working in litigation, specializing in banking and finance laws. My expertise and knowledge of the MiFID regulation (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) led me to work on its implementation for various financial institutions. At that time, legal and compliance tasks were usually performed by the same department. Although I’m interested and continue working on several aspects of the MiFID regulation, I devote most of my time on issues related to money laundering and the detection of serious tax fraud in the event of repatriation of assets.

How do you think companies should approach implementing GDPR and what do you think will be the greatest challenges here?

Any company subject to GDPR should take great care when implementing the requirements set out by this new regulation. Before its entry into force, data protection was not a top priority for many European companies. Now, the paradigm is about to change, due mainly to the hefty fines which can be imposed and the potential reputation damages which may result from a violation of the GDPR provisions.

Among all these tasks, raising awareness among employees about the risks related to the infringement of the rules set out by GDPR might constitute the biggest challenge since this new piece of legislation is considered as a important cultural change in Europe.

The implementation of GDPR will require the revision of internal procedures, the appointment of a Data Protection Officer in some cases and a mapping and assessment of all the data processes, as well as contractual changes. Among all these tasks, raising awareness among employees about the risks related to the infringement of the rules set out by GDPR might constitute the biggest challenge since this new piece of legislation is considered as a important cultural change in Europe. Read More