In an op-ed for The Financial Times, Gillian Tett writes about whether companies should have to turn over private data to public bodies for statistical and policy purposes. Tett cites the debate around Statistics Canada’s request for banks to hand over customers’ financial data as the most notable occurrence of this debate. Tech groups have volunteered anatomized data to government bodies to assist in various efforts, but the conversation changes when dealing with industries that have strict privacy rules. “The [StatsCan] saga shows there urgently needs to be more public debate, and more clarity, around these rules. Consumer privacy issues matter,” Tett writes. “But as corporate data mountains grow, we will need to ask whether we want to live in a world where Amazon and Google — and Mastercard and JPMorgan — know more about economic trends than central banks or finance ministries.” (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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