Headlines 

A Location-Sharing Disaster Shows How Exposed You Really Are

There are plenty of guides available on how to protect your data, how to secure yourself online, and how to stop digital snoops from tracking you across the web and then profiting from that intrusion. (Sorry, “monetization”.) You should do these things. But if a cascading series of revelations this past week has taught us anything, it's that all of those steps amount to triage. The things you can control add up to very little next to the things you can’t. It’s an obvious point, especially if you follow the…

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Data Protection Standards Need to Be Global

Whether it is Cambridge Analytica gaining access to private information on up to 87 million Facebook users, or the large-scale data breaches at Equifax or Yahoo, alarmingly loose standards for the use and protection of customer data continue to fuel a backlash against large tech companies. More importantly, these events demonstrate the need for a global set of consumer data principles. WIRED OPINION ABOUT Kai Keller (@kaimkeller) is a global leadership fellow at the World Economic Forum and leads the organization's work at the cross-section of innovation and financial stability. The…

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Beyond Facebook: Its High Time for Stronger Privacy Laws

In the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica debacle, we’re hearing a lot of new and interesting ideas about how to solve the so-called Facebook problem: Let’s classify Facebook as a monopoly and break it up. Let’s declare it a public utility and regulate it like electricity or phone service. Let’s force Facebook to reveal exactly how its algorithm works so there’s greater transparency and accountability. WIRED OPINION ABOUT Jessica Rich is the vice president of advocacy for Consumer Reports and served as the director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau…

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Odds and Ends 

Privacy Win! Facebook Is Adding A Protect My Data Button That Does Nothing But Feels Good To Press

With the recent bombshell that the personal information of more than 50 million Facebook profiles was obtained by a political data firm, users are feeling more nervous than ever about their cyber security. Thankfully, Facebook is not taking this troubling development lightly and has leaped to action: The social media company is adding a “Protect My Data” button to users’ profiles that does nothing but feels good to press. Right on! This is a big step in the right direction. Starting today, Facebook users can press the “Protect My Data”…

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A Hurricane Flattens Facebook

Two weeks ago, Facebook learned that The New York Times, Guardian, and Observer were working on blockbuster stories based on interviews with a man named Christopher Wylie. The core of the tale was familiar but the details were new, and now the scandal was attached to a charismatic face with a top of pink hair. Four years ago, a slug of Facebook data on 50 million Americans was sucked down by a UK academic named Aleksandr Kogan, and wrongly sold to Cambridge Analytica. Wylie, who worked at the firm and…

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Cambridge Analytica Took 50M Facebook Users’ DataAnd Both Companies Owe Answers

Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm that worked on President Trump's 2016 campaign, and its related company, Strategic Communications Laboratories, pilfered data on 50 million Facebook users and secretly kept it, according to two reports in The New York Times and The Guardian. The apparent misuse of Facebook data—and the social media giant's failure to police it—leave both companies with plenty still to answer for. Facebook has suspended both Cambridge and SCL while it investigates whether both companies retained Facebook user data that had been provided by third-party researcher Aleksandr…

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These are the top 5 skills you need to be a data analyst

Image: Pixabay Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Are you the type of person who flaunts their Excel and Powerpoint skills at every opportunity? Microsoft’s Office Suite is pretty much essential to any kind of job, and knowing how to use it efficiently can make a big difference in how you do your work. But there are a few Microsoft apps that aren’t as well known and…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsoft Excel is about to get a lot smarter

Microsoft Excel users rejoice. Your favorite spreadsheet is about to get a lot smarter, thanks to the help of machine learning and a better connection to the outside world. As Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s general manager for Office, and Rob Howard, the company’s director of Office 365 ecosystem marketing, showed me during a briefing at the company’s Ignite conference today, Excel will soon be able to understand more about your inputs and then pull additional information from the internet as necessary. “We’re pleased to introduce new data types,” Spataro explained. “That…

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Odds and Ends 

These Graphs Perfectly Capture The Rolling Hills And Sprawling Pastures Of Mamas Girlhood, And O! How Sweet The Meadowgrass Smelled

If youve ever wondered what it was like for Mama to grow up tall and strong out on the rolling hills and sprawling pastures of her girlhood, these data visualizations get it across perfectly. Check out this chart, which clearly conveys those endless, boundless hilltops that echoed with laughter, where Mama played and sang, and learned right from wrong, too: Wow. Clearly, the rise and fall of the hillsides matches the beating of her young heart. Its easy to see how Mama would dance atop their peaks, braided pigtails swirling,…

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