Data Privacy Is A Major Concern For All Of Us!

Instant messaging platform WhatsApp recently launched WhatsAPP Business App which is meant to be a go-to  app for SMEs business communication. The WhatsAPP Business App lets SME’s connect with their customers. What is it good for? It’s definitely more than a normal WhatsApp.  In short, customers have the ability to access useful information about a business. Business owners on the other hand, will also have access to useful data that could be helpful to improve on their business strategies. How?  (Read More on WhatsAPP) This however, begs another series of question regarding data privacy concern. Is it too early to tell? We shall see. Time will tell.

How safe are we online? When it comes to digital security, we can’t be 100% Safe online- But  change is coming. According to Jon Crowcroft , professor of communications systems at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, there will be an emergence of several solutions. However most importantly, he mentions the need to find “a way to identify the balance between what we want to achieve in terms of privacy and what’s useful to those mining the data”. ( Read on:- Source The Wired)

Speaking of Data privacy, the GDPR ( EU’s General Data Protection Regulation) which was  approved by the EU Parliament  in 2016  will be applicable as of  May 2018. The GDPR aims to harmonize data privacy law frame workers across Europe as well as protecting EU citizens data privacy. It further seeks to impose regulations to organizations that  host and process personal data around the work. What are the benefits of Businesses and Citizens? (Read on:-Source  European Commision)

What is the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation? 

Facebook is commiting to the GDPR’s readiness. The social media network will be introducing a new education campaign to help users understand how data is used on Facebook and the different we users can manage our personal data. (Read on:- Source FB Newsroom

The Right To Be Forgotten– Also known as the “right to delist” — On their blog, google confirms that they will be implementing the “right to be forgotten” in Europe, in response to discussions with regulators. ( Read on:- Source Google blog).

Further reading on Data Privacy

Banking and Finance- ‘Digital Technology Is Cutting The Cost Of Serving Just About Everyone’

You’ve probably heard about the struggles many people go through just to set up a simple bank account. Sometimes it is not just about banks demanding for information about their customers as part of their internal procedures, but the long periods of waiting, which sometimes may also amount to nothing. Not to mention the high costs fees just  And that can be quite frustrating for customers (Including potential customers)

This weekend i came across an interesting read from The Economist, which highlights limitations various groups of people including immigrants, refugees and people with low income across the world have to deal with, in terms of banking and finance. The article also highlights how digital technology is helping to solve the problem of “unbanked adults” not only in emerging countries but also in advanced countries.  ( Read all about it here)

Other Interesting reads-

Financial inclusion for the Financially excluded- The High Cost, for the Poor, of Using a Bank ( Source New Yorker)

Financial health reality check- So What’s the cost of being unbanked? (Source Nerdwallet)

Bitcoin – Is It Merely ‘A Speculative Bubble’?

One of my favorite reads this weekend is Oaktree Capital co-founder Howard Marks’  latest memo to clients- “Yet Again?”

I can totally relate to the issues he highlights about Bitcoin and the numerous digital currencies we have these days. Particularly, i fully understand the honest statement he makes –” I think I understand what a digital currency is, how Bitcoin works, and some of the arguments for it. But I still don’t feel like putting my money into it, because I consider it a speculative bubble. I’m willing to be proved wrong” ( Page 8 of the Memo “Yet Again?”)

In fact, Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine, and a reader of my blog, wrote me a message on WhatsApp after I shared an article about How Bitcoin Is Reducing The Need For Trade financing.

She asked me-

“Rahab, what do you think of Bitcoin and all these digital currencies I hear about? You know, I still don’t understand this whole buzz in Finance these days.”

She continued to ask me –

” And with all this fraud going on these days, Is it real, or is it another one of those scams? I hear people are making tons of money in this business. But how?”

I had to be honest with her. I told her,

“Reen dear, I am still learning about these things too.” 

From his memo, i believe there is a lot investors can learn. For example, It’s not enough to accept Bitcoin merely as a medium of exchange. For investors, it is also worth considering issues such as ‘Bitcoin price volatility and it’s future’ and some of the ‘factors that lead to it’s volatility.’

Still wondering what Bitcoin is and how it works? A great place to start is by reading this article ‘Why Bitcoin Matters’ by Marc Andreesen, the co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.