Brexit, the U.K. vote to leave the European Union, has already shaken the financial markets and has the potential to affect sectors as diverse as education, the art world, and geopolitics . But the vote does have one small bit of good news– a data agreement between the U.S. and the E.U. known as the Privacy Shield, which obligates U.S. companies to put stronger measures in place to protect the data of E.U. citizens, may be more likely to pass, as the European courts deciding on its legality are disinclined to reject treaties in the wake of the Brexit insecurity. The deal could be approved as soon as July 12.
On Wednesday, Google debuted its latest undersea fiberoptics cable between the U.S. and Japan, which can provide 60 terabits of data per second (about 10 million times faster than your standard cable modem). The cable, dubbed the “Faster Cable System,” is the highest-capacity undersea cable built so far and will provide expanded bandwidth and redundancy to the East Asian region. Google also tweaked its search algorithm this week so that Google searches for “earthquake” or “earthquake near me” will put a map featuring U.S. Geological Survey data on the quake directly in your search results, so that you can figure out what’s going on more quickly.
Yesterday, the White House announced a new Data Driven Justice Initiative, aimed at getting more cities to incorporate data into their law enforcement programs. Designed to combat the staggering cost of the nation’s jail system, the new program plans to use better data to reduce the number of inmates, for example, by allowing healthcare providers and law enforcement to share data that could help divert offenders suffering from mental illness to places other than jail. Officials can also use data to predict how likely an individual is to reoffend or the chance that an individual may flee once posting bail. The White House reports that they already have 67 participating city, county, and state governments committed to using the data practices outlined in the initiative.
And fivethirtyeight.com has a three-part podcast series on the role of data in American politics throughout history, beginning with William Jennings Bryan in the 1890s and ending with our current Presidental campaign.