An FT Business Book of the Month (April 2021)
The book that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about data, privacy and the future of Big Tech.
“Good Data brings a breath of fresh air, an invigorating blast of common sense, to the debate about our digital world. In place of scare stories about surveillance and exploitation, the book provides new insights from an expert, and pragmatic suggestions about how we can make data work for us as a shared resource. This is an essential read for anybody interested in shaping a positive digital future“
Diane Coyle, Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge
Good Data: An Optimist’s Guide to Our Digital Future by Sam Gilbert is out now: Saxo | Bookshop.org | Waterstones | Audiobook
Sam Gilbert is an affiliated researcher at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge.
An expert in data-driven marketing, he was employee number one and chief marketing officer at Bought By Many, an award-winning fintech start-up named as one of Wired’s hottest start-ups in Europe and ranked in the Sunday Times TechTrack100 list of the UK’s fastest growing companies. Previously, he was head of strategy and development at the data company Experian and head of consumer finance at Santander.
He lives in Copenhagen.
sjg216 at cam dot ac dot uk
Agent: Jonathan Conway
Praise for Good Data
“Good Data weaves some thorny issues into a personal story that is positive, interesting, easy to read and provides valuable insight”
Peter Turner, Chief Commercial Officer, Avast PLC
“There is increasing concern about how the big tech companies use – and abuse – our data. In this highly readable book, Sam Gilbert sets out how this data can be used for good, and describes how to think about controlling big tech while still achieving the positive benefits from it”
Julian Huppert, Director, The Intellectual Forum
“I am learning a lot from this thoughtful book about how big data could make life better”
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Author of Everybody Lies: What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
“Just read the bit about Palantir. I think you’ve managed to say something both sane and interesting”
Rowland Manthorpe, Technology Correspondent, Sky News
The most commonly-asked questions about data, as revealed by…Google search data.
- Facebook Data
- Data Protection and GDPR
- What is GDPR?
- What does GDPR stand for?
- What data is protected by GDPR?
- What are the 7 principles of GDPR?
- When did GDPR come into force?
- Are data processors liable for GDPR fines?
- What is a data subject?
- What is a data breach?
- Are data breaches on the rise?
- Do I need a checkbox on contact forms under GDPR?
- Are Google Forms GDPR compliant?
- Google Data
- What data does Google Analytics collect?
- Are Google Photos safe?
- Are Google Docs secure?
- Why Google is bad
- Amazon Data
- Are Alexa devices always listening?
- Can Alexa spy on you?
- Is Amazon Echo safe?
- Why Alexa is bad
- Are Amazon lockers safe?
- Why doesn’t Amazon pay tax?
- How Amazon makes money
- Apple Data
- Can the Apple Watch track sleep?
- Why Apple phones are bad
- Why Apple is a bad company
- Big Data and Data Science
- What is big data?
- What is data science?
- What makes a good data scientist?
- What is data analysis?
- What does a data analyst do?
- What is data mining?
- Data Rights
- What is data ethics?
- Are data rights human rights?
- What data collection methods are there?
- How is data collected?
- How to find our what data a company has on you
- How long can a company keep your data?
- Deleting Data
- Can Facebook messages be deleted?
- How to delete all your Tinder data
- When data is deleted, where does it go?
More of Sam’s Thinking
The power and legitimacy of Big Tech companies
“Good data; bad data?”, talk at the Royal Statistical Society, March 2022
The Age of Profilicity and Identity Politics, Future of You Podcast (with Tracey Follows and Hans-Georg Moeller), March 2022
“An Optimist’s Guide to Our Digital Future”“, interview with Book Talk Today, February 2022
“Is a coordinated international approach the way to regulate Big Tech?“, (by Cristina Lago), TechMonitor, September 2021
“Re-thinking how we regulate big tech“, panel discussion with Professor Diane Coyle, Dr Amanda Greene, Jamie Susskind, & Dr Tanya Filer (Chair), Bennett Institute for Public Policy, May 2021
“Apple, App Tracking Transparency, and the Hidden Costs of More Privacy“, talk at University of Cambridge Computer Lab, May 2021
“Interview with data expert Sam Gilbert”, (with Lisa Brennan), Suffolk Libraries, May 2021
Digital Legitimacy Scorecard, April 2021
“Surveillance capitalism – an idea that won’t stand up?” (Podcast interview with Vicki Shotbolt & Geraldine Bedell), Parent Zone, March 2021
“Elon Musk ‘fills the gap left behind by Donald Trump’ as Twitter’s most controversial public figure, expert claims” (by Joe Pinkstone), Mail Online, March 2021
“Facebook, Australia’s Media Bargaining Law, and Political Moralizing“, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, March 2021
“Can rentier capitalism explain Big Tech?“, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, February 2021
“Data Ethics and Multinational Technology Companies” (with Professor Peter Williamson), UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre, July 2020
“Chinese news sites have huge Facebook followings. Why?“, Medium, May 2019
Google data in social science research and public policy
“Subjective well-being during the 2020–21 global coronavirus pandemic: Evidence from high frequency time series data” (with Dr Roberto Foa and Dr Mark Fabian), PLoS One, February 2022
“Clowning around…good data“, Clowning Around (podcast interview with Emma Stroud), September 2021
“What’s the future of our data?“, The Evolving Leader (podcast interview with Jean Gomes & Scott Allender), July 2021
“Fixing the broken patient search experience“, (by Andrew Stone), Reuters, May 2021
“Dream search and the collective unconscious“, Search Listening, April 2021
“Well-being increased during the first UK lockdown – but not for everyone“, LSE British Politics and Policy, December 2020
“We are horribly sexist to female politicians. Google data proves it” (by Rowland Manthorpe), Wired, August 2020
“Search Listening: How not-for-profits should be using search data to truly understand the public” (video with Sophie Coley & Hannah Harris), AnswerThePublic, August 2020
“Covid-19 and Subjective Well-Being” (with Dr Roberto Foa & Dr Mark Fabian), Bennett Institute for Public Policy, July 2020
“Search results are helping tackle COVID-19 – now we should use them to develop policies” (by Chris Stokel-Walker), Apolitical, July 2020
“Could search engines predict the spread of coronavirus?”, BBC News, June 2020
“How can Google search help with the Covid-19 response?“, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, April 2020
“Using Google data for policy research“, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, December 2019
“Tapping into the hidden power of big search data”, SAGE Ocean, June 2019
“‘Reclame is een prima businessmodel voor internet’” (Interview with Robert Heeg), Candid, May 2021 (in Dutch)
“Tech Tent: The end of ad tracking?” (by Rory Cellan-Jones), BBC News, April 2021
“Should Governments be Data Optimists?“, StateUp, March 2021
“How political technologists and social science researchers can work together to renew democracy” (discussion paper), June 2020
“In a pandemic, what use is Google?“, SAGE Ocean, June 2020
“Thinking and Doing Institutions” (discussion paper on a new model for think tanks), April 2020
“Infodemiology” in The Coronavirus Tech Handbook, April 2020
FinTech and InsurTech
“Open finances: to be or not to be afraid?“, (podcast with Naima Yasin & Esben Toftdahl Nielsen), Fintech Matters / Copenhagen Fintech, June 2021
“ClearScore and first-mover disadvantage“, LinkedIn, March 2018
“7 Practical Ideas for Blockchain Insurance Products”, Bought By Many, June 2017
“Women in Power“, LinkedIn, March 2017
“Admiral and anti-social data“, Oxbow Partners, November 2016
“The Hype Cycle of Insurance Disruption“, Insurance Thought Leadership, February 2016
“Working in the metaverse: what virtual office life could look like“, The Conversation, May 2022
“What is web3 and what might it mean for the UK economy?“, Economics Observatory, April 2022
“Crypto, web3, and the metaverse“, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, March 2022
“Policymakers, web3, and the metaverse“, Bennett Institute for Public Policy, March 2022
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