The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on 25 May. It matters because, even if it aims at protecting the data privacy and rights of European citizens, it sets an international precedent and gets adopted by big tech companies in the US. This ugly but useful BBC video gives a good overview of what GDPR means for you. Four years in the make, the 88-page long regulation [I did not read it] is receiving its share of criticism from libertarians accusing Europe to bring down America, to analysts arguing that it will kill innovation by crushing small tech players. I, for one, think it is a big step in the right direction.
In a development context where cash transfers keep gaining traction and Universal Basic Income experiments keep growing, The Economist’s “How psychotherapy improves poor mothers’ finances” caught my attention. It shows how depression rates fell spectacularly for hundreds of pregnant Pakistani women suffering from depression when they were offered cognitive behavioral therapy during their third semester. It also shows that 7 years after the treatment, these women were more likely to control their families’ finances than those who had not benefited. Such treatment may be better than cash transfers “since it does not disrupt local social norms. It may not give a mother new options, but helps her choose better from those she does have.”
My graph this week comes from Sharpin and Harris’s “Securing safe roads” [H/T Erica Mattellone] showing that the first cause of death among young people is traffic accidents. This graph focuses on 15-29 year olds but, I checked, and the same is true for 10-19 year olds. 90% of road fatalities happen in low- and middle-income countries where they cost 5% of GDP per year. I did not know that. As road safety is not a political priority, we should all make more noise about it.
My quote this week is from Jobbatical CEO Karoli Hindriks developing a “digital nomad visa” for Estonia: “Borders are not the reflection of policy and politicians. There are the reflection of the borders in our heads. They are the borders that keep us from pursuing our dreams…You, me, us – we are the border guards of our lives.”