Upcoming RavenPack Alternative Data Conference To Examine Privacy Issues


News sentiment analysis provider RavenPack is hosting an alternative data conference in New York on September 10th 2019 featuring three opening presentations keying on questions of ownership and valuation of personal data.  The invitation-only conference which is free to attend will also include nine additional talks by industry practitioners focusing on monetizing alternative data.

Robert Shapiro, former U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs and founder of policy advisory firm Sonecon, will deliver the keynote presentation, “The Coming Political Fight over Personal Information and Who Owns those Data”.  Shapiro has developed a model to estimate the value of personal information to platforms such as Facebook and Google, data brokers and credit card companies, as well as its economic value to the people the data describes. He will explore the question of whether the data are people’s personal property or belong to the companies that use their resources to collect, organize, analyze and rent or sell them. The talk will also cover the emerging political and policy responses to questions around personal information.

The question of valuing personal data will be taken up by Jason Bloomberg, Forbes contributor and founder of IT consulting firm Intellyx, who will explore the subtleties of assigning value to data and information.  His remarks will focus on the value of information in financial services organizations, where personally identifiable information represents a liability – in other words, it has a negative value.

Expanding on these themes, RavenPack CEO Armando Gonzalez will moderate a panel on “How Much is Your Personal Data Worth?”  which will dig deeper into data privacy issues.

The majority of presentations at the conference will cover topics exploring the monetization of alternative data, including a talk by Barry Hurewitz, who became head of UBS Evidence Lab when it was spun out as a separate unit late last year.  The conference includes four presentations on machine learning and natural language processing, including “The Uses and Misuses of Machine Learning in Finance: What Asset Owners Should Know” from Joseph Simonian, Senior Investment Strategist at Acadian Asset Management.  The full agenda can be found here.

Founded in 2003 and based in the Spanish Mediterranean city of Marbella with an office in New York, RavenPack specializes in creating news sentiment and analytics sold to financial services firms. Ravenpack’s client base includes both retail and institutional clients, consisting of quantitative investment firms, banks and financial technology providers. RavenPack, currently recruiting for 18 open positions, provides sentiment data on 50,000 listed stocks from the world’s equity markets, 150 currencies and 80 commodities. Its sources include Dow Jones Newswires, Barron’s, the Wall Street Journal and over 19,000 other traditional and social media sites.

Our Take

The question of valuing personal data is central to a bi-partisan bill introduced in the Senate by Mark Warner (D-VA) and Josh Hawley (R-MO), which takes the novel approach of requiring companies to assess and disclose the financial value of personal information they collect.  RavenPack’s decision to include data privacy as a keynote topic is timely given the proliferation of proposed and pending data privacy regulation which will have a material impact on alternative data.


About Author

Sandy Bragg is a principal at Integrity Research Associates. He has over thirty years experience as an investment research professional. Prior to joining Integrity in 2006, he was an Executive Managing Director at Standard & Poors, managing S&P’s equity research business and fund information properties. Sandy has an MBA from New York University and BA from Williams College. Email: Sanford.Bragg@integrity-research.com

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