Grant Sarver September 18, 2020

In his latest effort to protect “national security interests,” President Trump will ban TikTok and WeChat. There has been concern about their data collection practices and privacy, similar to criticisms of Facebook and Google. The difference? TikTok and WeChat are Chinese companies and the Trump administration says, “Each is an active participant in China’s civil-military fusion,” and, “This combination results in the use of WeChat and TikTok creating unacceptable risks to our national security.” The ban goes into effect this Sunday, but TikTok users will still be able to use the app until November 12.

Data collection, use, and privacy have become topics of debate this past decade as more corporations seek personal data to help with advertising and development of future products. It has been cited as one of the most valuable resources in the world. Governments also control and have access to large swaths of data and need help organizing and storing it.

Albany, Georgia, is requesting proposals for data collection and analysis for its Transit Division. The goal of the contract is to, “assist Albany Transit staff with National Transit Database (NTD) annual report development, submittal, and error response.” Work for that includes, “coordination with Albany Transit and NTD staff, review and analysis of Albany Transit data, entry of data in NTD online reporting module, error and issue identification and documentation, and error response support.” The contract period is two years with three optional one-year extensions. Bids are due October 15.


Loudoun County, Virginia, is also requesting proposals for the county to, “architect, build, and manage the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW) System.” The goal of the contract is to, “select a configurable cloud-based system that the Offeror can implement and perform routine maintenance operations.” Specific work includes, “procuring an EDW, along with the set of supporting tools to enhance data management, metadata cataloging, business intelligence, and advanced analytics.” The term of the contract will be for three years with an automatic renewal on an annual basis. Bids for this opportunity are due October 9.

There’s an unfathomable amount of data out there, and nearly all of it is important. Debate will continue over who has the right to access what data and when, but for now, corporations and governments alike need help organizing and storing it.

About the Author

Grant Sarver is from Suwanee, Georgia. He is currently an undergraduate pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Sociology at the University of Georgia with an expected graduation in May 2021. He is most interested in human rights and social equity and plans to work for an entity that helps fulfill people’s human rights.