Illustration of how Intel's big data analytics platform collects medial data from Parkinson's patients with wearable devices. [Photo: intel]
While big data is sweeping the world Alessandro Guarnone Jersey , China's big data industry is being impeded by government monopoly and companies' limited access to public data, the Economic Information Daily reports.

Following visits to big data companies and regional government departments, the newspaper found that the lack of open public data and unified data standardsplatforms forces companies to waste effort and pay higher costs for basic services.

For example, information such as public transportation routes, as well as user and business identity verifications on classified information websites, are not accessible to IT companies. Companies have to extract the information from public transportation companies or assign employees to manage user verifications individually, increasing lots of costs.

More than 3,300 of 5,500 employees for 58, China's Craigslist-like classifieds site for local merchants, are mainly involved in verifying user information, according to Qu Ziheng, head of the company's Governmental Affairs Department.

So why is public data is so hard to get here? There are three main reasons. First, the data belongs to many different departments and organizations, and converging a large amount of data into one pool from so many different sources is a tremendous challenge.

Second, the various data platforms do not share the same standards, and changing them into one unified standard entails considerable costs.

Moreover, some departments that possess rich data resources are reluctant to share, further adding to the barriers, according to the newspaper.

"Government data is public property and belongs to citizens. It should be available to citizens in the name of guaranteed national security, individual privacy and commercial confidentiality," said Li Guojie, director of the China Computer Federation's Expert Committee on Big Data.

Li suggested that three kinds of data should be made public: first, information needed for operations between government departments, such as individuals' credit ratings. Second, information for administrators of various operations. Third, research and policy information, to enable the results to be used to draft new policies.

The newspaper noted that developed countries like the U.S., the UK and Japan have made major efforts to make public big data available. Li pointed out that greater openness could lead to better economic results, with the UK saving about 33 billion pounds on government expenditure through effective use of big data technology.

Industry insiders said the government should have a clear position in its role in promoting big data. It should draw the boundaries, push for shared platforms and standards, and fully utilize resources to help the industry develop.

LONDON, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Young Britons woke up to front page headlines Wednesday telling them they'd have to work well unto their 70s or even 80s before qualifying for a state pension.

Most national newspapers cited 75 as the likely retirement age of the future, but the Sun said experts they had spoken too raised the prospect of people having to work until they are in their 80s.

The media frenzy came after the government confirmed Tuesday an independent review of the future state pension age.

Sir John Cridland, the former head of the Confederation of British Industry has been recruited to produce the review to be published in May 2017.

"The review is to consider changes in life expectancy, wider changes in society and help ensure the State Pension remains sustainable," said the Department for Work and Pensions. "It will consider a wide range of evidence, including whether the current system of a universal state pension age rising in line with life expectancy is optimal in the long run."

Minister for Pensions Baroness Ros Altmann said she was confident Cridland will produce a carefully considered review of an issue which affects the lives of millions of people.

"As our society changes it is only right that we continue to review state pension ages and take into account the relevant factors to make sure that the state pension is sustainable and affordable for future generations," she said.

Cridland has been tasked with recommending future state pension age arrangements, including what would be a suitable retirement age.

The one-time retirement age at 60 for women is gradually rising to match that of men. Currently, Britain's state pension age is scheduled to rise to 67 for both men and women by 2028.

The new study will also consider whether "the current system of a universal state pension age" rising in line with life expectancy was "optimal in the long run."

Retirement expert Tom McPhail of financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "We fully expect state pension ages to go up faster than currently planned, and those joining the workforce today are likely to find themselves waiting until their mid-70s to get a payout from the state system."

The Sun newspaper quoted former pensions minister Steve Webb as saying young people face working until they are 81 before they can afford to retire.

Webb, a director at fund manager Royal London, calculated a future average earner making the minimum pension contribution from the age of 22 may have to work until 77 to match their parents' retirement pot, and in central London, some may have to work to the age of 81 to maintain their standard of living.

Labor opposition's work and pensions spokesman Owen Smith warned that Conservative government pension changes throw into chaos the retirement plans of millions of British workers.

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