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(Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,090 words, ~ 4 minutes.)
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Axios' Jennifer Kingson writes: It's more important than ever for companies to hire privacy experts to help them navigate the thicket of proliferating laws on how consumers' data can be used — but it's hard to find people with the necessary expertise.
Why it matters: Privacy is a once-and-future battleground. While companies like IBM, AT&T, Microsoft and Pfizer have had chief privacy officers for years, others — like Facebook and Uber — have hired them more recently after learning the pitfalls of data problems the hard way. There's a lot of demand.
The big picture: The tests considered the global gold standard to be certified for privacy jobs are written by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Interest in taking the tests has risen “supersonically,” says Douglas Forman, who oversees the IAPP’s certification exams. He tells Axios that 2018 was “our biggest year for certification ever.”
Meanwhile, the privacy movement is galvanizing. Alastair Mactaggart — the California businessman who was the driving force behind the state's new privacy law — is redoubling his efforts, aiming to strengthen the law through a 2020 ballot initiative.
In enforcement actions, the Federal Trade Commission has been instructing companies to hire chief privacy officers. One example was Facebook, which named a CPO in July after its $5 billion settlement.
The bottom line: The privacy field is still in its early days, and laws and best practices are changing at warp speed.
High net worth individuals and business owners globally say they're getting more optimistic about the economy, but are still holding a large percentage of their wealth in cash, data from a third quarter UBS Global Wealth Management survey shows.
By the numbers: The survey polled more than 4,600 wealthy investors and entrepreneurs in 18 countries.
The Q3 earnings season has been a generally mixed bag.
On the other side: S&P 500 earnings are still on track to decline for the third consecutive quarter, with overall profits expected to fall about 2.7% from a year earlier, the sharpest decline since 2016, according to FactSet.
What they're saying: “Earnings … are truly better than expected,” Peter Vanderlee, a portfolio manager at ClearBridge Investments, told WSJ.
Ahead of Friday's ISM manufacturing report, the Chicago Business Barometer, a separate reading that tracks manufacturing companies based in the Midwest, produced its weakest reading in four years and the second lowest in a decade.
Threat level: The details of the report, also known as the Chicago PMI, were even worse.
Yes, but: The United Auto Workers strike at GM, which included nearly 50,000 workers and idled 34 plants across the country, likely contributed to the weakness.
The intrigue: It also appears business owners who participated in the survey are feeling the sickness but are dubious of the medicine.
The dollar index fell to its weakest level since Oct. 21 on Thursday after the weak Chicago PMI report sent U.S. Treasury yields tumbling.
Where it stands: Currency strategists and fund managers have been expecting the dollar to weaken for the past two years, but it has remained stubbornly high, raising the ire of businesses (see above) and President Trump (who blames the Fed).
The big picture: The dollar has benefited from the fact that even as the Fed lowered U.S. interest rates, other central banks around the globe have done the same.
What to watch: Reports early Thursday that Chinese officials have doubts about a lasting trade deal with the U.S. have damaged sentiment and put the dollar on weakened footing, making today's jobs report even more important.