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Night scene of bank station in central london

Open APIs for UK banking: It's happening, people

On Tuesday, an industry-led group published a new framework for supporting the use of open APIs in the banking sector. The UK Treasury is keen for banks to open up access to the data they hold on customers to other businesses to encourage innovation and boost competition in the sector. It tasked an industry-led Open Banking …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Feb 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

EU could force countries to allocate 700 MHz band to mobile by mid-2020

New legislation could force EU countries to make sure the 700 MHz band of spectrum is made exclusively available for mobile services by the middle of 2020. The European Commission has published proposals to introduce new laws that would require EU countries to “allow the use of the 694-790 MHz frequency band for terrestrial …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Feb 2016
Happy business people celebrate. Photo by Shutterstock

UK concerned over EU law plans on trade of data for digital content

The UK government has warned that EU proposals to extend consumer protection rules to businesses that supply digital content for free in return for access to consumers' data could "unduly inhibit" that "very innovative business model". In December last year the European Commission published a new draft directive on contracts …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Feb 2016
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EU agency warns of cyber risks from using big data tools

Businesses that use software and systems to collect, analyse and use data are increasingly vulnerable to cyber risks, according to a new report. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) urged companies to embrace "the security-by-default principle" to better safeguard data and systems against privacy and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 01 Feb 2016

Most of the world still dependent on cash

Most people in the world are still dependent on using cash for making basic payments, meaning that benefits such as reduced costs and greater speed of transactions are being missed out on, according to new research. The reliance on paper money is also a barrier to "boosting financial inclusion among the world’s two billion …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jan 2016
Switch

Outage outrage: Banks need clear targets for improving IT systems

Banks should be set "clear objectives and targets" on improving the performance of their IT systems in light of a number of recent major outages, the chairman of a prominent UK parliamentary committee has said. In letters to Andrew Bailey, chief executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), and Tracey McDermott, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Jan 2016
Two upended shopping trolleys in an alleyway. Photo by Cyron, licensecd under CC 2.0

Retailers urged to create 'CCTV-like' symbol to inform customers of mobile tracking

Retailers have been urged to create a standard symbol, similar to the one used to denote the use of CCTV, to inform customers that their location within shopping areas is being tracked through their mobile device. The recommendation was contained in a new working paper that has been issued by an international working group on …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Jan 2016

Apple CEO visits EU regulator to discuss tax bill

Apple chief executive Tim Cook met European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Brussels last week, apparently to discuss the European Commission's investigation into the company's tax affairs. The Commission confirmed that a meeting had taken place but said it could give no further details. The Commission is …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Jan 2016
China

China to set up its own virtual currency

The People's Bank of China (PBOC), China's central bank, hopes to launch its own virtual currency to cut the cost of handling paper money and to give the government more control of the country's money supply. A research team has been looking into digital currencies since 2014 and has achieved some encouraging initial results. …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Jan 2016
Containers

Amazon China registers for ocean freight services to US

Amazon China has registered to provide ocean freight services to the US, according to an online database seen by freight forwarding company Flexport. Ryan Petersen, chief executive of Flexport said in his blog that the move, which allows Amazon to buy and sell space on ships, could allow Amazon to sell directly from factories …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jan 2016
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Self-regulation can address issues that arise in the digital economy, says Airbnb

Self regulation can be a "more effective way" of addressing issues that arise in online markets than passing new legislation, Airbnb has said. In written evidence to a UK parliamentary committee which is looking into how the UK government can support the growth of the digital economy, Airbnb said self regulation can offer a …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Jan 2016

EU lawmaker committees call for single EU telco regulator

The EU's telecoms market should be regulated by a single authority, two committees at the European Parliament have said. The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, made the recommendation in a motion tabled for a new European Parliament resolution on the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Jan 2016
Brent Spiner signed photo saying 'Big Data'

Use of big data can lead to 'harmful exclusion, discrimination' – FTC

Businesses should take steps to avoid causing "harmful exclusion or discrimination" when using aggregated consumer data that they have analysed, a US regulator has said. In a new report the Federal Trade Commission called on companies to check how representative their data sets are, whether their "data model" takes account of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jan 2016

The Network and Information Security Directive – who is in and who is out?

New cyber security laws agreed on by EU law makers in early December are set to impact on a large number of businesses. Political agreement on the draft Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive, which could still be amended, was reached by MEPs and representatives of EU  governments in early December. It means the path …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Jan 2016
Samsung UHD TV with Christmas tree

Dust off those White Space devices: New rules finalised by Ofcom

New UK regulations are set to come into force at the end of this year to allow telecoms providers to use special devices to provide wireless data services via "white space" - licensed portions of radio spectrum which remain unused locally. The Wireless Telegraphy (White Space Devices) (Exemption) Regulations will come into …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Jan 2016

EU privacy watchdog calls for new controls on surveillance tech export

EU controls on the export of technologies that can be used for communications surveillance and interception should be enhanced, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has said. EDPS Giovanni Buttarelli highlighted the risks of surveillance and interception technologies being misused (16-page / 1.12MB PDF) in a recently …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Dec 2015
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Firms must ensure shared service suppliers have 'sufficient financial resources'

Banks, building societies and investment firms must ensure that technology companies providing critical shared services have "sufficient financial resources" to overcome financial problems, a UK regulator has said. The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) said that before they outsource critical shared services firms must …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Dec 2015

Apple and Samsung team up with UnionPay to target Chinese market

Apple and UnionPay have agreed a partnership to bring Apple Pay, which allows payments from Apple products using near-field communication technology, to the Chinese market in early 2016 after "tests and certification" by Chinese regulators. The China UnionPay bank card network operates China's national inter-bank clearing and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Dec 2015

EU reforms could pave way for smells and noises to be trade-mark protected – expert

Reforms to EU trade mark laws finalised soon could open the way for non-conventional trade marks to be registered, like smells, noises and even music, an expert has said. The European Parliament backed a new directive designed to "approximate" the different national trade mark laws (70-page/538KB PDF), and a new regulation …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Dec 2015
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

New data porting rules mustn't overburden businesses with costs, says UK minister

Rules designed to enable consumers to move their data from one platform to another should not be so costly to comply with that they serve as a "barrier to entry" into markets, the UK's parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Department for Business, Innovation has said. Baroness Neville-Rolfe said that the planned new …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Dec 2015

New gear needed to capture net connection records, say ISPs

Communication providers will need to invest in new equipment if they are to capture people's internet connection records (ICRs) and comply with planned new UK surveillance laws, three major UK internet service providers (ISPs) have said. Under the Investigatory Powers Bill, proposed by the UK government in November, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Dec 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Expert welcomes UK’s digital health recommendations

New recommendations made to the UK government over how to encourage greater use of technology in the NHS in England can help health bodies meet challenging budget constraints and deliver more convenience for patients, an expert has claimed. Expert in digital health Matthew Godfrey-Faussett of Pinsent Masons, the law firm …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Dec 2015

EU governments reach agreement on passenger name data

The Council of the EU has reached agreement with the European Parliament on a proposal for the transfer of passenger name data (PNR) from airlines to EU countries. PNR data can include any personal information collected during bookings for flights, including home addresses, mobile phone numbers, frequent flyer information, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Dec 2015
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Most businesses collecting data they never use, survey finds

Most companies in the UK, France and Germany collect data they never use, according to a new survey. Data storage providers Pure Storage said a survey of 308 IT decision makers across the three countries in July that it commissioned found that 72% of organisations "have gathered data that was not used later on". The survey …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Dec 2015
£10 notes. Pic: Howard Lake

Bank fined £1m after outsourcing faults led to improper transfers

The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) has fined a bank more than £1 million after finding that faults with its outsourcing arrangements helped rogue employees at a third party service provider to move money out of its bank accounts without its knowledge or consent and put the bank's own financial health at risk. Faults in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Dec 2015
Patent for a saluting hat

Patent litigation in Europe will look very different in 5 years' time – expert

Patent litigation in Europe in five years will look very different from now owing to major reforms to the patent framework and a new wave of technology relevant to wearables and the "internet of things". It is likely that more companies will choose to settle patent disputes through arbitration. At the same time, we can expect …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Nov 2015

EU privacy watchdog calls for more ‘processing of personal data’ transparency

Businesses should provide people with an "opt out" right to object to the processing of their personal data when they make an assessment that consent is not necessary as part of a big data project, an EU privacy watchdog has said. European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli said, though, that "more efforts …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Nov 2015
Gunther Oettinger, EU digital commissioner. Pic: Jennifer Baker

EU copyright reforms to be 'gradual, balanced and targeted', says Ansip

EU copyright laws will not be overhauled completely but rather reformed in a gradual, balanced and targeted way, EU commissioner for the digital single market Andrus Ansip has said. Proposed changes to EU copyright laws will be set out in a "strategy paper" next month, Ansip said. In a speech in Strasbourg he revealed some of …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Nov 2015
BT Openreach at work

BT rebuked for attributing some EE acquisition costs to 'all UK lines of business'

Telecoms giant BT has been rebuked by the UK's industry regulator for attributing some of the "acquisition costs" associated with its takeover of EE to all of its UK business divisions, including Openreach. Ofcom said it was "inappropriate" for two charges, totalling £1.7 million, to be attributed to "all UK lines of business …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Nov 2015
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MPs to assess tech feasibility of requirements under draft surveillance laws

IPB The UK government published a draft Investigatory Powers Bill earlier this month in a bid to close gaps it has said exist in the surveillance powers available to the UK's intelligence and security services. The Science and Technology Committee said that it will carry out a "short inquiry into the technology aspects" of the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Nov 2015

FCA paves way for cloud computing in UK financial services

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has paved the way for banks, insurers and other financial services companies to take advantage of cloud computing services, so long as "appropriate safeguards" are in place, said one commentator. In proposed new guidance on cloud and other IT outsourcing (PDF), the regulator said there is …
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Nov 2015
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UK government looks to harness the potential of open data through APIs

In a speech earlier this week, Matt Hancock, minister for the Cabinet Office, referred to data as being "no longer just a record" but a "mineable commodity, from which value can be extracted" and outlined how the UK government intends to improve its use of the information at its disposal and help others exploit the data too. " …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Nov 2015
hacker

US, UK big banks to simulate mega-hacker cyber-attack

A mock exercise will take place this month to test how major banks respond to a major cyber attack, according to a newspaper report. The joint UK and US initiative, Operation Resilient Shield, will be "the most sophisticated test … yet" of the way industry communicates and coordinates its efforts in response to cyber security …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Nov 2015

UK watchdog offers 'safe harbor' advice on US data transfers

David Smith, deputy information commissioner, said businesses should "take stock" of their data transfer arrangements and review whether they provide adequate protection of personal data, as is required by EU law. Smith's comments follow a ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) earlier this month. The CJEU ruled that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Oct 2015

UK finance sector: IT security testing 'becoming close to mandatory'

Regulators are nearly at the point of requiring major financial services companies to participate in a cyber security testing programme, according to the Bank of England. Minutes from a meeting of the Bank's court of directors on 16 September (10-page / 45KB PDF) provide detail of some of the efforts being taken to improve " …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Oct 2015
Volvo car power store

Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars

Volvo will "accept full liability" for collisions involving its autonomous vehicles, the company has confirmed. The announcement was made by Volvo's president and chief executive Håkan Samuelsson during a speech in Washington on Thursday. Ben Gardner, expert in autonomous vehicles technology and regulation at Pinsent Masons, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Oct 2015
shutterstock_206717503

Read our lips, no more EU roaming charges*

The European Commission will draw up rules to help mobile network operators set limits on the amount of roaming they will allow their customers to engage in before they can apply charges to the activity, the EU's Council of Ministers has said. The Council has formally approved new EU rules that will generally bring an end to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Oct 2015
BT Openreach van

Forced sale of Openreach division would put BT broadband investment at risk, says CEO

BT's plans to develop improved broadband infrastructure would be put at risk if Ofcom decided to force it to sell off its Openreach division, the company's chief executive has said. Gavin Patterson said that it "would be difficult to convince the board of BT to invest" in broadband infrastructure improvements if the regulator …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 May 2015
france

France wants to make les citoyens' health data available to world+dog

Plans to centralise the storage of health data in France are being considered by the French parliament. Draft legislation, which would see a new single national health database created, was backed by the National Assembly earlier this month and is now being considered by the Senate. Under the proposals, five sets of data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Apr 2015

UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has narrowed its shortlist of potential locations for Europe's first spaceport, which would provide a UK base for future commercial space flights and satellite launches. In response to a three-month consultation on the plans, the UK government said that it had received "widespread …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Mar 2015

'Security, privacy' main barrier to 'government cloud' rollout in EU

Security and privacy issues are holding back "the cloudification of governmental services" in the EU, according to a new report. The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) said concerns about how sensitive data is protected in a cloud computing environment have not been resolved. It said data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Mar 2015
Night scene of bank station in central london

Finally, a decent use for big data: Weeding out crooked City traders

Financial institutions in London could use "big data" technology to pinpoint malpractice by City traders in future, a panel advising the Bank of England has said. The Market Practitioner Panel (MPP) said existing methods of monitoring for illegal trading practices, such as "key word surveillance", were flawed and that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Feb 2015

Tweak comms laws or Facebook 'n' Twitter folk will be treated like CRIMINALS

UK communications laws should be reformed to account for the social media age, a civil liberties group has said. Big Brother Watch (BBW) said (27-page/705KB PDF) existing laws under the Communications Act, and guidelines for public prosecutors on how they should be applied to social media communications, are unsuitable. …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Feb 2015

Ukraine suddenly 40% more interested in UK tax info – HMRC

Cooperation between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and foreign tax authorities will only increase as more countries sign up to automatic tax information exchange agreements. This is according to Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, which obtained figures showing a 45 per cent increase in the number of requests for …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Feb 2015

Bad news, IT bods: UK's tech outsourcing up 15% last year

IT outsourcing contracts agreed in 2014 totalled £3.44bn in value, with nearly a third of that value accounted for by deals struck in the energy and utilities sector. Those deals were worth £1.05bn and accounted for most of the 187 per cent year-on-year rise in the sector on £373 million spent on all outsourcing deals in the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Feb 2015

Hey biz – cut fraud with digital ID verification. Yes, like Verify – Maude

Building identity (ID) assurance systems into "customer registration processes" could help businesses cut the cost of fraud, a UK government minister has said. Francis Maude said the Cabinet Office is working with "like-minded organisations" to look into the potential for ID assurance services to be used more extensively in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 06 Feb 2015

ICO's data protection tentacles will penetrate NHS bodies

NHS bodies in the UK can now be forced to open themselves up to data protection audits under new powers handed to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The watchdog told Out-Law.com that its audits regime follows a "participative approach" and that therefore it would first ask health bodies if they would voluntarily …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Feb 2015

UK watchdog grills big biz: So HOW do you use their 'consumer data'?

The UK's main competition regulator is looking to build its knowledge of how consumer data is collected, used and traded by businesses. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has asked businesses, trade bodies and other stakeholders to provide it with information about the commercial use of UK consumer data (10-page/262KB …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jan 2015
Angry old man

Your gran and her cronies are 'embracing online banking' – study

Online banking has seen a boom among the older generation, with nearly 2.3 million aged between 70 and over 100 years old now using internet banking, according to figures compiled by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA). The BBA said more than 450,000 customers over the age of 60 are using banking apps on smart phones, iPads …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Jan 2015
BMW's remote parking tech

BMW: ADMEN have asked us for YOUR connected car DATA

US technology companies and advertisers have been seeking access to the data generated by sensors in so-called "connected cars", a senior figure at German car manufacturer BMW has said. Ian Robertson, BMW head of sales and marketing, said BMW had so far resisted requests to share connected car data with those businesses, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Jan 2015