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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 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 would …
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 support …
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 security …
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 deploying …
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. Without …
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, 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 the …
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 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
NHS Files on a desk

In the EU? Setting a 'retain that data' rule? Better comply with e-Privacy

Opinion EU countries that set their own national data retention laws must ensure those rules are in line with the EU's Privacy and Electronic Communications (e-Privacy) Directive, according to a new legal opinion. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) ruled last April that specific EU rules on data retention by telecoms providers, set …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Jan 2015
Photo by licensed under creative commons please attribute

End well: this won't. European Copyright Society wants one EU law to rule 'em all

Copyright laws in every EU country should be the same, the European Copyright Society (ECS) has said. In a letter to the European Commission's digital commissioner Günther Oettinger (4-page 499KB PDF), the academic think tank on copyright said "actual Union-wide unification … of copyright" as opposed to simply further …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Jan 2015

European data law: TRASHES 'unambiguous consent' plans

The UK government has raised objections to current EU proposals that would require businesses seeking to rely on "consent" as the lawful basis for processing personal data to ensure that that consent has been unambiguously given "for one or more specific purposes". It said those proposals are "unjustified" and called on EU law …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Dec 2014

Thought your household broadband was pants? Small biz has it worse

Smaller businesses tend to be worse off for broadband connections than average users, particularly in urban areas, according to an official report on the UK's digital infrastructure. Market regulator Ofcom said that its 2014 report underlined the importance of its new programme of work for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Dec 2014
Reckless Getaway

Osborne ponders giving fleeing bank customers an API getaway car

Banks will have to use standardised application programming interfaces (APIs) to make it easier for customers to move their accounts to rival services, the British government has said. In his Autumn Statement last week, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the government would launch a "call for evidence" on "how to deliver …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Dec 2014

Oh dear, traders: Banker bosses are monitoring your smoke breaks

Banks must consider staff relations when turning to "big data" to identify potential misconduct, says an expert. There are legitimate reasons why banks would wish to monitor staff behaviour through the latest in 'big data' analytics, but they should consider employee relations issues before using that technology, an expert has …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Dec 2014
cookies_eyes_privacy evercookies flash cookies

Device fingerprinting tech: It's not a cookie, but 'cookie' rules apply

Website operators that turn to new "device fingerprinting" technologies to track internet users' behaviour in place of "cookies" have to obtain users' consent in accordance with the same EU legal standards that apply to the use of cookies, an EU privacy watchdog has said. In a new opinion it has issued, the Article 29 Working …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2014

Keen to get CRITICAL PAYMENT systems up QUICKLY after HACK?

Restoring payment systems after disruptive cyber attacks could involve compromising analysis of incidents, says report A new report on cyber resilience in financial market infrastructures has highlighted potential conflicts between legal obligations on the reporting of cyber security or data breaches and the need to restore …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Nov 2014

EU Ryanair 'screen-scraping' case could affect biz models

Some price comparison websites and other online businesses could be forced to alter their business models if the EU's highest court takes steps to prevent unauthorised "screen-scraping" of data, an expert has said. The Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) is due to hear arguments today from Ryanair and a Dutch price comparison …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Nov 2014
European Union Flag

Are open Wi-Fi network bods liable for users' copyright badness?

The EU's highest court has been asked to rule on whether commercial providers of free and open Wi-Fi networks can be held liable for copyright infringement carried out without their knowledge by a user of their network. A court in Munich has asked the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) to provide it with guidance on how to …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Nov 2014

How many telecoms firms left in Europe? Another mega-billion deal slated in France

French cable telecoms operator Numericable has won conditional approval for its multi-billion-euro takeover of Vivendi's SFR mobile network operator, paving the way for the firm to close the deal by the end of the year. Reuters reported that France's competition authority said Numericable would have to divest certain assets and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Oct 2014
Nervous girl bites nails


Businesses that send spam text messages, make nuisance calls or carry out other types of unsolicited direct electronic marketing activity could be fined up to £500,000 if their actions cause "annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety", under new plans unveiled by the UK government. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Oct 2014
IBM 5150 PC

Doctors urged to adopt default opt-out approach to scheme

A patients' group has urged doctors to automatically opt their patients out of the new "" scheme until the patients give consent for the disclosure of their medical data. The Patient Concern campaign group said that patient trust in their GPs would be undermined if doctors shared the medical data stored on their systems …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Oct 2014
Tubbs from the League of Gentlemen. Illustration by Doeth Gwraig

Warning to those who covet the data of Internet of Precious Things

Data generated by devices in the "internet of things" age should be "regarded and treated as personal data", data protection authorities from across the globe have agreed. The watchdogs said it is "more likely than not" that such data can be attributed to individuals. "Internet of things’ sensor data is high in quantity, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Oct 2014
Airware video

ICO warns UK broadcasters over filming using drones

UK broadcasters have been warned that their use of unmanned drones for filming purposes must adhere to data protection laws. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that drones "can be highly privacy intrusive" because they can capture images of individuals "unnecessarily". The watchdog said organisations using drones …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Oct 2014
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods

Analysis Businesses should not need to notify consumers that their personal data has been lost or stolen if the data has been encrypted, EU ministers have said. Ministers in the Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the EU's Council of Ministers backed the plans as part of a wider partial agreement reached last week on reforms to EU data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Oct 2014
Hyperbolic map of the internet. Credit: Nature Communications

Ofcom: 'White space' tech to support mobile data services in 2015

Updated "White space" wireless technology could be used for mobile data services as early as next year, Ofcom has said. The regulator said that trials of white space technology – which refers to the gaps that exist between radio spectrum bands already in use – will determine whether data can be transmitted using the gaps between radio …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Oct 2014
Our Playmobil figure innocently tweeting away at his computer

My employer, comply with data protection law? Don't think so – say 3 in 4 office drones

Less than a quarter of staff at businesses in the UK, France and Germany think their organisation fully complies with data protection laws, according to a new study. Cyber security company Sophos commissioned a survey of 1,500 office workers in the three countries and found that 77 per cent of respondents were not confident that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Oct 2014
Doctor Who meme

UK reforms on private copying and parody come into force

Reforms to UK copyright rules that enable private copying, parodying and general quotation of copyrighted material to take place legally have come into force. The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations and Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations were …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Oct 2014

Payment security vastly improved when you DON'T ENTER your BANK DETAILS

Developments around "tokenisation" should help to “instil confidence in a payments environment challenged by more frequent data breaches” and fraud, according to a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The June 2014 report from the US Federal Reserve's Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW), which was …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Sep 2014

EU operators PLEAD for MERCY, may get roaming rates cut ‘reprieve’

Policymakers are set to propose “no change” in wholesale telecoms roaming rates in the EU as part of a review of the system in 2016, according to a report. The Financial Times said it had seen a draft proposal from the Italian presidency of the European Council which indicated “long-fought proposals on roaming and spectrum …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Sep 2014
European Union Flag

Will Europe's ISPs unmask anonymous IP infringers?

A debate into whether internet service providers should be able to deliver content over their networks to anonymous internet users has been launched in the EU. The presidency of the Council of Ministers, an EU lawmaking body, said there was a need to clarify whether "due diligence obligations such as 'know your customer' are or …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Sep 2014

15 MEEELLION malware-infested mobiles worldwide – report

Incidences of malicious software (malware) being identified on mobile devices rose 17% in the first half of this year, according to a new study. A report by French communications giant Alcatel-Lucent estimated that approximately 15 million mobile devices worldwide could be infected with malware. The report said that the mobile …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Sep 2014
Puss considers how to respond to PayPal marketing overtures

What could possibly go wrong? Banks could provide ID assurance for Gov.UK – report

Personal data could be stored by banks and used to verify the identity of individuals that wish to use government digital services, according to a new report. A pilot study undertaken by Lloyds Banking Group found that there is scope for banks to act as identity (ID) assurance providers for online government services (14-page/ …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Sep 2014

Singapore slings £18k fine at text-spam-spaffing biz owner

A Singapore tuition agency and its director have become the first to be prosecuted and fined under the country’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), which came into force on 2 January 2014. Star Zest Home Tuition, and its director, Law Han Wei, were each fined 39,000 Singapore dollars (SGD) (£18,800 $31,100) by the State Courts …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Sep 2014
iPhone forensics beaten image

Apple tells devs: NO slurping users' HEALTH for sale to Dark Powers

Apple is expected to unveil new products that will use the latest version of its iOS operating system, including new iPhones, on 9 September. But app developerswill be prevented from making sensitive user data available to third parties using the "HealthKit" platform. This is according to the latest version of the firm's licence …
OUT-LAW.COM, 01 Sep 2014

Euro banks will rip out EVERYTHING and buy proper backend systems ... LOL, fooled ya

European banks are in a "holding pattern" when it comes to integrating the latest technology into their core banking systems, with the majority only carrying out modernisation initiatives when necessary rather than with a view towards long-term transformation, according to a new survey. None of the 27 banks or two financial …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Aug 2014

Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media

The pace of technological change and rise of social media "may make it inevitable" that UK privacy laws need to be revised and updated, the country's most senior judge has said. In a speech at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents' Club (nine-page/157KB PDF), Supreme Court president Lord Neuberger said that "astonishing …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Aug 2014

Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report

A home-grown "China operating system" (COS) to challenge rivals such as Microsoft, Google and Apple could be available as soon as October 2014, the country’s state-run Xinhua News Agency has said. According to Xinhua, Chinese Academy of Engineering academician Ni Guangnan told the People's Post and Telecommunications News (PPTN …
OUT-LAW.COM, 26 Aug 2014
workman in high vis jacket bent over, super-imposed on cloud background

Go on, inhale our G-Cloud via 'Digital Marketplace' –

Public sector organisations in the UK will be able to buy cloud-based IT products and services from suppliers from a new online platform from the end of the month. The Government Digital Service, which is part of the Cabinet Office, said all "G-Cloud" purchases are likely to be made via the "Digital Marketplace" before the end …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Aug 2014

Top money men face up to 2 YEARS in slammer for neglecting to spot crim-cash activity

Senior managers at "money service businesses" face up to two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine if their neglect leads to money laundering or terrorist financing activities, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned. In new guidance on its supervision of money services businesses under anti-money laundering rules (65-page/ …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Aug 2014

Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms

The number of machine-to-machine (M2M) mobile data connections in the UK increased by nine per cent last year on 2012 figures, UK communications regulator Ofcom has reported. In its annual communications market report (429-page/4.10MB PDF), the regulator said 5.6 million M2M mobile data connections were made in the year ending …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Aug 2014 eyes up virtual currencies, fingers red tape dispenser

The UK government is to review the trade in virtual currencies to investigate whether it should regulated. Chancellor George Osborne said the review would look into the potential of "alternative payment systems" to boost UK growth and would include an assessment of the need to regulate the use of virtual currencies in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Aug 2014

Evidence during FOI disputes can be provided in SECRET

Public bodies defending a decision to withhold information requested under freedom of information (FOI) laws can submit evidence to an information rights tribunal in secret, the Court of Appeal has ruled. The Court said that tribunal rules allow for closed evidence sessions to be conducted, meaning that neither the FOI requester …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Aug 2014
management regulation2

One EURO PATENT COURT ruling for all from 'early 2015'

New EU rules have been created which allow the judgments of new unified patent courts (UPCs) to have legal effect from early 2015. A new EU regulation has been published in the trading bloc's official journal and changes existing laws on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of their rulings. The changes mean that the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Jun 2014

High court finds Newzbin's 'ops' man liable for copyright infringement

The High Court has found a man liable for copyright infringement carried out on the file-sharing Newzbin websites and ruled that he is also part of a conspiracy to infringe copyrights and defraud film studios. Mr Justice Barling said David Harris was jointly responsible along with his Newzbin Limited business for copyright- …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 May 2014