Feeds
The Register Columnists

OUT-LAW.COM

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed

Steelie Neelie: EU biz can use YOUR private data WITHOUT PERMISSION

Businesses should be allowed to process part-anonymised, or pseudonymised, data without the consent of individuals whose data it is in certain circumstances, a senior EU official has said. Neelie Kroes, the EU Commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda, said that companies should be able to process pseudonymised data …
OUT-LAW.COM, 16 Dec 2013
shutterstock_copyright_theft_burn_sidey must credit and link to shutterstock

One European copyright law-to-rule-them-all? EU launches review

The European Commission is seeking industry views on whether to completely harmonise copyright laws across the EU. The Commission has launched a consultation in an effort to gather views on how to modernise the existing EU copyright framework (36-page/223KB PDF). Respondents are being asked for views on matters ranging from the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Dec 2013
Street Fighter

Developer CEO 'liable for copyright infringement' over unlawful tool

The chief executive of a software company in Germany has been found liable for copyright infringement after software developed by the company was amended in an open source environment to allow copyright-protected material to be accessed unlawfully. Appwork created "JDownloader2", a download management tool, but allowed any …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Dec 2013
Eel (Moray with shrimp in mouth)

NSA-proof Euro cloud gang: Cool idea, bro... until it turns into MARKET-EATING beast

The creation of a European "IT Airbus" could raise competition concerns within the EU, an expert has warned. Some German politicians and lobbyists have been pushing for some of Europe's technology companies to group together and create separate IT infrastructure from US-based or US-controlled systems. These calls have come in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Dec 2013

Fat-walleted execs? Nope, it's a corporate tax swerve that REALLY ticks Brits off

Tax avoidance rather than executive pay is at the top of the UK public's concerns about business behaviour for the first time. Concerns about potential tax avoidance have topped those about executive pay for the first time in six years, according to the 10th annual survey of the British public's attitudes about business ethics …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 Dec 2013

EC trade secrets plans: Infringing kit may be DESTROYED by order

Courts could order companies that infringe rivals' trade secrets to destroy goods developed using that know-how and pay damages under new laws proposed by the European Commission. The Commission has published a draft Directive on trade secrets (26-page/133KB PDF) in a bid to harmonise the legal framework around the unlawful …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Dec 2013
Old Bailey Lady Justice

UK defamation law reforms take effect from start of 2014

Justice minister Lord McNally has told the House of Lords that the new Defamation Act, which received Royal Assent in April, will take effect from the start of next year. New regulations, which govern the process website operators must follow when informed about alleged defamatory comments on their site to avoid becoming liable …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Nov 2013
The buttons on a mobile phone glow in the dark

Gov mulls making it easier for ICO to squash marketing pests

The legal test that the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) must meet before it can justify serving fines on businesses that send unsolicited marketing communications could be lowered, a Government representative has said. Lord Gardiner of Kimble said that the measure could be used to address concerns about nuisance calls. …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Nov 2013

ICO on beefed-up EU privacy rules: Biz bods will need 'explicit consent' to slurp data

Businesses can help ease the transition towards complying with new EU data protection rules by taking a number of steps now, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said. In an ICO blog, Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith said businesses can begin by reviewing their procedures for obtaining consent to the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Nov 2013

New Bitcoin exchange launches in the UK

A new online trading platform based in London is to open next week to those seeking to exchange British pounds for the virtual currency Bitcoin. Traders are now able to register with Coinfloor providing they come from the UK or Europe, although they will not be able to buy or sell currency on the platform until 5 November, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Oct 2013
"334/365 this is a phoooonne!!!" - Lazurite

Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

The deployment of a new address system for the internet brings with it connectivity problems, network security issues and privacy concerns, according to a new study. The UK is lagging behind other areas of the world in relation to the transition to IPv6 and the continuing reliance on the existing IPv4 system of addresses has the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Oct 2013

EC: NSA slurps scare you? Europe's clouds are open for business

The European Commission has outlined its aim for the EU to become a "world leading" cloud computing market on matters relating to data protection and security. However, it said it is opposed to the EU closing its market to cloud providers that are based and store data abroad – despite recent revelations about the accessibility …
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Oct 2013

Hey banks: Use Win XP after deadline? You'll PAY if card data's snaffled

Banks that use the Windows XP operating system will face a risk to their compliance with payment card data security rules if they continue to operate the software after Microsoft withdraws its extended support services, a US regulatory body has warned. Microsoft confirmed in 2010 that it would end "extended support" for Windows …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Oct 2013

Online bookies must keep punters' cash in separate account

Licensing conditions proposed by the Gambling Commission may not adequately protect customers against the risk of losing their money or credits if gambling operators become insolvent, an expert has warned. The Commission is consulting on draft plans that, if introduced, would oblige remote gambling licensees, except ancillary …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Sep 2013

WAIT! Don't you dare send that ad-spaff email without 'specific' consent

Organisations need to obtain "extremely clear and specific" consent from individuals in order to conduct direct marketing to them via email or through any other form of electronic marketing message, according to new guidelines. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that rules set out in the UK's Privacy and Electronic …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Sep 2013
The European flag

New EU rules: Telco only SOMETIMES has to tell you it spaffed your data

New rules setting out the circumstances in which telecoms companies need to report personal data breaches, as well as the kind of information they need to share in those reports, have come into force. The EU's Regulation on the notification of personal data breaches (7-page/756KB PDF) applies to all providers of publicly …
OUT-LAW.COM, 02 Sep 2013
The Register breaking news

HMRC nabs 5 after £500k 'cyber attack' on tax systems

Computer systems operated by the UK's tax authority have been subjected to a cyber attack in an attempted tax scam, it has said. HMRC said that it suspects five men it arrested of using "illegally obtained personal data from third parties" to set up fake tax self-assessment accounts online in a bid to "steal large sums of false …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Aug 2013

Finance watchdog: Big fingers + tiny mobe screen + banking = doesn't end well

Companies providing mobile banking services must consider how to overcome limitations in mobile device screen sizes in order to help consumers avoid making erroneous payments, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has said. In an interim report (12-page/724KB PDF) it published as part of its ongoing review into mobile banking, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 29 Aug 2013

Quarter of a million quid fine for data-wipe gaffe? ICO told: Nae, laddie

The UK's data protection watchdog was not justified in serving a monetary penalty on a Scottish council over an allegedly flawed outsourcing arrangement it had with a data disposal contractor, an Information Rights Tribunal has ruled. Scottish Borders Council was issued with a £250,000 fine by the Information Commissioner's …
OUT-LAW.COM, 28 Aug 2013

Brazilians tear strip off NSA in wake of Snowden, mull anti-US-spook law

Businesses selling online to Brazil-based consumers could be forced to store any personal data they collect about those individuals on local servers under proposed new laws under consideration in the country. According to an automated translation of a report by the Reuters news agency, the federal government in Brazil has …
OUT-LAW.COM, 21 Aug 2013

Most UK privacy cock-ups are 'careless' spaffing of personal data - watchdog

Most of the data breach incidents analysed by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in a three-month period earlier this year concerned errors in the way personal information was disclosed, the watchdog has said. The ICO said that it had looked at 335 data breach incidents between 1 April and 30 June 2013 and found that in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

The man from Del Monte, he says... NO! .delmonte gTLD bid crushed, juiced

A trade mark owner has won the right to stop its mark being adopted as a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) by a rival company. Del Monte International (DMI) of Monaco had applied to register '.delmonte' as a new gTLD under an expanded system of domains being set up by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers …
OUT-LAW.COM, 12 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

2 in 5 top Brit biz bosses expect IT dept to drive 'technical innovation'

China and the US are investing more in technology in a bid to drive innovation than the UK, more than half of respondents to a new survey have said. According to management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture which conducted the poll - and published the results this week - 56 per cent of business …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Aug 2013
axe_channel_teaser

Top Brit biz giants love to outsource IT so much, they're gonna do it more

Most UK businesses involved in outsourcing IT are planning to either increase or maintain the current levels to which they outsource, according to a new survey. A survey of more than 230 of highest spending UK businesses on IT by Whitelane Research revealed that more than a third of those businesses are planning to increase the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Gov: Smart TV bods must protect users from smut-riddled badness

Labelling within electronic programme guides on connected TVs could help viewers to distinguish between regulated and unregulated content, the Government has said in setting out a new communications strategy. The government has called on industry (52-page/472KB PDF) to develop tools that enable the distinction to be made between …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Aug 2013

Crumbs, we're going to lose that public sector bid - Jeeves, send for the lawyers

The number of complaints raised by businesses over the awarding of public sector contracts has more than doubled over the last year, according to new figures. According to data released by the Cabinet Office following a freedom of information request by Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, business complaints about …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Jul 2013
Sweatshop with boss, c.1888

Congrats architects, PR bods, toolmakers - you're the new digital tycoons!

There are at least 40 per cent more companies that make up the UK's "digital economy" than any Government estimates, and those companies tend to be considerably more successful than non-digital companies, researchers have found. The study [43-page, 6.2MB PDF], commissioned by Google and produced by the National Institute for …
OUT-LAW.COM, 24 Jul 2013

You still reading us? Not for long! Summer is THE IT meltdown hot spot

Most IT outages in 2012 occurred during the months of June and July, a technology provider has said. John Gentry, vice president of marketing at Virtual Instruments, said 60 per cent of IT outages for the year occurred during the two summer months. Gentry said factors such as IT experts taking holidays, the stress on mobile and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Kick the tyres on UK's swap-shop for cat pics and other copyright stuff

A new online platform to help facilitate the licensing of copyrighted works in the UK is now being piloted. The Copyright Hub centralises information on who individuals and businesses need to contact and gain permission from to "copy, adapt, share or distribute" music, text, images, video or other multimedia that is protected by …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Hack biz rivals or hire cyber-warriors and we'll shut you down, warns EU

Businesses could be wound up if they engage in cyber attacks or fail to prevent staff from engaging in computer hacking or other cyber crimes under new draft laws backed by the European Parliament. MEPs last week voted to support a new EU Directive on attacks against information systems. The new framework would require member …
OUT-LAW.COM, 09 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Europe: OK, we'll 'backload' carbon emissions - but we'd better not lose big biz

The European Parliament has voted through proposed temporary reforms to the EU's emissions trading system (EU ETS), after the Parliament's Environment Committee set stricter conditions for the proposed "backloading" of allowances. The latest proposed reforms will prevent the European Commission from backloading more than the 900 …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Hey mobile firms: About that Android thing... Did Google add a lockout clause?

The European Commission has asked mobile telecoms firms and manufacturers of devices to provide details of any agreements they have with Google regarding the use of the technology giant's Android operating system. A number of Google's rivals have recently complained about agreements between Google and mobile device manufacturers …
OUT-LAW.COM, 19 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

When UK.gov asks 'Who's your daddy', companies HAD BETTER reply

Tax authorities and law enforcement agencies are to be able to access information about the owners of UK-registered companies under new rules proposed by the government. The new rules, announced ahead of this week's G8 summit in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, will see companies required to supply information on their 'beneficial …
OUT-LAW.COM, 18 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Ad-slingers! Punting peeps' pics into promos? You must read THIS

Advertisers are responsible for any material they hoover up from social networks to use in their promotions - and that user-submitted content must comply with UK advertising rules. That's according to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), which together with the Broadcasting Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP), is …
OUT-LAW.COM, 17 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Fancy some mobile filth? New logo tells you when not to bother

Providers of public Wi-Fi services could soon display a form of trust mark to indicate their networks prevent access to pornographic content, the UK government has said. The government said that some major Wi-Fi providers were looking into the possibility of establishing such a trust mark scheme in collaboration with the UK …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Huge erections - or lots of small ones. Checkmate, mast NIMBYs

Easing restrictions on the maximum height that existing telecoms masts can be increased to will lead to a reduction in the number of masts needed for supporting mobile broadband services, an expert has said. The Government is consulting on proposals to improve mobile connectivity in England [44-page 306KB PDF]. The plans include …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 May 2013
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

'Inconsistent' watchdogs throw cloud biz barons into a tizzy

A lack of consistency over the way Asian regulators approach data privacy issues has led to a slow take-up of cloud services by businesses in the region, an expert has said. Hong Kong-based outsourcing contracts expert Peter Bullock of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that cloud providers are not offering …
OUT-LAW.COM, 03 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Retailers: You could get the chance to TEAR UP Penguin ebook contracts

Retailers could be offered the chance to terminate some agreements formed with Penguin over the sale of electronic books as part of the UK publishing company's bid to resolve European Commission concerns about the nature of those agreements. Penguin has formed an informal agreement with the Commission over its practices in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 23 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Now draft biz guillotine law triggers info privacy watchdog

There are insufficient data protection safeguards built in to proposed reforms to the EU's insolvency law framework, a privacy watchdog has said. In a recently issued opinion into the European Commission's draft Insolvency Regulation, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) raised concerns about the mandatory publication …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

Your consent 'almost always' needed when firms use your data to profile you

Organisations "almost always" require individuals' "free, specific, informed and unambiguous 'opt-in' consent" in order to make use of personal data they have previously collected in Big Data projects that involve analysing or predicting the "personal preferences, behaviour and attitudes of individual customers", an EU privacy …
OUT-LAW.COM, 10 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

New rules to end cries of 'WTF... a £10 online booking fee?'

The government has issued guidance that sets out the kind of costs businesses incur that they are legitimately able to claim back through payment surcharging. Under the Consumer Protection (Payment Surcharges) Regulations, which took effect on 6 April, businesses are prohibited from charging consumers excessive fees for using a …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

GPs blow whistle to watchdog on patient record privacy threat

The UK's data protection watchdog has highlighted concerns it has with a new information-sharing initiative that has begun operating in the health sector in England. Earlier this week a new Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established with the power to require health bodies to hand over "any information" …
OUT-LAW.COM, 05 Apr 2013
The Register breaking news

EU red-tape slash shock: New tool defuses web shop argy-bargies

Online traders will be able to resolve contractual disputes with consumers based in other EU countries through a new online dispute resolution (ODR) framework after MEPs voted to back the new regime earlier this week. The European Parliament approved a new ODR Regulation and a new Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive …
OUT-LAW.COM, 15 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

$1.5k per complaint. Up to 1,900 gTLDs. Brand owners, prepare to PAY

Brand owners may face a costly battle to fight 'typosquatters' under a new top-level domain regime, an expert has warned. In 2011 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body that oversees the identification of websites, voted to expand the number of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that are in use …
OUT-LAW.COM, 14 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

EU mulls almost-anonymisation of folks' data to cut biz some slack

Officials from justice departments across the EU have been asked to explore to what extent the pseudonymisation of personal data can be used to "calibrate" businesses' obligations to data protection. Pseudonymisation (such as assigning fake names to people), as opposed to anonymisation (complete stripping of identity), allows …
OUT-LAW.COM, 11 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Tech titans: Give it a rest with the SEP injunctions, wouldja? - economists

Standard-essential patent owners should be required to try to settle licensing disputes out of court in a bid to restrict the affects of litigation on market innovation, three prominent economists have said. In a paper for the Competition Policy International (CPI) think tank, Kai-Uwe Kühn, Howard Shelanski and Fiona Scott …
OUT-LAW.COM, 08 Mar 2013

New UK.gov cyber-security standard puts MANAGERS in firing line

The UK government is seeking to hear from businesses that would be interested in submitting evidence to help form a new "organisational standard" for cyber security. The Cyber Security and Resilience Team within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) has asked businesses to detail initial interest in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 07 Mar 2013
money notes lifted up

World spent $3.6 trillion on ICT in 2012 - analyst

International Data Corporation (IDC) said that the figure included what businesses had spent on telecoms services and that total expenditure on hardware, software and IT services alone had topped $2 trillion on its own. The latter figure represented a 5.9 per cent increase from the total IT expenditure in 2011 and was recorded …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Mar 2013
The Register breaking news

Google: Our 'freedom of expression' should trump punters' privacy

Google has called on the EU's highest court to uphold its right to display links to published "valid legal material" in the face of calls from Spain's data protection authority to remove links on the grounds of privacy. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is due today to stage a hearing on a case in which it has …
OUT-LAW.COM, 27 Feb 2013
The Register breaking news

Bundestag holds 'unusual' hearing on German Copyright Act

A "highly unusual" additional parliamentary hearing on proposed changes to German copyright law is a sign that there is increasing opposition to the publisher-driven plans, an expert has said. A cross-party sub committee on new media is scheduled to stage a hearing of stakeholders' views on the proposed amendments to the German …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Feb 2013