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Rebecca Hill

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Facebook, Schrems case cost Irish data watchdog €2m – reports

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has forked out almost €2m in the long legal battle involving Facebook and privacy activist Max Schrems, according to reports. The battle began in 2013 when Schrems brought a complaint against Facebook’s mass data slurping to the commissioner in Ireland, where the company’s European HQ is …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Jan 2018

UK's Just Eat faces probe after woman tweets chat-up texts from 'delivery guy'

A customer of takeaway delivery firm Just Eat has alleged a driver from an eatery used her phone number to ask her for a date. Michelle Midwinter claimed that, after using Just Eat to order a takeaway, she had received an uninvited WhatsApp message from someone she didn’t know. According to screenshots shared on Twitter, the …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Jan 2018
Mickey Mouse

Facebook, Twitter supremos ditch Disney as biz steps on their turf

The Walt Disney Company's increasing interest in moving its shows online has forced two Silicon Valley supremos to leave the board. Twitter chief exec Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are not seeking re-election to the company's board of directors due to a growing conflict of interest, Reuters reports. As …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jan 2018 denies data processing framework is 'sinister' – but admits ICO has concerns

The government has moved to allay fears over amendments to the Data Protection Bill that critics say could undermine both the law and the powers of the UK’s privacy watchdog. The changes, for a Framework for Data Processing for Government, were quietly inserted at the Bill’s final committee stage in November – but soon faced a …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jan 2018

EU court to rule whether Facebook should seek and destroy hate speech

The European Court of Justice has been asked to decide whether Facebook should actively search for hate speech posted by users. The referral was made by the Austrian Supreme Court as a result of a case brought by former Austrian Green party leader Eva Glawischnig. Glawischnig was subject to hate speech on the platform by a …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Jan 2018
Facepalm from Shutterstock

What do we want? Consensual fun times. How do we get it? Via an app with blockchain...

Comment "Don't ruin the moment. Asking to sign a contract to have sex can be awkward." Of course the simple answer here should be, you're right – I won't. I'll have a respectful conversation with my partner, and if at any point they say no, we'll stop. But it's 2018 now, so obviously that's not what happens next. Instead we get …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jan 2018
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Worst-case Brexit could kill 92,000 science, tech jobs across UK – report

A no-deal Brexit scenario could scrap 92,000 science and technology jobs across the UK, a report has claimed. The analysis (PDF), carried out by Cambridge Econometrics and commissioned by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, aims to put numbers on the impact of a series of scenarios once the UK leaves the European Union. Overall, it …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jan 2018

Think tank: Never mind WannaCry, update NHS IT systems for RoboDoc

The Reform think tank has told the UK government to improve the quality of NHS data and stop relying on paper-based systems to take advantage of the purported benefits of artificial intelligence. In its report (PDF) Thinking on its own: AI in the NHS, published today, the think tank argued that AI has the power to speed the …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Jan 2018
Fidget Spinner

Fancy a fidget? Craze makes debut entry into PornHub's top searches

PornHub's annual deep dive into user stats and searches has revealed that, in 2017, people decided to take the fidget spinner trend to new levels. According to the mainstream porn site's year in review, visitors were interested in new ways of using the seemingly innocent, if highly annoying, kids' toy. (Top tip: El Reg did an …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Jan 2018

Carphone Warehouse cops £400k fine after hack exposed 3 MEEELLION folks’ data

Carphone Warehouse has been handed one of the largest ever fines – a whopping £400,000 – from the UK’s data protection watchdog after exposing the details of millions of its customers. An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office found a “striking” number of “distinct and significant inadequacies” in the phone …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Jan 2018
Max Schrems

Max Schrems: The privacy bubble needs to start 'getting sh*t done'

Interview "The problem we have in the privacy bubble is that we're great at saying how evil and bad everything is... but we're not that great at getting shit done." Max Schrems, the privacy activist known for reducing the Safe Harbor data-sharing deal to tatters, is making one final attempt to spur the community he's been at the heart …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Jan 2018

SAP customers won't touch the fluffy stuff... so here's another on-prem HR data tool

SAP has revealed it is working on a new on-premises human capital management system, admitting that many of its customers are still not ready for the cloud. The German ERP giant had previously promised it would continue support for its existing on-premises solution, SAP ERP HCM, until 2025. But today SAP announced it was …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Jan 2018

Devs see red after not seeing Big Red on Stack Overflow database poll

Updated The latest Stack Overflow developer survey has invoked ire from Oracle fans after failing to include Big Red in its list of database technologies. The survey, which last year attracted more than 64,000 responses, asks devs about the tools, databases, languages and platforms they use, loathe or want. Last year's results found …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Jan 2018
CCTV camera trained on a garden. Photo by Shutterstock

CCTV commish: Bring all surveillance systems under code of practice

The UK's surveillance camera commissioner has told the British government to adopt a "common sense position" and bring all bodies using surveillance camera systems under its code of practice. Tony Porter, whose term as commissioner was in 2017 extended for another three years, used his annual report, published yesterday, to …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Jan 2018

Amazon coughs up record amount of info to subpoena-happy US government

Amazon received more than 2,000 requests for information from governments – and approved almost 900 in full - in the first six months of 2017. The figures come in the web giant's biannual information access report (PDF), which reveals it handed over more information on its customers to the US government than ever before. …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Jan 2018
Wallet stuffed full of bundles of cash

£185k in fines rain down on dodgy PIs and claims firm for illegal data slurp

A firm of loss adjusters and two rogue private investigators it hired have been given record fines in the UK for illegal trade in personal information. Two PIs obtained a person's financial details, including bank transactions, and handed it over to Kent-based loss adjusters Woodgate & Clark, which then passed it to an insurer …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Jan 2018 admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

Enforcing age verification checks for online porn sites could be detrimental to smaller ISPs and significantly increase online fraud, the government has admitted. The measures, which are due to come into force in May, will require UK residents to prove they are 18 or over in order to get access to porn sites. The plans have …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Jan 2018
Data breach

US Homeland Security breach compromised personal info of 200,000+ staff

More than 240,000 current and former employees of the US Department of Homeland Security have had their personal details exposed in a data breach. In what it describes somewhat euphemistically as a “privacy incident”, the DHS said the breach could also affect anyone who was part of an investigation by the DHS Office of …
Rebecca Hill, 4 Jan 2018
Confused lost-looking driver with map. Photo by SHutterstock

Wannabe W1 DOW-er faked car crash to track down reg plate's owner

A man from Bristol, England, lied to a government agency to get his hands on a private number plate reading "W1 DOW", a court has heard. In a hearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court, Miles Savory – director of Accident Claims Handlers – yesterday pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining the personal information of the plate's owner …
Rebecca Hill, 4 Jan 2018
Annoyed woman isn't buying whatever is being sold

ICO slammed for 'unfair' approach to FoI appeal by UK judges

Judges have slammed the Information Commissioner’s handling of an appeal against a Freedom of Information decision about a Syrian drone strike, saying it “fell well short” of expectations. Back in 2015, journalist Jenna Corderoy and the executive director of campaign group Rights Watch UK, Yasmine Ahmed, requested information …
Rebecca Hill, 3 Jan 2018

You Wreck Me, Spotify: Tom Petty, Neil Young publisher launches $1.6bn copyright sueball

Spotify has been accused of rockin' a little too freely by a Californian music company that claims the streaming biz failed to gain proper licences for its artists' songs. Wixen Music Publishing – which represents Tom Petty, Neil Young, The Black Keys, The Doors, and more – launched the sueball at Spotify at the end of last …
Rebecca Hill, 3 Jan 2018
Alarm clock photo via Shutterstock

Time's up: Grace period for Germany's internet hate speech law ends

The grace period for tech firms failing to meet Germany's strict new hate speech law has ended. The network enforcement act – Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, or NetzDG if that doesn't roll off the tongue for you – was passed by the government back in June. It gives companies with more than 2 million users just 24 hours to remove …
Rebecca Hill, 2 Jan 2018

UK security chief: How 'bout a tax for tech firms that are 'uncooperative' on terror content?

Tech firms are indirectly costing the UK government millions in "human surveillance" of extremist content and should have a windfall tax levied against them to make up for it, according to security minister Ben Wallace. Wallace said that inaction from internet giants means the cost of tackling terror content is "heaped on law …
Rebecca Hill, 2 Jan 2018

When neural nets do carols: 'Santa baby bore sweet Jesus Christ. Fa la la la la la, la la la la'

RoTM "King of toys and hippopotamuses full of the light of that stood at the dear Son of Santa Claus." What is this latest madness? you may ask. Well, it's 2017 and it's Christmas so someone has obviously had a crack a training a neural network to write carols. The results are at least entertaining, even if they might offend the …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Dec 2017

Merry Christmas, UK prosecutors: Here's a special gift... a slap from the privacy watchdog

Final update The UK Ministry of Justice has been slammed for poor handling of requests for personal records made under data protection laws – and told to fix the 700-plus backlog by October. In an enforcement notice [PDF] issued yesterday, Blighty's data protection watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), said the justice …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Dec 2017

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