The Register Columnists

Rebecca Hill

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
An angry woman steaming from the ears

Facebook sends lowly minions to placate Euro law makers over data-slurp scandal

Facebook has once again irked EU politicos by failing to send sufficiently senior staffers to face another grilling on the data-harvesting saga. Today, it was the turn of the EU Parliament's civil liberties committee (LIBE) to issue a disappointed statement after it was denied access to the execs it had asked for. Since the …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2018
Sunnylvsfjorden Fjord in Norway with a cruise ship

Norwegian tourist board says it can't a-fjord the bad publicity from 'Land of Chlamydia' posters

An ad campaign branding Norway the "Land of Chlamydia" has been slapped down by tourist bosses. The posters, which could easily be mistaken for those plastering the walls of airports, show crystal-blue fjords, snow-capped mountains, lush greenery and even a couple in traditional Norwegian dress. Over the top, one reads: " …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2018

Amazon staffers protest giant's 'support of the surveillance state'

Amazon workers have reportedly called on their bosses to stop selling facial recognition kit to cops and spies, and slammed its links to data analytics biz Palantir. Amid the tech industry's intense efforts to prove to the public that they are not corporate monsters, Washington DC publication The Hill has reported that Amazon …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2018
A confused man

Do UK.gov wonks understand sci-tech skills gap? MPs dish out Parliamentary kicking

The UK government doesn't know what science and tech skills the economy needs or how Brexit will affect firms' ability to recruit staff, MPs have warned. In a withering report published today, the influential Public Accounts Committee criticised the government's poor understanding of science, technology, engineering and maths …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Jun 2018
TSB bank in a UK high street

Test Systems Better, IBM tells UK IT meltdown bank TSB

Updated A report into the IT meltdown at TSB has suggested the British bank did not carry out rigorous enough testing and that the problems went beyond previously reported middleware issues. The chaos at the bank, a subsidiary of the Spanish Sabadell Group, saw many customers unable to access services for a week at the end of April …
Rebecca Hill, 21 Jun 2018

Dixons Carphone profits drop 24% amid hack 'n' high street struggles

Dixons Carphone's annual pre-tax profits have taken a dive, falling 24 per cent to £382m. closed sign Dixons to shutter 92 UK Carphone Warehouse shops after profit warning READ MORE Its full-year results, out today, confirm that the firm has taken a beating as it struggles with customers upgrading phones less often and the …
Rebecca Hill, 21 Jun 2018
FLAMING BASEBALL WITH JUSTICE SCALES LOGO

Teradata lobs sueball at SAP, alleges HANA based on its 'trade secrets'

Data warehousing biz Teradata has flung a sueball (PDF) at SAP in the District Court for Northern California, alleging the German ERP giant undertook a "decade-long campaign of trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement and antitrust violations". Teradata claims that SAP used its strong position in ERP to "lure" the …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2018
Access denied

EU negotiator: Crucial data adequacy deal will wait until UK hands in homework

The UK will only be able to get a data adequacy decision from the European Union once it has offered up its new legal framework – and won't get access to the bloc's policing and security databases, Michel Barnier has warned. In a speech in Vienna yesterday, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator once again emphasised the importance …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2018
A man hiding from a lot of emails coming from a laptop

Priceless: The cost to BT for bothering you with spam? 1.5 UK pence per email

Brit telco BT has been ordered to pay £77,000 for sending almost 5 million nuisance emails – equivalent to about 1.5p a mail. The telco sent out the spam mails, which were promoting three charity initiatives, between December 2015 and November 2016. However, one customer who received an email complained that they had opted …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Jun 2018
Pop art-style illustration: Woman holds head in despair. Illustration via Shutetrstock

Visa fingers 'very rare' data centre switch glitch for payment meltdown

Visa has said a “very rare” partial network switch failure in one of its two data centres led to the fiasco earlier this month that caused millions of transactions in Europe to be declined. The outage, which lasted for about ten hours on Friday, June 1, sent panic among European pub-goers, as apparently about 10 per cent of 51 …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jun 2018
Pointing finger, photo via Shutterstock

Cisco snags potential customer-sniffing biz for an undisclosed sum

Cisco is to slurp up cloudy indoor location services biz July Systems to add to its Wi-Fi platform and boost customer experience capabilities. July Systems, founded in 2001, offers services to track people's locations within buildings through Wi-Fi. The idea is to allow companies to identify customers when they enter a space …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jun 2018

Shiny new Capita boss to UK.gov: I know you are but what am I?

The boss of troubled outsourcer Capita has painted a glossy coat on its woes to MPs, while attempting to turn the spotlight on the government – as the firm sold off a £160m chunk of business and bagged yet another Whitehall contract. Jonathan Lewis – who joined the firm at the end of last year – was giving evidence to the …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jun 2018
empty pockets

Capita admits it won't make money on botched NHS England contract

Embattled outsourcing giant Capita has made a loss of £140m trying to deliver on a seven-year contract to upgrade back-office support in the NHS – and never expects to turn a profit on it. CEO Jonathan Lewis made the admission at an evidence session in front of the influential Public Accounts Committee yesterday, which was …
Rebecca Hill, 19 Jun 2018
A hose leaking water

Asylum seeker spreadsheet data blurt: UK Home Office loses appeal to limit claimants

The British Home Office's bid to reduce the number of potential claimants from a 2013 data breach that exposed the personal details of thousands of asylum seekers has been knocked back by the Court of Appeal. Rather than simply publishing overall statistics on the family returns process – the system by which children who have …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Jun 2018
kids play with a container

Hortonworks Data Platform update flicks on containerisation

Data management firm Hortonworks has enabled containerisation in the latest release of its Data Platform, while announcing a set of extended cloud deals with Microsoft, Google and IBM. CTO Scott Gnau said the overall aim of the announcements, made today at its 11th annual DataWorks Summit in San Jose, was to offer customers a …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Jun 2018
Hmmm illustration via Shutterstock

DeepMind Health told to explain business model, relationship to Google

Alphabet-owned AI company DeepMind Health needs to clarify its relationship with Google and explain how it plans to turn a profit, the firm's independent review panel has said. In a report (PDF) published today, the group told DeepMind Health – which has run into controversy for its work with the NHS, especially the Streams …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2018
Blue arrow Shutterstock

CIOs planning to snub Oracle for other cloudy vendors – analyst

Oracle stock has been downgraded by JP Morgan based on its CIO survey that didn't paint a rosy picture for Big Red's cloud services business. According to analyst JP analyst Mark Murphy, CIOs are planning to cut their spending with Big Red, which has led the investment bank to lower its ratings of the firm's shares from …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2018
A man reading a bad document

Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back – watchdog

The UK government's embattled Universal Credit programme hasn't delivered value for money and has caused some claimants hardship but is now so embedded there is no alternative but to plough on, the National Audit Office has said. In a damning report published today, the spending watchdog questioned whether the disastrous …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Jun 2018
A finger pressing a delete key

Cops fined £80,000 for revealing childhood abuse victims' names

Gloucestershire Police has been fined £80,000 for failing to blind-copy an email that contained the names and email addresses of victims of child abuse. The Information Commissioner's Office handed down the penalty after investigating the bulk email error, which took place in December 2016 and exposed the names of 56 people – …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Jun 2018
UK passport control photo via Shutterstock

Scrapping Brit cap on nurses, doctors means more room for IT folk

Campaigners have welcomed reports that the UK government plans to remove doctors and nurses from an immigration cap – which could also make it easier for businesses to recruit IT workers from outside the EU. Home secretary Sajid Javid is expected to reveal the policy shift tomorrow, various outlets have reported, as the …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Jun 2018

The only way is ethics: UK.gov emphasises moral compass amid deluge of data plans

The UK government has released a guide to help civil servants figure out how to use and procure data science tools ethically as public opinion on slurping continues to circle the drain. Amid the Facebook data harvesting scandal and news of yet another high-profile data breach, the government made a raft of announcements aimed …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Jun 2018
Young man covers face with jumper

Cardiff chap chucks challenge at chops*-checking cops

A resident of Cardiff, the Welsh capital, has launched a legal challenge over South Wales Police's use of facial recognition technology in public spaces – the first of its kind in the UK. The force has used the controversial kit about 20 times since June 2017 – when it started a pilot during the Champions League finals week. …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Jun 2018
Files photo via Shutterstock

Audit of DeepMind deal with NHS trust: It checks out, nothing to see here

An audit of the Royal Free NHS Trust and Google DeepMind's controversial app to detect kidney disease has deemed its current use of confidential data from real patients lawful – going so far as to suggest findings from other watchdogs were misplaced. The audit of the Streams app – which uses a fixed algorithm to help detect …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Jun 2018

UK.gov online dating tips: Do get consent, don't make false claims or fake profiles

An online dating platform has been spanked by the Competitions and Markets Authority as the UK government issued love match websites an etiquette guide for fair play. Venntro Media Group – which has about 3,500 websites targeted at specific interests, hobbies, localities, ethnicity or religion – was the subject of a probe by …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Jun 2018
Old pound coins in a stack

UK! watchdog! slaps! Yahoo! with! £250k! fine! for! 2014! data! breach!

Yahoo!'s UK limb has finally been handed a £250,000 fine for the 2014 cyber attack that exposed data of half a million Brit users. Russian hackers broke into Yahoo!'s servers and slurped info on circa 500 million international account holders, including names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates, hashed passwords and …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Jun 2018

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018