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Rebecca Hill

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Why aren't you being arbiters of truth? MPs scream at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

No matter their protestations, the big tech firms will always be asked to do more to tackle the manifestations of society's problems on their platforms. And yesterday's four-hour evidence session in front of British parliamentarians was no different. In an intense hearing – for which the members of the digital, culture, media …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Feb 2018
Call centre worker looks frustrated and unhappy. Photo by Shutterstock

UK worker who sold customers' data to nuisance callers must cough up £1k

A staffer at an accident repair biz has had to pay almost £1,000 after he sold customers' personal data to cold-calling firms. Phillip Bagnall, who worked at Nationwide Accident Repair Services in Greater Manchester, England, was found to have snaffled up at least 2,700 customers' personal details, which were then used to …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Feb 2018
FLAMING BASEBALL WITH JUSTICE SCALES LOGO

Former HP workers one small step closer to throwing one giant sueball at tech goliath

A group of ex-HP staffers who claim they were discriminated against due to their age have been granted the right to together keep fighting an arbitration case against the IT giant. The biz tried to block them from taking joint action in the latest phase of the saga, which began back in August 2016 – a tactic it has used before …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Feb 2018
EU egg timer, photo via Shutterstock

Austrian privacy chief handed leash to EU's data protection beast

The leader of the Austrian data protection authority has been elected chair of the body responsible for helping organisations follow European privacy laws. Andrea Jelinek will take the reins at the Article 29 Working Party from the French authority's president, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, who has led the body for the past four …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Feb 2018
globe with magnifying glass

CLOUD Act hits Senate to lube up US access to data stored abroad

Tech giants including Microsoft, Google and Apple have given a proposed US law on overseas data sharing the thumbs-up. The bipartisan Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (PDF), introduced to the Senate yesterday, aims to iron out confusion around which laws apply when governments want access to data stored in the cloud …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Feb 2018
Game of Thrones

UK Home Office grilled over biometrics, being clingy with folks' mugshots

Brit Home Office bods have denied that retaining millions of custody images of people who were never charged falls foul of case law, while asserting that automatic deletion is not technically possible. In an intense evidence session with MPs this morning, Home Office minister Susan Williams and the department's director of …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Feb 2018
Tired disappointed woman working at office desk with a laptop

UK PM Theresa May orders review of online abuse laws in suffrage centenary speech

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has ordered a review of British laws governing online communications in her latest shot at big tech firms. In a speech today marking the centenary of at least some women gaining the right to vote in Blighty, May will say that public debate is "coarsening" with a lot of this troubling behaviour …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Feb 2018
woman eating crisps with both hands

Dori-no! PepsiCo boss says biz is planning to sell lady crisps

Poll The boss of PepsiCo – the parent company of Doritos – has suggested women need their own lady crisps, apparently so they can keep their mouths quiet and their fingers clean. Indra Nooyi told Freakonomics Radio that "young guys" will happily lick the orange dust off their fingers and guzzle down the broken bits of crisps at the …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Feb 2018
Surveillance graffiti image via shutterstock

South Wales cops crow about facial recognition arrests on social media

South Wales Police deployed facial recognition technology in Cardiff this weekend, making multiple arrests using the controversial kit. The force has been using an automated facial recognition (AFR) system since June last year, when it launched a pilot during the Champions League finals week. In December, the police boasted …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Feb 2018
xxx

Peers approve Brit film board as pr0n overlords despite concerns

Peers have rubber-stamped the British Board of Film Classification as the regulator for age checks on porn websites, but voiced concerns over delays in issuing guidance. The government's Digital Economy Act requires that spank-viewing UK residents prove they are 18 or over, and it has proposed the BBFC as gatekeeper. In the …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Feb 2018
bouncer

You can find me in da club, database full of faces… but this ain't privacy watchers' jam

Five clubs in Bournemouth are now accepting ID in the form of an app that verifies who you are through facial recognition – to the disdain of privacy activists. The town is the first in the UK to accept the digital identity app Yoti, which claims to offer users a safer way to prove they are who they claim to be. Users sign up …
Rebecca Hill, 2 Feb 2018
EU flag photo via Shutterstock

EU hitches its cart to the blockchain bandwagon

Not wanting to be too late to the blockchain party, the European Commission has launched a forum to keep an eye on developments and pool ideas on governance. The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum has the lofty aim of being a centre for discussions about the tech and how it can be used, as well as a link between regulators, …
Rebecca Hill, 1 Feb 2018
Man hangs up desk phone after a clearly irritating call. Photo by Shutterstock

UK data watchdog whacks £300k fine on biz that made 9 million nuisance calls

A Liverpudlian business was today slapped with a £300,000 fine for making 8.7 million nuisance calls. The Information Commissioner’s Office said Holmes Financial Solutions had paid “no heed” to telephone marketing laws or to the distress such calls can cause. The biz, which offers services like debt management, was found to …
Rebecca Hill, 1 Feb 2018
Screengrab from Brit MP MATT HANCOCK's new app

What a Hancock-up: MP's social network app is a privacy disaster

Move over, Zuckerberg, there's a new social media overlord in town: grime aficionado and Tory MP Matt Hancock. In his new role as the UK government's digital secretary, Matt Hancock has decided to up his tech game by launching his very own app – but reports have emerged that it doesn't adhere to the data protection policies he …
Rebecca Hill, 1 Feb 2018
A silhouette walks through a keyhole leaking binary

Terror law expert to UK.gov: Why backdoors when there's so much other data to slurp?

Secure end-to-end encrypted comms is a desirable technology that governments should stop trying to break, especially as there's other information to slurp up on crims, UK politicians were told this week. Blighty's former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, David Anderson, told the House of Commons Home Affairs …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Jan 2018
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Govt 'comprehensively ignored' advice over NHS data-sharing deal

NHS Digital must put an immediate stop to patient data-sharing deal with the UK Home Office for immigration enforcement, MPs have said. The deal, which was put on official footing last year, allows the Home Office to ask the National Health Service for non-clinical information – such as date of birth or last known address – …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Jan 2018
angry bird

Are you taking the peacock? United Airlines deny flight to 'emotional support' bird

An artist was left spitting feathers after United Airlines told her she couldn't board a plane with her "emotional support" peacock. In a video published by travel site JetSet, the woman is seen wheeling her case across the departures hall in Newark airport, New Jersey, with the large bird perched atop her shoulder, as …
Rebecca Hill, 31 Jan 2018
Piggy bank, image via Shutterstock

SAP slurps up CRM biz Callidus for $2.4bn, pants: Look, cloud bookings are up!

SAP has reported a boost in cloud bookings in its full-year results and announced a $2.4bn deal to buy cloudy sales tracking biz Callidus Software. The German ERP giant has today released (PDF) its figures for the final quarter of 2017, along with its full-year results. Total revenue for the year was up by 6 per cent, to €23. …
Rebecca Hill, 30 Jan 2018
spy_eye_648

UK.gov mass data slurping ruled illegal – AGAIN

The UK’s Court of Appeals has ruled that the government’s unfettered slurping of citizens’ data broke the law. In a judgment handed down this morning, judges backed a challenge brought by deputy Labour leader Tom Watson in a long-running battle against state surveillance rules. These laws allow for ISPs and telcos to retain …
Rebecca Hill, 30 Jan 2018

Blockchain bros' London powwow: Regulation, education, oversaturation

BlockchainWeek The hype around blockchain is just as frustrating for people trying to legitimise the technology as it is for those watching from the sidelines – but behind the fluff, its proponents argue there's real potential. With Bitcoin prices dominating the news and every Tom, Dick and Harry jumping on the blockchain bandwagon, most …
Rebecca Hill, 29 Jan 2018

Dodgy parking firms to be denied access to Brit driver database

Rogue private parking firms are to be stripped of the ability to access the UK government's driver database. Private parking firms can buy vehicle-keeper records from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for £2.50 a pop, which they use to slap tickets on car owners for parking violations on private land. The number …
Rebecca Hill, 29 Jan 2018
Larry Ellison on stage at Oracle's cloud pricing announcement

Larry's steely grip on Oracle led to 'conflicts of interest' in NetSuite buy-out, court told

Oracle's acquisition of NetSuite was a "stage-managed" process rife with conflict of interest, lawyers for one of Big Red's shareholders have argued in a case alleging the biz overpaid for the cloudy ERP firm. NetSuite was snapped up by Oracle in 2016 for $9.3bn, which equated to $109 per share – about 60 per cent more than …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Jan 2018

Ex-staffer sues UK's DWP, claims superior blabbed confidential medical info

A Manchester man is suing his former employer, the UK's largest government department, claiming "highly private" information was divulged to his workmates. Aftab Marchant is reportedly seeking £50,000 in damages from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for distress and personal injury caused by what he describes as a …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Jan 2018

Hey UK.gov – cute tweaks to snoop regime. Your EU law reading needs work

The government's attempt to bring the UK's data retention regime in line with European Union laws have been slammed by privacy campaigners, which has accused politicians of trying to avoid making necessary changes. A landmark ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union deemed indiscriminate data retention illegal, …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Jan 2018

Intel alerted computer makers to chip flaws on Nov 29 – new claim

Intel quietly warned computer manufacturers at the end of November that its chips were insecure due to design flaws, according to an internal Chipzilla document. French tech publication LeMagIT reported this week it had obtained a top-secret Intel memo sent to OEM customers on November 29 under a confidentiality and non- …
Rebecca Hill, 25 Jan 2018

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