Articles about Watchdog

Microsoft monopoly

US trade watchdog deep-sixes patent infringement claim against Microsoft

Microsoft has swerved a potentially crushing blow to its vanishingly small mobile biz, after a US watchdog swiped away a request to block the import of its Lumia handsets into the country. InterDigital, which had been in a patent spat with Nokia many years before Redmond scooped up the mobile maker, said it was disappointed …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Aug 2015
Woman slaps man. Pic: Shutterstock

Privacy watchdog ICO slashes its fines in half

The total value of fines issued by the UK Information Commissioner's Office has halved compared with last year – despite the watchdog receiving roughly the same number of complaints about data protection. In 2014/15, the ICO issued £1.1m in so-called civil monetary penalties, £386,000 of which were for companies behind nuisance …
Kat Hall, 02 Jul 2015

Stop the war between privacy and security – EU data watchdog

Security and privacy are not mutually exclusive says Europe’s privacy watchdog – and people should stop saying they are. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, told a Brussels conference he was concerned that “the objective of cyber-security may be misused to justify measures which weaken protection …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Apr 2015

Hated Care.data scheme now 'unachievable', howls UK.gov watchdog

The hated Care.data programme is one of four government IT projects progressing so poorly its delivery has been deemed "unachievable", according to a government watchdog report. The scheme has been flagged with the highest "red" risk rating by the Major Projects Authority, along with the NHS choices website, the Health and …
Kat Hall, 26 Jun 2015
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

German watchdog rips off Facebook's thumbs after online fracas

Five German companies have removed Facebook’s “like” button from their websites following pressure from the niftily-named Consumer Advice Center of North Rhine-Westphalia (Verbraucherzentrale NRW). Two weeks ago, Belgium’s data protection authorities said the social network was breaking national and EU law by tracking users on …
Jennifer Baker, 26 May 2015

Carmakers DEFLATED by AIRBAG FLAW as US watchdog recalls TWO MEELLION vehicles

More than 2 million SUVs and cars have been recalled by a US regulator, after manufacturers including Honda and Toyota failed to fix defects found in the airbags of some of their early Noughties' models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (HTSA) confirmed that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx had announced …
Team Register, 01 Feb 2015
Bank vault

UK data watchdog: Massive fines won't keep data safe

The UK’s data protection watchdog has said issuing fines "left, right and centre" is not the way to ensure privacy. However, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham added that this doesn’t mean his office shouldn’t have those exact powers at its disposal. “The obligation laid on data protection authorities always to fine …
Jennifer Baker, 22 May 2015

FCC now regulates ISPs – but don't take your complaints to the watchdog just yet

Net neutrality Tom Wheeler, chairman of America's broadband watchdog the FCC, has insisted that "we know what we're doing," as his regulator gobbles up more and more power. This is despite him acknowledging that the FCC isn't sure how far its authority stretches – and that it doesn't have crucial rules and guidelines in place. At a …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Care.data's a good thing? Tell us WHY, thunders watchdog

Patient concerns over the delayed NHS Care.data scheme must be addressed if the controversial plan to share GP records is to proceed, an independent watchdog has warned. The report by the Independent Information Governance Oversight Panel (IIGOP) said clarity on policy and communications is "absolutely essential" for gaining …
Kat Hall, 22 Dec 2014

Watchdog slaps American Apparel's youthful naked arse

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has ordered US clothing outfit American Apparel to pull a snap from its website which featured a prominent pair of youthful buttocks promoting the "Lips Print Cotton Spandex Sleeveless Thong Bodysuit". A cropped version of the offending image The watchdog received a single complaint …
Lester Haines, 18 Mar 2015
Homer Simpson reading on a tablet

UK data watchdog broke data law, says UK data watchdog

Britain's data cops have coughed to a serious security screw-up at the Information Commissioner's Office, and concluded that the ICO - only mildly - violated the Data Protection Act that it is supposed to police. It carried out an internal probe into what the ICO passively described as a "non-trivial security incident" that …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Jul 2014

Ads watchdog slams Mind Candy for upselling subscriptions to kids

UK entertainment company Mind Candy has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for targeting membership ads at kiddies in an attempt to up-sell its paid-for content. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) believed Mind Candy's kids' game Moshi Monsters contained "a direct exhortation to buy a membership …
Kat Hall, 26 Aug 2015
Rotten apple

Samsung persuades US watchdog to review Smartflash legal dance over patents

Apple may end up getting a helping hand from its mega smartphone rival Samsung, after the South Korean electronics giant convinced US regulators to look at two Smartflash LLC patents. In February, Cupertino was ordered to pay nearly half a billion dollars to Texas-based patent licensing company Smartflash after a jury found that …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Apr 2015
germany

German telco watchdog bitten by hound with bigger teeth

Germany’s telecoms regulator is in the firing line after it ignored requests from the European Commission to lower fixed termination rates. Fixed termination rates are the fees telcos charge each other to deliver calls between networks. Since each operator has access to customers on its own network, there is an incentive to …
Jennifer Baker, 07 Nov 2014

US watchdog boss pencils in net neutrality February showdown – report

US broadband watchdog the FCC is reportedly planning to hold a vote next month on how it will, or won't, eventually enforce net neutrality. The Washington Post cited an unnamed source within the regulator in reporting that chairman Tom Wheeler wants his fellow commissioners to approve his proposed "Open Internet" rules. Wheeler …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jan 2015
Emily O'Reilly, European Union ombudsman

US kills EU watchdog's probe into EU cops sharing EU citizens' data

The US has blocked Europe's official ombudsman from accessing Europol documents regarding surveillance and terrorist financing – forcing the watchdog to end a probe into America's relationship with the Euro cops. Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency, and the ombudsman investigates complaints of …
Jennifer Baker, 08 Jan 2015

Google-gate: 'Toothless' watchdog FTC nibbles furiously on journalists

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has responded to critics in the media who claim the regulator dropped an investigation into Google after buckling under pressure from the White House and the powerful advertising giant. Back in 2012, staff at the US watchdog accused Google of unfairly burying rivals in its search results, among …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Mar 2015
Fitbit scabs

How's your F-ITCH-bit? Surge gizmo sparks rash of complaints, watchdog's attention

Fitbit Surge wearers are complaining about sore and scabby skin after strapping on the exercise-snooping wrist-gizmo. A US watchdog has told us it is probing the gripes. Having a break from my @fitbit Surge. Might need to stop wearing it - nice rash (and my skin isn't usually sensitive) pic.twitter.com/CNQwfEJO1X — Shaun Ewing …
Iain Thomson, 12 Feb 2015
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk's 'unbeatable signal strength' and 'fastest Wi-Fi tech' FIBS silenced by ad watchdog

TalkTalk is the latest ISP to be rapped by the UK's advertising watchdog for telling porkies about its broadband service. The budget telco was admonished by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to substantiate claims it made about its network. TalkTalk made the following outlandish assertion in a circular advert: …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014

Hey, America. Canada's watchdog just slapped net neutrality rules on wireless internet

A decision by Canadian telecoms regulator CRTC may have significant implications after it applied net neutrality rules to wireless connections. In the ruling, the country's largest telco Bell was ordered to stop offering a mobile app that for $5 per month allowed customers to watch 10 hours of video from television channels …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Jan 2015
Keep out sign with deleted expletive

US watchdog: Anthem snubbed our security audits before and after enormous hack attack

A year or so before American health insurer Anthem admitted it had been ruthlessly ransacked by hackers, a US federal watchdog had offered to audit the giant's computer security – but was rebuffed. And, after miscreants looted Anthem's servers and accessed up to 88.8 million private records, the watchdog again offered to audit …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Mar 2015

Stop taking drug advice from Kim Kardashian on Twitter, sighs watchdog

Robert Dean may be questioning his career decisions. The division director of US drug regulator the FDA has warned the public that Kim Kardashian's social network pages are not a particularly reliable source of medical advice. In an open-letter [PDF], Dean said endorsements from celebrity buttocks Kardashian were misleading …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Aug 2015

Right To Be Forgotten in the US: Americans wanna be like EU-oo-oo, says watchdog

The US should be more like Europe – and introduce the controversial "right to be forgotten" ruling – says a top American consumer-defending organisation. In a letter to Google CEO Larry Page and exec chairman Eric Schmidt, Consumer Watchdog asked the search supremos to extend the EU's privacy ruling, dubbed the "right to be …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2014

EU anti-trust watchdog ponders TeliaSonera/Telenor merger

The European Commission is worried that a proposed merger between TeliaSonera and Telenor would be bad for consumers, and is now pondering whether to approve the deal. Both companies provide telecoms services in several European countries, but in Denmark the merged entity would face little competition, leaving the public with a …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Apr 2015
Sad cloud

EU governments are CRAP at cloud, moans Brussels' infosec watchdog

European governments haven’t got a clue how to implement cloud services. So say the EU's own cybersecurity experts. ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) has released a report on the adoption of something it calls “Gov Cloud”, defined as “a deployment model to build and deliver services to state agencies ( …
Jennifer Baker, 28 Feb 2015

Ads watchdog: Er, what does woman in her undies have to do with ‘slim’ phone?

Mobile phone company Kazam has been put on the naughty step by the Advertising Standards Authority after viewers complained its "world's slimmest phone" ad caused offence by overtly sexualising women. The ASA noted that much of the ad focused entirely on an actor in her underwear, "including scenes that featured several close-up …
Kat Hall, 25 Feb 2015

China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog

Last week Apple CEO Tim Cook was very happy that the iPhone 6 is at last going on sale in China. But it seems the Chinese government has its own plans for owners of the new device. According to censorship watchdog Greatfire.org, Chinese state hackers began staging a massive man-in-the-middle attack against Apple iCloud.com users …
Iain Thomson, 20 Oct 2014

Snowden, NSA spying, hard drive malware ... what we need is a UN privacy watchdog!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation thinks the United Nations needs to get its arse in gear and safeguard people's privacy from government snoops. The activist group (EFF) said an independent expert should be appointed by the UN's Human Rights Council (HRC) to tackle blanket surveillance and the gathering of people's private and …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Mar 2015

TalkTalk's catch-up telly fib silenced by ad watchdog

Budget telco TalkTalk has been barked at by the Advertising Standards Authority after the company wrongly suggested that a whole host of TV channels were available via its catch-up service. Two complainants griped to the watchdog about a telly ad they said had misled them by implying that content on television services was …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Apr 2014

Rival BT sics ad watchdog on EE: ASA growls at 'most reliable broadband' claim

BT has successfully shot down EE's claim in a direct mail ad that it offered "Britain's most reliable broadband for staying connected". The telecoms giant convinced Blighty's advertising watchdog that EE had misled customers in three different ways. BT argued to the Advertising Standards Authority that EE had failed to …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 May 2014

US watchdog seeks techies, interns to sink gums into Google et al

The US Federal Trade Commission has put up the "help wanted" sign for a new office tasked with investigating American technology giants. El Reg hopes the new team has more backbone that the officials unwilling to pick a fight with Silicon Valley's out-of-control goliaths. The FTC said its Office of Technology Research and …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Mar 2015

Virgin Media spanked by ad watchdog over 'in your neighbourhood' fibs

Virgin Media is on the naughty step with the UK's advertising watchdog, after wrongly claiming in two separate circulars that its broadband service was available in areas where the ad was posted through people's letterboxes. Two complainants successfully refuted the telco's fibs, after taking their gripes to the Advertising …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jan 2014

Google appeals against French data watchdog over privacy policy fine

Google has appealed against France's data protection watchdog, which said last week that the ad giant had failed to comply with its privacy laws - the result was a paltry, yet maximum, fine of €150,000. French newspaper Le Figaro reported today that Google had opposed the sanctions from Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Jan 2014

BEST EVER broadband? Oh no you DIDN'T, Sky – ad watchdog

The telecoms giant formerly known as BSkyB has been ordered to remove a "best ever" broadband ad after rival BT claimed it was "misleading". The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the context of Sky's "BEST EVER broadband offer" in July had not been substantiated and was likely to mislead. Last week BSkyB ditched the …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2014
Air traffic control at NATS

US air traffic control 'vulnerable to hackers' says watchdog

US air traffic control systems are potentially vulnerable to hackers, according to an audit by the American government. A report [46 pages, PDF] by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) faults the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for failing to meet compliance with the relevant government standards, specifically the …
John Leyden, 09 Mar 2015

Virgin Media's 'little(ish)' book of deals contained BIG FIBS, rules ad watchdog

Virgin Media has been walloped by Britain's advertising watchdog for failing to clearly explain that a half-price deal it was flogging did not apply to line rental. A complaint about a direct mailing promotion that came loaded with a "little(ish) book" of offers was upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority, which concluded …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Jan 2014

Wall Street watchdog publishes its ultimate rules on Bitcoin biz

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) — the financial regulator for Wall Street — has released its final regulations for Bitcoins. The BitLicense Framework will regulate the use of digital currency in New York and tries to strike a balance between preventing fraud while staying open to innovation in a rapidly …
Kieren McCarthy, 03 Jun 2015
Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Canadian watchdog goes to court to probe Apple's iPhone deals with mobe networks

Watchdogs in Canada are investigating Apple over concerns the iPhone giant violated antitrust laws in its dealings with Canadian telcos. A spokesperson for Canada's Competition Bureau confirmed the Cupertino goliath is the subject of a probe into possible violations of the nation's Competition Act. "I can confirm that the …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Dec 2014
french

France sets antitrust watchdog loose on Apple, raids premises

Anti-trust investigators have raided Apple's local operations in France amid claims it the fruity firm has hobbled resellers in a bid to boost the performance of its own stores. French newspaper Les Echos reported that officials from the French competition watchdog searched Apple's premises last week, confiscating documents and …
Jasper Hamill, 02 Jul 2013
Cool-er eBook Reader

Apple appoints top Obama legal eagle as antitrust watchdog

High profile attorney Michael Bromwich, fresh from his latest stint as the top US offshore drilling watchdog, has been tapped to serve as Apple's antitrust compliance monitor. The lawyer will check that the fruity firm's competition practices and procedures are up to scratch for the next two years, after a court found it guilty …
apple music

'Apple lures labels from free streams – and why is no one doing anything about it' shrieks group

A pressure group in America has urged US watchdog the FTC and Uncle Sam's Department of Justice to probe Apple Music for signs of antitrust violations. Consumer Watchdog has written a letter [PDF] to the five commissioners of the FTC as well as DoJ attorney general Loretta Lynch and assistant attorney general William Baer …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2015
Google Chocolate Factory

Google fined by Spanish data watchdog over audacious privacy tweak

Google has been fined a piddling €900,000 for three separate breaches of Spain's Data Protection Act. The country's information watchdog (AEPD) said that Google had "impeded" the exercise of its citizens' rights, after the ad giant controversially revised its terms and conditions for netizens in March 2012 - despite a public …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Dec 2013
Photo of a stack of Google Chromebooks

Google tickled with TINY fine from French privacy watchdog

Google's failure to comply with France's data protection law over the ad giant's 2012 privacy policy tweak has landed it with a minuscule fine of just €150,000. In September, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) warned Google that it would face a monetary penalty after it refused to comply with the …
Kelly Fiveash, 08 Jan 2014
Data breach image

Look out: That data protection watchdog can bite

Despite all the furores, calamities and Snowden-related shenanigans of recent years, the UK’s privacy watchdog remains something of a pussycat, and a lean one at that. Granted powers in April 2010 to fine firms £500,000 for breaches of the various laws it covers, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has flexed its mini- …
Tom Brewster, 26 Nov 2014
FCC logo

Watchdog FCC gets new overlord ... so, how about that net neutrality, eh?

The new head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally relaxed into his office chair. The watchdog said Tom Wheeler was sworn in as director, and will now appoint his staff. Among the new faces set to take over at the telecoms regulator are chief of staff Ruth Milkman, and counselors Philip Verveer, Gigi B. …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Nov 2013
Qualcomm Atheros AR9004TB

Report: Beijing watchdog reckons chip-slinger Qualcomm has monopoly in China

Beijing’s anti-competition authority, currently midway through a probe of Qualcomm, has reportedly said it believes the chipmaker does have a monopoly in China. The chip giant has been under investigation by the National Development and Reform Commission for allegedly overcharging and abusing its market position in China, a …
Fawlty Towers

Watchdog bites hotel booking site: Over 3k card details slurped

Hotel booking website Worldview Limited has been fined £7,500 over a security breach involving its website that allowed hackers to swipe the full payment card details of some 3,814 customers. Sensitive data was accessed after the unidentified attacker exploited a SQL injection flaw in Worldview website to access the firm's …
John Leyden, 05 Nov 2014
Derisive laugh

BT's mobe interference claim laughed off air by ad watchdog

BT misled consumers with a TV ad that wrongly claimed that mobile phones and radios caused interference with wireless networks, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled. A voice-over in BT's commercial crowed that such devices, alongside other household gadgets, caused "no end" of disruption to Wi-Fi internet connections in …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Oct 2013

Indie labels: 5 reasons why we're hauling YouTube before Euro antitrust watchdog

Exclusive Independent music association Impala has disclosed to The Register a little more detail about its complaint to the EU competition authorities on YouTube's new music contracts. The trade group outlined five areas where it believes Google, which owns YouTube, breaches Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

Did Google's Waze gobble run rivals off the road? UK watchdog starts probe

Google's acquisition of free map app Waze has awoken Britain's competition watchdog, which today confirmed it was scrutinising the gobble. Israeli firm Waze Mobile was bought by Google in June this year for a rumoured $1bn. It gave the advertising goliath satnav-like software that, we're told, taps into the whereabouts of 50 …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Aug 2013