Articles about Watchdog

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Watchdog says yes to BT's EE takeover deal. Shrugs. No 'significant' harm in it

The UK's competition watchdog has today cleared the £12.5bn takeover of EE by BT, finding that the merger will "not cause significant harm to competition or the interests of consumers." The deal will give BT a 32 per cent share of the the mobile subscription market and nearly 600 EE shops. Earlier this week The Register …
Kat Hall, 15 Jan 2016
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UK competition watchdog provisionally clears BT's £12.5bn EE gobble

BT's planned £12.5bn merger with EE has provisionally been given the greenlight by Blighty's Competitions and Markets Authority. The regulator said this morning that the proposed acquisition, which is expected to be completed by March next year, was "not expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in any …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Oct 2015
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Top watchdog probes IBM over 'transactions in US, UK, Ireland'

IBM's stock price has taken a hit after the tech titan revealed it is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Big Blue said in its latest 10-Q filing that for the past two months, the financial watchdog has been looking into its accounting practices. "In August 2015, IBM learned that the SEC is …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Oct 2015
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Virgin Media whines about Sky's customer service claims, ad watchdog agrees

It's been a quiet year for ISPs being placed on the naughty step by the UK's advertising watchdog. But today, Sky has been admonished for making misleading and unsubstantiated claims about its customer service. Rival Virgin Media successfully challenged the methodology used by Sky, in which it had boasted that it offered " …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015
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Blighty competition watchdog pokes pointy finger into cloud storage

Price hikes and last-minute service tweaks to cloud storage offerings have caught unwanted attention from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority. The regulator confirmed on Tuesday morning that it planned to carry out a review of the market, following concerns expressed by consumers. It will consider whether practices and …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Dec 2015
Apple iBooks

ebook price-fixing saga: Apple rids self of court-appointed watchdog

The watchdog assigned to keep close tabs on Apple after it inflated ebook prices has been told to go home by a US court. In 2013, Apple was found to have conspired with publishers to fix the prices of digital books. The Cupertino goliath was ordered by a court to allow an independent monitor into its hallowed halls and inspect …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Oct 2015
1950s style illustration - Smiling woman talks into rotary phone

Competition watchdog to rubberstamp BT gobble of EE

Blighty's competition watchdog is expected to wave through the £12.5bn acquisition of EE by BT this week, in its final piece of paperwork before the two become one in March. The deal will create the first fully integrated "quadplay" company, offering fixed-line phones, broadband, mobile and TV. But of potentially greater …
Kat Hall, 13 Jan 2016
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Ad watchdog terminates Vodafone's cherry-picked 'unbeatable connecting calls' claims

Blighty's ad watchdog has given Vodafone a ticking off following a complaint from rival carrier Three, which successfully challenged the firm's "unbeatable at connecting calls" claims. A press and website advert were found to have cherry-picked locations across the UK to support Voda's assertion that it was "unbeatable" at …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Sep 2015
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
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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
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Competition watchdog dismisses plans by TfL to uber-regulate Uber

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) today dismissed proposals by Transport for London to introduce new regulation to tighten its grip over private hire companies such as Uber. Responding to proposals suggested last month by the regional transport body, the spending watchdog said TfL should take care to avoid …
Kat Hall, 02 Dec 2015
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US watchdog POKES STICK at Google's Android over rival-blocking allegations

Google's alleged blocking of rivals' apps and services on its Android phones and tablets has reportedly led to unwanted scrutiny from US regulators. Officials at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have apparently been poking around the ad giant’s mobile OS business. Representatives from the watchdog have – according to a …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Sep 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 …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Apr 2015

Silicon Valley freeze-out: EU watchdog tells firms clock is ticking to limit data transfers

Companies have been put on notice by Brussel's top privacy bod, who has warned them that the transfer of EU citizens' data to the US must be limited – and this must happen soon. It comes several weeks after a landmark decision in the European Court of Justice nullified the questionable US-EU Safe Harbour Agreement. "No one …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Oct 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

EU privacy watchdog calls for new controls on surveillance tech export

EU controls on the export of technologies that can be used for communications surveillance and interception should be enhanced, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has said. EDPS Giovanni Buttarelli highlighted the risks of surveillance and interception technologies being misused (16-page / 1.12MB PDF) in a recently …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Dec 2015
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Ex-competition watchdog and TalkTalk adviser calls for Openreach split from BT

Another day, and another person steps forward to add their voice to the chorus of people demanding that BT breaks away from its Openreach division. This time, it's ex-Office of Fair Trading head John Fingleton who has been whinging about BT's powerful position in the broadband market in Blighty. As noted by the Financial …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 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
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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
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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
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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
Google nutella

Who probes the Google probers? EU Commish in watchdog's sights

As the European Commission puts the screws on Google, the Commish itself is to be probed by the European Ombudsman over its handling of the long-running anti-trust case. The Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, confirmed in writing on Monday that she will investigate concerns raised by French company Interactive Lab, following its …
Jennifer Baker, 22 Sep 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

EU privacy watchdog calls for more ‘processing of personal data’ transparency

Businesses should provide people with an "opt out" right to object to the processing of their personal data when they make an assessment that consent is not necessary as part of a big data project, an EU privacy watchdog has said. European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Giovanni Buttarelli said, though, that "more efforts …
OUT-LAW.COM, 30 Nov 2015
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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

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
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Bezos battery-box bomb beef brouhaha begins as UK watchdog hauls Amazon to court

The court date for a legal showdown between Amazon and the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has been set, with the parties to fight it out over allegations that Amazon broke safety rules in transporting lithium ion batteries. The CAA claims Amazon flouted rules for shipping lithium-ion batteries, which are potentially highly …
Kat Hall, 01 Oct 2015
Nvidia GeForce

US trade watchdog rules Sammy, Qualcomm DIDN'T infringe Nvidia's IP in patent WAR

Nvidia has suffered a major setback in its patent case against Samsung and Qualcomm, after a US regulator – in a preliminary decision – cleared the companies of any wrongdoing. On Friday, graphics chip maker Nvidia said that it would seek a full review from the International Trade Commission, in light of the ruling. The ITC's …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Oct 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 …
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
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Iron Mountain stars in total Recall: Watchdog probes rival biz gobble

Document and data storer Iron Mountain wants to buy Recall – and the UK monopoly regulator is alarmed. Iron Mountain put in a $2.6bn (£1.77bn, AU$3.4bn) bid to buy Recall Holdings Ltd in June 2015. Recall shareholders would get $0.50 plus 0.1722 Iron Mountain shares for each Recall share owned. Alternatively, Recall …
Chris Mellor, 04 Jan 2016

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

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

UK watchdog offers 'safe harbor' advice on US data transfers

David Smith, deputy information commissioner, said businesses should "take stock" of their data transfer arrangements and review whether they provide adequate protection of personal data, as is required by EU law. Smith's comments follow a ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) earlier this month. The CJEU ruled that …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Oct 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
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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
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US eco watchdog's shock warning: Fresh engine pollution cheatware tests coming

Car makers have been warned by regulators that all light vehicle models in the US will be inspected to make sure no manufacturers are gaming air pollutions tests, Volkswagen-style. A week ago the The US Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Volkswagen had used engine management software to detect when a motor was …
Iain Thomson, 25 Sep 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

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

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 …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Apr 2015
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US trade watchdog to FBI: 'You think the crims won't know about the backdoor too?'

QuoTW What a week it has been. We've seen dangerous dating sites, crazy gaming rigs and crooked Wikipedia mods. Now on to some of our favourite quips: FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny dropped a bit of common sense on the FBI's demands of backdoors for law enforcement. She explained her own (more rational) position thusly: Some …
Team Register, 06 Sep 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

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

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

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

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