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Rebecca Hill

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EU flag photo via Shutterstock

EU's data protection bods join the party to investigate Uber breach

The massive Uber data breach will be discussed by the European Union's data protection authorities next week. The group, known as the Article 29 Working Party, is meeting on November 28-29 and has put the hack, which affected 57 million users, high on its agenda. A spokeswoman for the group, which is chaired by Isabelle …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Nov 2017

Another toothless wonder? Why the UK.gov's data ethics centre needs clout

Amid myriad bodies offering advice, opinions and rulings on the use of data springing up all over the shop, the government used the Budget to announce plans to create yet another. The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation is described (PDF) as "a world-first advisory body to enable and ensure safe, ethical innovation in …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Nov 2017
Man stroking his chin deep in thought

Someone told Google to nuke links to mean reviews of disgraced telco True Telecom

Links to pages slating a telco slapped with multiple fines from UK regulators have been wiped from Google's search results after a claimant asked the search giant to chuck them down a sinkhole. Dartford-based phone and broadband provider True Telecom was this month fined £300,000 by Ofcom. And earlier this year the ICO, the …
Rebecca Hill, 23 Nov 2017
An angry woman steaming from the ears

You're such a goober, Uber: UK regulators blast hushed breach

Brit regulators, security agencies and MPs have slammed Uber for covering up the massive data breach of 57 million customer and driver records. The company – already in hot water in London for its failure to toe the regulatory lines required of a taxi firm – has been widely condemned for concealing the 2016 breach. The UK's …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Nov 2017

Peers told to push for cut-price access to med tech developed with NHS data

The UK's health service should get cheaper rates on healthcare products developed using NHS data, peers have been told. In the latest installation of the House of Lords Artificial Intelligence Committee's eponymous inquiry, peers quizzed experts on whether the NHS risked under-valuing - or failing to realise the value of - its …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Nov 2017

Borat creator offers to cover mankini fines. Is nice!

Borat creator Brit comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has said he'll pay the fines handed to a group of mankini-clad Czech tourists by Kazakhstani authorities. Cohen's character hit the big screens back in 2006 with the eponymous film Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, where the lead …
Rebecca Hill, 22 Nov 2017

Don't sweat Brexit, big biz told: Your shiny data protection sticker will remain intact

Multinationals whose data protection compliance was rubberstamped by the UK's privacy regulator have been assured they won't be stripped of the authorisation after Brexit. Firms that wish to move personal data out of the European Economic Area have to demonstrate that they abide by EU data protection rules. They can do this …
Rebecca Hill, 21 Nov 2017
kids in classroom with raised hands

Germany slaps ban on kids' smartwatches for being 'secret spyware'

The German telecoms regulator has banned the sale of children's smartwatches that allow users to secretly listen in on nearby conversations. The move is the latest in a string of actions taken by the Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, against devices that allow people to snoop on each other. The agency said the …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Nov 2017
Used car salesman flogs watches from his undercoat

UK.gov 'could easily' flog 6m driver records to private firms this year

The UK government is driving towards a sale of up to 6 million vehicle records to private parking firms, according to a transport lobby group. The RAC Foundation monitors the number of vehicle-keeper records that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency sells to firms, which use them to issue car owners with fines for parking …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Nov 2017
Doctors run to save patient. Photo by Shutterstock

UK.gov told to tread carefully with transfer of data sets to NHS Digital

The UK government has been advised against a hasty shift of vital data sets from one quango to another as it aims to centralise medical data collection and management. Data on disease diagnoses, treatment and outcomes is a crucial resource for the health service, and the government has argued that better links between various …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Nov 2017
Metropolitan police image via Shutterstock

For goodness sake, stop the plod using facial recog, London mayor told

London's Metropolitan Police force's use of "intrusive" technologies "without proper regulation" could put a fundamental principle of policing at risk, the London mayor has been told. In a letter (PDF) to Sadiq Khan, the Greater London Assembly – the group elected to hold the mayor to account – expressed "significant concerns …
Rebecca Hill, 17 Nov 2017
Sparks photo via Shutterstock

Sparks fly as Databricks buddies up with Microsoft in the cloud

Databricks and Microsoft are getting cosy in the cloud, in a move that will give the Spark-wrangling company access to a new set of customers. The pair have launched Azure Databricks, which deploys the analytic company's tech as a first-party service on Microsoft's cloud platform. That's a much closer relationship than …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Nov 2017
Woman thumbs down, image via Shutterstock

Oracle stockholders don't like exec mega-awards or gender pay gap transparency

Oracle's stockholders have voted against the company's amended executive pay plan, along with a proposal for greater transparency on its gender pay gap. The new exec pay package would give CTO Larry Ellison and joint CEOs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd pay packets worth more than $100m, and is, for the first time, entirely tied to …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Nov 2017
Image by beccarra http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1124891p1.html

Privacy Pass protocol promises private perusing

Boffins have harnessed privacy-preserving crypto to create a browser extension that allows users to authenticate to services without being tracked. The extension, Privacy Pass, offers people another way to authenticate themselves without having to repeatedly solve internet challenge-response tests like CAPTCHAs. Alex Davidson …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Nov 2017
Max Schrems

EU court advised: Schrems is a consumer in Facebook case, but can't file class-action

Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems' bid to bring a class-action lawsuit against Facebook has been dealt a blow by the advocate general advising the European Court of Justice. The PhD student has been embroiled in a years-long battle with Facebook over its privacy policies and data-sharing with US spy agencies. It has seen …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Nov 2017
Landfill filled with computers

Brit cops slammed for failing to give answers on digital device data slurpage

Police forces have been urged to keep better records on how much data they slurp from the hundreds of thousands of digital devices they seize, and how it is used. Campaign group Big Brother Watch issued the demands after a largely unsuccessful mission to assess just how much data the forces extract from devices they've seized …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Nov 2017
A group of Playmobil pirates

Shiver me timbers! 67cm Playmobil pirate ship sets sail for Caribbean

A Playmobil pirate ship has been launched off the west coast of Africa after stowing away on a full-size Norwegian vessel. The toy ship, named Adventure, was launched in May by two Scottish brothers – Ollie Ferguson, 8, and Harry, 5 – and their family as an update to the tired message-in-a-bottle trope. Chilling evidence …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Nov 2017

Word on the Rimini Street: Software support firm smiles through Oracle pain

Oracle and SAP support firm Rimini Street has reported an increase in revenues in its first quarterly results since being listed on the NASDAQ. The firm brought in $53.6m in the three months ending September 30, up 32 per cent on the same quarter in 2016. It also cut its net loss in two, dropping to $9m in Q3 2017, from $15. …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Nov 2017
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Activists launch legal challenge against NHS patient data-sharing deal

A civil rights group has launched a legal challenge in the UK against a deal that asks the NHS to share patient data for immigration enforcement. The agreement allows the Home Office to ask the NHS to hand over non-clinical information on patients – like date of birth or last known address – for immigration offences, such as …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Nov 2017

MongoDB update plugs security hole and sets sights on the enterprise

Document database-flinger MongoDB has long positioned itself as the dev's best friend, but after ten years it is now fluffing itself up for the enterprise. The firm, which went public just last month and hopes to earn up to $220m, has now launched the latest version of its database, which aims to appeal to these bigger …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Nov 2017

IBM leads BigInsights for Hadoop out behind barn. Shots heard

IBM has announced the retirement of the basic plan for its data analytics software platform, BigInsights for Hadoop. The basic plan of the service will be retired in a month, on December 7 of this year. IBM said the enterprise plan would continue to be available. As of December 6, 2017, new BigInsights for Hadoop (basic plan …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Nov 2017

UK's surveillance regime challenged in landmark European court hearing

The UK's surveillance laws have been put under the spotlight today as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) heard legal complaints against the government's spying powers. The landmark hearing in Strasbourg is the first time the court has been asked to rule on the legality of the UK's surveillance laws. It is part of an …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Nov 2017

Commuters' phone data could be tracked to save megabucks on census

Mobile phone data could be used to gather information on people's workplaces for future censuses as the government tries to cut the cost of producing population statistics. The census is crucial for understanding the UK's population and has been run around every ten years since 1801. Residents are legally required to respond …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Nov 2017

will.i.am's tech tat biz is going enterprise, snags $117m from Salesforce

Would-be entrepreneur and tech magpie will.i.am's startup, i.am+, has bagged $117m venture funding from Salesforce. The former Black Eyed Peas frontman's firm makes a whole load of consumer tech – from phone cases and earphones to wearables – that nobody particularly uses or rates. So the next obvious step is surely to enter …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Nov 2017
google_vs_ms_648

Transparent algorithms? Here's why that's a bad idea, Google tells MPs

Opening up the processes that underpin algorithms may well magnify the risk of hacking, widen privacy concerns and stifle innovation, Google has told MPs in the UK. The comments came in Google's response to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee's inquiry into algorithmic decision-making, which is questioning …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Nov 2017

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