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Rebecca Hill

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Michel Barnier, chief EU Brexit negotiator tells companies to draft contracts for data flows just in case they screw up Brexit

The UK government has told companies to start drawing up standard contractural clauses for data transfers in case of a no-deal Brexit. The warning comes in latest batch of technical notices released to allow organisations to prepare for the event it doesn't manage to negotiate exit terms with the European Union before March …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Sep 2018
Man furtively types on laptop in server room

Top Euro court: UK's former snooping regime breached human rights

The UK government breached human rights rules by failing to ensure proper oversight of its mass surveillance programmes, according to the European Court of Human Rights. In a judgment handed down today, the court said the safeguards within the government's system for bulk interception of communication were not robust enough to …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Sep 2018
Man stroking his chin deep in thought

Gartner: Governments want to be digital, but just can't scale it up

Government digital initiatives are limping behind other industries – and the public sector is more likely to outsource for help, according to analyst firm Gartner. Although government bods in the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, India and Singapore polled by the firm claimed that digital was high on their agendas, their ability …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Sep 2018
Infinite stockpile of tinned food

We're doomed: Defra's having a cow over its Brexit IT preparations

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs isn't ready for a no-deal Brexit, and hasn't ensured new IT systems will be capable of dealing with future demand, the UK's spending watchdog has warned. In a report on Defra's progress in implementing Brexit, published today, the National Audit Office said the department …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Sep 2018

First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

The UK's former Home Secretary Amber Rudd has shrugged off years of concerns about ID cards and called for a state-backed system based on NHS numbers – on the grounds that people already hand over masses of info to private firms. Writing for The Times' Red Box, Rudd said the balance between the "sheer ubiquitousness" of …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Sep 2018

Oracle tells students: You're not going to solve the world's problems – but AI and ML might

Not content with foisting buzzwords on customers, Oracle is now pushing artificial intelligence and machine learning at students. The data science technologies are two of the latest additions to the curriculum of its Oracle Academy, which is ostensibly to boost training in academic institutions. The scheme is a free …
Rebecca Hill, 12 Sep 2018

MPs' proposal to cash in on public-private algos given a solid 'maybe'

The UK government has tentatively accepted calls from MPs to monetise public sector data – but would rather brag about existing efforts to encourage responsible use of algorithms. The House of Commons Science and Technology issued its report on algorithmic decision-making in May, and the government has this week published its …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Sep 2018
woman holds contract agreement to sign

Yada yada, take my money: Firms do not scrutinise software support spend – report

Companies waste cash by failing to scrutinise software maintenance and support spend, with contract renewal seen as the line of least resistance, the Campaign for Clear Licensing has said. According to the campaign's research, just 10 per cent of companies invested in IT asset management (ITAM) when deciding to renew their …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Sep 2018
Censored Stamp

Expanding Right To Be Forgotten slippery slope to global censorship, warn free speech fans

Europe's top court will tomorrow hear a case that could extend the scope of right to be forgotten rules globally – which free speech campaigners warn would amount to mass online censorship. The French data protection agency (CNIL) is pushing to broaden a landmark 2014 ruling (Google Spain v Gonzalez et al) that said Google …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Sep 2018

Activists rattle tin to take UK's pr0n block to court

Campaigners are crowdfunding a legal challenge against plans to block smut in the UK. The government last year signed off on controversial plans to require online porn providers to check their users are over 18 before letting them into the site. The age-verification (AV) measures, ostensibly to stop kids stumbling across sex …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Sep 2018
Facepalm, photo via Shutterstock went ahead with under-planned, under-funded IT upgrade? Sounds about right

An "under-planned and underfunded" IT upgrade delayed national security vetting and is costing about £17m a year in inefficiencies, according to the UK government's spending watchdog. The National Audit Office carried out an investigation into national security vetting after complaints of severe delays to the process, which …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Sep 2018
penny wise but pound foolish

A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds

Who, Me? Welcome once more to Who, Me?, where El Reg readers share their IT catastrophes. And it doesn't get much more catastrophic than this week's story from "Marty". At the time of the incident, Marty was working in the trenches at a financial institution. "When I was first employed, the rack-mount servers for our division were …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Sep 2018

PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

Brits will have to opt in to receive cold calls selling personal injury claims or payment protection insurance under new UK government rules. The powers, which came into force on 8 September, will require payment protection insurance (PPI) pushers to check that the person has consented to being contacted. This is in contrast …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Sep 2018
man crying, image via Shutterstock

Is someone chopping onions? Oracle cloud boss bids colleagues emotional farewell

Oracle's cloud guru Thomas Kurian has reportedly taken extended leave from the firm. Kurian, who has been with Big Red since 1996 and leads a team of 35,000 engineers across 35 countries, told colleagues the news in an email. "By now many of you may have heard that I have decided to take extended time off from Oracle," he …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Sep 2018
couple shrugging

People's confidence in orgs holding personal data is... on the rise?

People are more trusting with their data than they were last year – despite data harvesting and breaches dominating news agendas throughout 2018. According to a survey commissioned by the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, one in three people reported high trust and confidence in organisations that store their personal …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Sep 2018
A male hand scrubs a floor

A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

On-Call The end of the week is upon us, which of course means another instalment of On Call, El Reg’s column where our dear readers share their tech support crises. And this time, we hear from “Barry”, who ignored some sage career advice not to follow his teenage heart into electronics “because it was a hobby”. Instead, he started …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Sep 2018
still from movie 1984... Big Brother on the white screen

Activists raise alarm over insidious creep of surveillance in the UK

Campaigners have sounded a fresh alarm against the normalisation of surveillance across the UK, the effects of the “nothing to fear, nothing to hide” rhetoric, and unchecked experiments with public data-sharing. The warnings come in Big Brother Watch’s latest report, The State of Surveillance 2018 (PDF), which brings together …
Rebecca Hill, 7 Sep 2018
Is my watch broken?

Cloudera and MongoDB execs: Time is running out for legacy vendors

"Antipathy" towards legacy database vendors is at an all-time high because Internet of Things data is arriving too fast for them to handle – so say execs at two competitors that went public last year. Both Cloudera and MongoDB released positive results for the second quarter of fiscal 2019 yesterday. For the three months to …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Sep 2018
Screengrab from Brit MP MATT HANCOCK's new app

Creaky systems 'cost lives': Health secretary Matt Hancock pledges to solve NHS IT woes

Faltering NHS IT systems are "costing lives", health secretary Matt Hancock has said ahead of announcing a further £200m for trusts to create digital testbeds. The former Minister of Fun will take to the stage at the NHS Expo in Manchester this afternoon for one of his first major speeches since taking over from Jeremy Hunt. …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Sep 2018
man in front of laptop puts head in hands - despairing's no-deal plans leave HMRC customs, VAT systems scrambling to keep up

The government's no-deal Brexit scenario has thrown another technical spanner into HMRC's works, as bosses admitted delivering the plan would put a strain on its other work. A fully functional, optimal system will not be in place on 1 April 2019 – HMRC bosses At the same time, the final release of the new Customs …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Sep 2018 NHS should be compensated by firms using its data goldmine

The UK government has said the NHS should be "fairly rewarded" by private firms that slurp patients' data. Outlining proposals for a code of conduct for data-driven care technologies, health minister James O'Shaughnessy said the aim is to create a "safe and trusted environment" for healthcare innovation. The Technology …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Sep 2018
running from the taxman

European nations told to sort out 'digital tax' on tech giants by end of year

Warring European governments have been urged to quickly come to an interim agreement on a levy on tech giants’ revenues – and could drop plans to tax the sale of users’ data to get there. The Austrian presidency of the EU is pressing for member states to agree to a temporary solution for the bloc. The presidency is reported to …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Sep 2018
Pentagon - building - houses the US dept of defense in Arlington Virginia

Cloud-slingers get 3-week extension to pitch for Pentagon's JEDI contract

The Pentagon has pushed back the deadline for its $10bn cloud services contract by three weeks. Vendors planning to bid for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract – to cover different levels of secrecy and classification across all branches of the US military – will now have until 9 October. The US …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Sep 2018
fly tipping a**holes leave washing machine in a forest.

Software dev-turned-councillor launches rubbish* chatbot

A local politician has launched his own chatbot, in what El Reg can only imagine is a bid to one-up health secretary Matt Hancock. Software developer Mike Rouse, who was elected to Redditch Borough Council in May by the skin of his teeth, winning by just one vote, is aiming to clean up the streets using his bot. Or, more …
Rebecca Hill, 5 Sep 2018
Oh my god!

Cock-ups, rather than conspiracies, top self-reported data breaches

Data breaches at organisations that 'fess up to the UK's data protection watchdog are about seven times more likely to be caused by human error than hackers. According to data released under the Freedom of Information Act, 2,124 incidents reported by organisations in 2017-18 could be pinned on mistakes or incompetence. Only …
Rebecca Hill, 4 Sep 2018

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