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Articles about Privacy

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
US Supreme Court

Microsoft's top legal eagle: US cannot ignore foreign privacy laws

Microsoft's top legal eagle is standing firmly against the US government's attempts to force it to hand over users' data stored outside the US. In a blog post, Microsoft’s general counsel and exec veep Brad Smith said that he believes the law is on the company's side as it resists attempts to force it to turn over a customer’s …
Jennifer Baker, 10 Apr 2015
US Pentagon. Pic: DoD photo by MSgt Ken Hammond, USAF

Respect mah privacy! EU delegation begs US to play nice with data

A delegation of MEPs is in Washington this week to put pressure on the US authorities to respect EU privacy laws. The 11-strong group from the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) is led by British Labour MEP Claude Moraes. He said the Parliament hasn’t forgotten about the National Security Agency (NSA)'s …
Jennifer Baker, 17 Mar 2015

Three-way EU Big Data privacy wrestling match kicks off

The EU will take a big step towards finalising measures to protect its citizens' privacy today, as negotiators from member states, the European Commission, and the European Parliament will come together for the first time to thrash out an agreement on the EU’s planned data protection law. The Parliament agreed its position on …
Jennifer Baker, 24 Jun 2015

Silicon Valley powers: Let mass spying die in May 2015 – it's bad for privacy (and business)

Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Yahoo! – and many, many others – have appealed to American politicians and g-men to rein in mass digital surveillance this May, and bring the intelligence community under some kind of effective oversight. "It has been nearly two years since the first news stories revealed the scope of the …
Iain Thomson, 26 Mar 2015
Gary Kovacs, CEO of AVG. Pic: World Economic Forum

'Get your privacy policy down to one page': AVG CEO throws glove down

Interview The Register caught up with AVG (and ex Mozilla) CEO Gary Kovacs at Mobile World Congress last week. AVG is talking up its Zen security product – a sort of mobile device management for the home – which Kovacs says is extending to cover Internet of Things (IoT). “You will be able to manage your wearables as well as the key parts …
Tim Anderson, 13 Mar 2015

EU privacy A-Team tells Google: Get a grip and obey OUR laws

The EU's advisory panel on privacy and data protection has warned Google to comply with Europe's laws in an unusually strongly worded statement. The Article 29 Working Party vowed to investigate if Google refused to abide by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling – Google Spain v Gonzalez et al – that decreed Google was not …
Andrew Orlowski, 09 Jun 2014
management regulation1

Microsoft: Look at our cloudy privacy award. Isn't it so ... meaningful?

Microsoft is in self-licking lollipop mode after its cloudy wares passed the privacy water mark set by the International Organisation for Standardisation, letting it paper over customers’ concerns. Data sovereignty is a major hurdle for global companies trying to sign up customers to the fluffy white stuff, particularly in …
Paul Kunert, 16 Feb 2015

EqualLogic founder Paula Long on privacy, storage sprawl and her new startup

Interview After selling EqualLogic, the company she founded, to Dell in 2007, Paula Long wanted to get back in the storage business with what she considered a game-changing idea: data-aware storage. DataGravity was founded to bring this technology to market, and won the "best of show" award at VMworld 2014 in the new technology category …
Uncov chronicles the failure of Web 2.0

KCOM caught in yet ANOTHER customer privacy snafu

Hull-based telco KCOM has coughed to another privacy clanger - this time admitting to wrongly sharing some of its customers' email addresses with other subscribers. But it's unclear whether the ISP has turned itself into the Information Commissioner's Office to report the latest data protection cockup. The Register has asked …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Mar 2014
Video camera

Anonymity is the enemy of privacy, says RSA grand fromage

RSA Europe 2013 A dogmatic allegiance to anonymity is threatening privacy, according to Art Coviello, executive chairman of RSA. Coviello cast anonymity as the "enemy of privacy" because it gives "free reign to our networks to adversaries" with "no risk of discovery or prosecution." The head of EMC's security division told delegates at the RSA …
John Leyden, 29 Oct 2013
fingers pointing at man

Data Retention Directive CLASHES with EU citizens' privacy rights, says top lawman

A seven-year-old EU directive that requires telecoms outfits to retain details of phone calls and emails - such as traffic and location - clashes with the 28-member bloc's privacy rights for citizens, a Court of Justice Advocate General has said. Pedro Cruz Villalón believes that the 2006 data retention directive "constitutes a …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Dec 2013

US to strengthen privacy rights for Euro bods' personal data transfers

The US will take steps before the summer to comprehensively strengthen the "Safe Harbour" framework that helps facilitate some transfers of personal data to the US from the EU. The commitment to improve privacy protections (10-page/445KB PDF) was contained in a joint statement issued on behalf of senior officials from the EU and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Mar 2014

UK data cops to Google: You've got three months to sort out privacy

Google has been ordered by Britain's data watchdog to make changes to its privacy policy within the next three months, or else face a possible fine for failing to comply with the Data Protection Act. The Information Commissioner's Office said late on Thursday: We have today written to Google to confirm our findings relating to …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Jul 2013
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

'I don't trust Microsoft' after NSA disclosures says former privacy chief

Caspar Bowden, who was Microsoft's European chief privacy advisor from 2002 to 2011, has said that he no longer trusts his former employer after the disclosures about its involvement in NSA surveillance schemes. Speaking at the Congress on Privacy and Surveillance in Switzerland on Monday, Bowden said that he wasn't aware of …
Iain Thomson, 01 Oct 2013

BT: Whew, we've been cleared of major privacy breach. Oh SNAP, another webmail blunder

Exclusive BT has been cleared of a serious data protection violation by the UK's privacy watchdog, The Register has learned. A probe into the one-time national telco's webmail system was carried out by the Information Commissioner's Office after a whistleblower exposed evidence that appeared to show BT's customer email accounts were being …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Jul 2014

RSA boss demands revamp of outdated privacy, security regs

RSA Europe Corporate security policies that simply adopt regulations and obsess over privacy are stuck in the last century, according to senior execs at security biz RSA. Tom Heiser, president of the EMC-owned outfit, told delegates to the RSA Europe conference that efforts to comply with red tape and standards is fruitless as the rules …
John Leyden, 10 Oct 2012

Most UK privacy cock-ups are 'careless' spaffing of personal data - watchdog

Most of the data breach incidents analysed by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in a three-month period earlier this year concerned errors in the way personal information was disclosed, the watchdog has said. The ICO said that it had looked at 335 data breach incidents between 1 April and 30 June 2013 and found that in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 13 Aug 2013
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
Data Centre

EU steps (marginally, tentatively) towards new data protection law

European ministers are expected to reach some sort of agreement on new data protection laws later today, according to reports and sources, although discussions before a final decision are set to continue for months yet. Justice and Home Affairs ministers from across the EU are meeting Monday in Luxembourg and the main item on …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Jun 2015
Amazon data center

Amazon's clouds are da bomb, say EU data protection watchdogs

Amazon’s cloud services have been declared safe by Europe’s privacy rights watchdogs. The Article 29 Working Party (a group made up of all Europe’s national data protection authorities), led by the Luxembourgish CNPD, has found that Amazon Web Services’ standard contractual clauses meet all the requirements of EU data protection …
Jennifer Baker, 01 Apr 2015

Private cloud is NOT dead – and for one good reason: Control of data

Comment Reports that private clouds are dead are greatly exaggerated. Far from being dead, IDC’s latest research shows that private clouds are expected to grow at the same rate as public clouds for the next five years. This will not surprise anyone who has worked in or with an enterprise IT operation. Even public cloud giant AWS is …
Greg Knieriemen, 05 Jun 2015
NSA parody T-shirt

PATRIOT Act axed, NSA spying halted ... wake up, Neo, it's just a dream in the US House of Reps

A law bill introduced in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday seeks to abolish the Patriot Act, ban Uncle Sam from forcing backdoors into technology, and safeguard whistleblowers like Edward Snowden. Ever since Snowden leaked top-secret files detailing the NSA and GCHQ's global surveillance of innocent people, there have …
Iain Thomson, 25 Mar 2015
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

GCHQ gros fromage stays schtum on Snowden and snooping

Infosec 2015 A top GCHQ official opened the Infosecurity Europe trade show in London with an on-message keynote that focused on promoting best practice rather than dealing with Edward Snowden and the ongoing controversy over the so-called Snoopers’ Charter. Ciaran Martin, director general of cyber-security at GCHQ, gave a broad overview of …
John Leyden, 02 Jun 2015

VPNs are so insecure you might as well wear a KICK ME sign

A team of five researchers from universities in London and Rome have identified that 14 of the top commercial virtual private networks in the world leak IP data. Vasile C. Perta, Marco V. Barbera, and Alessandro Mei of Sapienza University of Rome, together with Gareth Tyson, and Hamed Haddadi of the Queen Mary University of …
Darren Pauli, 30 Jun 2015

Microsoft tries to defend Irish servers from US g-men invasion, again

Microsoft is continuing its battle against US demands that it hand over e-mail data stored in Ireland, arguing in its appeal that the US government would resist any demand by a foreign government that it hand over data stored in America. Detailed at Digital Constitution, the Microsoft brief filed on December 8 puts the …
Tubbs from the League of Gentlemen. Illustration by Doeth Gwraig

Warning to those who covet the data of Internet of Precious Things

Data generated by devices in the "internet of things" age should be "regarded and treated as personal data", data protection authorities from across the globe have agreed. The watchdogs said it is "more likely than not" that such data can be attributed to individuals. "Internet of things’ sensor data is high in quantity, …
OUT-LAW.COM, 22 Oct 2014
Sad cloud

Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals

Apple, Microsoft, HP and other cloud giants are begging Europe for help to stop US feds seizing customers’ data from servers on the Continent. A policy paper [PDF] published on Friday by DigitalEurope – which represents the above goliaths – urged the European Commission to wade into an ongoing legal fight between Uncle Sam and …
Jennifer Baker, 14 Nov 2014

Dell denies 'insecure autoupdate app' flings open PC backdoor

Dell has denied building backdoors into its kit following a security researcher's discovery of an insecure update assistant app. Tom Forbes alleges that the Dell Service Tag Detector app* is so insecure that it creates a backdoor on machines it is installed upon. More specifically, Forbes alleges that the app caries a Remote …
John Leyden, 24 Mar 2015
snowden SXSW

Snowden tells tech bigwigs: It's up to you to thwart mass surveillance

SXSW 2015 In a quietly arranged Q&A session at South by Southwest (SXSW) on Sunday morning, Edward Snowden told about thirty influential people from the tech world that the onus for thwarting mass surveillance was falling to them. Snowden had previously spoken at SXSW with the American Civil Liberties Union, explaining to attendees the “ …
Scotland

Take that NATS! Jocko IT is also totally rubbish. BOOM!

Scottish nationalists have a lot more in common with their Sassenach cousins than they'd like to admit, with both nations seemingly equally crap at IT. A report by the country's spend watchdog Audit Scotland found the government "Continue[s] to encounter difficulties" in managing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) …
Kat Hall, 19 Jun 2015

Oracle plans German DCs to soothe NSA-ruffled nerves

Oracle has become the latest US IT giant to placate European businesses with extra local data centres. According to V3.co.uk, the company's Loïc le Guisquet, EMEA executive veep, told Oracle's OpenWorld conference on Sunday that there will be two new bit barns opened in Germany in the coming weeks. The Frankfurt and Munich …
man_from_uncle_648

GCHQ: Security software? We'll soon see about THAT

The UK's spook agency GCHQ has been working with the National Security Agency to subvert anti-virus software, according to the latest piece of spoon-fed Snowden info reported on The Intercept. According to Glenn Greenwald's rag, spooks reverse-engineered software products in order to obtain intel – a tactic that will surely come …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2015

Apple's Cook: We have never allowed g-men access to Apple servers

Apple has made some amendments to its privacy policy, and has used the occasion to run an open letter from CEO Tim Cook explaining the changes. Taking a swipe at Google and others, Cook tells the world that since Apple's income is products, not profiles, “we don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing …
Pierce Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies

ISPs haul GCHQ into COURT over dragnet interwebs snooping

Britain's eavesdropping nerve centre GCHQ has been accused of unlawfully accessing the private communications of potentially millions of people – and angry internet service providers are dragging the snooping agency to court. ISPs and organisations from the US, UK, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Korea and Germany have teamed up with …
Kelly Fiveash, 02 Jul 2014
Padlocks by Simon Cocks Flickr CC2 license

Redmond promises even MORE cloudy crypto

Get ready for the spooks to howl: Microsoft Research has developed another layer of security to lock up customer data in the cloud. What the Redmond boffins dub "VC3" – Verifiable Confidential Cloud Computing – takes advantage of Intel's SGX command set to create a “lockbox” for customers running MapReduce computations in the …

Labour manifesto: Tech Bacc, not-spot zapping and hi-speed interwebs

Election 2015 Labour was the first major party to kick off the round of pre-election pledges this week, releasing its 2015 General Election manifesto. Amid the usual list of vague-sounding promises were a number of familiar platitudes about plans to "build on our strengths as a leader in digital technology". "Labour will ensure that all parts …
Kat Hall, 13 Apr 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook, 2012

Apple CEO Tim Cook: My well-known gayness is 'a gift from GOD'

Apple bossman Tim Cook has come out as gay and has vowed to spend the rest of his life helping to "pave the sunlit path" towards equality and justice. Up until now, Cook's sexuality wasn't so much a secret as an unmentioned truth. He has frequently joined Pride marches and spoken openly about the mistreatment faced by gay people …
Jasper Hamill, 30 Oct 2014

Europe targeted as Alibaba's cloudy world domination plans take shape

Expansion-hungry Alibaba is set to increase the global reach of its cloudy biz Aliyun by opening a data centre in Europe, a senior hand has told El Reg. Derek Wang, chief architect of Aliyun's international cloud business, said the company intends to announce expansion plans into both the European and South-east Asian markets …
Kat Hall, 18 May 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

NHS blows £5 MILLION on delayed Care.data

Exclusive The NHS has so far wasted spent £5m on the controversial Care.data scheme, which has been hit by a series of delays due to a public outcry over plans to share personal medical info with world+dog, El Reg can reveal. According to a Freedom of Information response, NHS England spent £2.5m each in 2013/14 and 2014/15, with millions …
Kat Hall, 02 Jun 2015

€2 BILLION: Steelie Neelie wants US to pay for her Big Data splurge

Knowledge is power. That’s the message from Steelie Neelie as the EU Commission throws half a billion at “big data”. Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes announced the EC would contribute €500m to a €2.5bn scheme to leverage the power of big data. The rest will come from industry. According to the Commission, mastering big …
Jennifer Baker, 13 Oct 2014

Conservative manifesto: 5G, 'near universal' broadband and free mobes for PC Dixon

Election 2015 Hot on the heels of Labour, the Conservatives today launched their manifesto – which matched their rivals for the sheer lack of detail on tech-related policy. "We will ensure that Britain seizes the chance to be a world leader in the development of 5G, playing a key role in defining industry standards," read the manifesto. No …
Kat Hall, 14 Apr 2015
Adobe Media Server for HDS/HLS streams on HP servers

Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data

Apple, Cisco, Verizon and AT&T are considering joining Microsoft’s battle against the US government to safeguard customers' privacy – but European corps should also take note. Microsoft is embroiled in a legal case to resist US authorities’ efforts to seize emails stored on servers in Ireland. The warrant was issued in December …
Jennifer Baker, 23 Oct 2014

Ireland: Hey, you. America. Hands off Microsoft's email cloud servers

The Irish government today supported Microsoft in its ongoing fight against US prosecutors – who appear to want access to server hard drives anywhere in the world. Microsoft has garnered serious backing from the technology industry in its case against American investigators. The Feds believe they have the right to access emails …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2014

Microsoft makes 'business case' for marriage equality

Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith has put forward a business case for marriage equality. The “Microsoft on the issues” blog mostly spends most of its time on topics like privacy and education, so tackling marriage equality is a bit of a departure. Smith starts by saying marriage equality is important to Microsoft because …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Feb 2015
European Union Flag

Bone up on fresh EU privacy law - or end up in the clink, IT biz warned

McAfee Channel Summit Technology resellers, distributors and service providers need to be ready for the freshly proposed European Data Protection law, IDC has said. The analyst's research director of European security software Kevin Bailey said that end users were already preparing for the new rules of the incoming regulation, but the technology …
dropbox privacy security eye

Dropbox sees rival file-piles merely as dots in rearview mirror

A biz-research report says that cloudy pile-o-files Dropbox is currently walking away with the enterprise sync 'n' share market. The report (451 subscription required) shows a chart depicting Dropbox' dominance. The 451 organisation surveyed 1,000 users and found Dropbox led with circa 44 per cent, followed by Microsoft's …
Chris Mellor, 28 Nov 2014
Josh and some superheroes at Spiceworld 2013

CloudMask dons cape and sets foot on the mean streets of Blighty

Cloud-based security services firm CloudMask, whose technology offers to protect sensitive information in the cloud, even in the case of a network breach, launched in the UK on Tuesday. CloudMask's technology works on the premise that no one can be trusted with data - including cloud administrators, governments, employees, and …
John Leyden, 09 Sep 2014
Lego Godzilla

Japan's NTT whips out OpenStack cannon at cloud Godzilla AWS

Tokyo-headquartered NTT Communications has ruled out a head-to-head public-cloud fight with Amazon Web Services – despite NTT expanding its cloud systems globally. NTT execs said Thursday in London that the $112bn telecom and data giant would compete by offering public and private cloud, management, and data center services. …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Jul 2015
management regulation1

Microsoft challenges US gov over attempts to search overseas data

Microsoft has challenged a ruling that would allow US government authorities to search its overseas facilities. The company said in a petition filed to the US District Court for Southern New York that it objects to an order that would allow law enforcement to search all Microsoft-owned facilities worldwide. At the heart of the …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jun 2014

Opinion

Windows 10 on Surface 3

Tim Anderson

It's do-or-die for Microsoft's new operating system on 29 July
Wine Taps by N Wong, Flickr, CC 2.0 License

Simon Sharwood

Clouds sell compute by the glass. On-premises kitmakers want to sell wine-as-a-service

Greg Knieriemen

Privacy, security, information sovereignty, what we all want, right?
Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, speaking at Build 2015

Andrew Orlowski

Redmond devotees may as well have demanded manga desktop wallpaper

Features

Time to pull out the magnifying glass to swot up on those Ts&Cs
Android icon desktop toys
Nice devices, now speak 'enterprise' to me
Standard Form 86 reads like a biography of each intelligence worker
Protestor barricade image via Shutterstock
Breaking through the hardware barricades to a new network state