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Articles about Privacy

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
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
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
Video camera

Anonymity is the enemy of privacy, says RSA grand fromage

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

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

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

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

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

RSA boss demands revamp of outdated privacy, security regs

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

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
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

Senate introduces USA FREEDOM Act to curb NSA spying excesses

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced the USA FREEDOM Act to the US Senate and claims, that, if passed, the legislation will severely curtail the amount of mass surveillance that can be carried out by the NSA and others – provided you're a citizen of the land of the free. "This is a debate about Americans' fundamental …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2014
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

Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers

Microsoft has lost the first round in its fight to stop the US authorities from seizing customer data stored inside its overseas data centers. Following a two-hour hearing before the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, District Judge Loretta Preska ruled that a US warrant ordering Microsoft to …
Neil McAllister, 31 Jul 2014

British data cops: We need greater powers and more money

The UK's data privacy watchdog is lobbying for greater powers and funding after reporting a bumper workload. The latest annual report from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) (PDF) reveals that the bureau responded to a record number of data protection and freedom of information complaints in the year to April 2014. The …
John Leyden, 15 Jul 2014

Angela Merkel: Let US spies keep their internet. The EU will build its own

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has lent her support to the idea of building out new European data networks to help keep Europeans' email and other data out of the hands of US spies. In the latest edition of her weekly podcast on Saturday, Merkel said she planned to raise the issue among other topics in a meeting with French …
Neil McAllister, 17 Feb 2014
European Union Flag

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

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 …

Loss of unencrypted back-up disk costs UK prisons ministry £180K

The UK's Ministry of Justice has been fined £180,000 following the latest in a series of failures involving how prisons handle private information. The penalty (PDF) follows the loss of a back-up hard drive at HMP Erlestoke prison in Wiltshire back in May 2013. The *unencrypted* hard drive contained sensitive and confidential …
John Leyden, 26 Aug 2014
management regulation2

Redmond resists order to hand over overseas email

Microsoft is holding out against a US court order asking it to provide investigators with customers' personal information held offshore. In late July, Redmond was ordered to hand over emails relating to a US narcotics investigation. Microsoft had argued that since the messages were stored in Ireland, they were beyond the reach …
Microsoft 'Scroogled' mug

Leaked MS ad video parodies Chrome as surveillance tech

A leaked Microsoft ad, meant only for internal consumption, parodies a Google campaign as it portrays Google Chrome as a data-snaffling privacy-stealing parasite. Chrome is depicted as a surveillance technology to make money from private information for the benefit of Google. Redmond's slick propaganda video is a dig at Google …
John Leyden, 25 Nov 2013
Robot wearing mortar board and brandishing certificates

Microsoft changes cert test providers, hints at fun new exams

Microsoft will part ways with Prometric, the outfit that currently provides exams for some of Redmond's certifications. Prometric is on the outer as of December 31st, 2014 and Pearson Vue has the gig as of September 4th. The good news is that if you hold an unexpired, prepaid Prometric exam voucher you can use it at either …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2014

FORCE gov.uk suppliers to stick to 'open data principles' – MPs

UK government suppliers should be required to adhere to the same "open data principles" as government departments, a committee of MPs has proposed. The House of Commons' Public Administration Select Committee backed calls from UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, among others, for greater transparency in the …
OUT-LAW.COM, 20 Mar 2014
man_inks_deal_channel signs contract services

Microsoft promises no snooping in new fine print for web services

Microsoft has updated its Services Agreement, the legalese almost nobody bothers to read before clicking “I Agree” when signing up for online services. The changes are notable because Microsoft has been critical of Google's fine print in the “Scroogled” campaign pointing out that rival ad-slinging-based-on-search-results outfit …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jun 2014
gavel_judgment_channel

Microsoft tells judge: Hold us in contempt of court, we're NOT giving user emails to US govt

At Microsoft's own request, a judge has held the software giant in contempt of court for failing to comply with an order to give US authorities access to customer emails housed in a data center in Dublin, Ireland. Redmond's request was made jointly with government prosecutors, with the aim of expediting its appeal of the July 31 …
Neil McAllister, 10 Sep 2014
Internet of Things

'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece

Ten of the most popular Internet of Things devices contain an average of 25 security vulnerabilities, many severe, HP researchers have found. HP's investigators found 250 vulnerabilities across the Internet of Things (IoT) devices each of which had some form of cloud and remote mobile application component and nine that …
Darren Pauli, 30 Jul 2014

KCOM-owned Eclipse FAILS to cover up the password 'password'

A Register reader has exposed another privacy howler at KCOM - this time involving its Exeter-based ISP Eclipse Internet, which displays passwords in plain text to users via a webpage. Customers who log in to their personal Eclipse user site are somewhat surprisingly shown the password for their account. Today's tip of the hat …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jan 2014
Eel (Moray with shrimp in mouth)

NSA-proof Euro cloud gang: Cool idea, bro... until it turns into MARKET-EATING beast

The creation of a European "IT Airbus" could raise competition concerns within the EU, an expert has warned. Some German politicians and lobbyists have been pushing for some of Europe's technology companies to group together and create separate IT infrastructure from US-based or US-controlled systems. These calls have come in …
OUT-LAW.COM, 04 Dec 2013
Houses of Parliament in night-time

Give us a digi-Czar and more bureaucrats, begs UK tech-services biz

New policy proposals published by tech services trade group Tech UK (formerly Intellect) today seek to grapple with its members being marginalised by recent Government fads. Many of the proposals are familiar - ring-fencing the science budget, making the hiring of skilled foreign tech workers easier, and urging Government to …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Sep 2014
Swiss alps

Switzerland to set up 'Swiss cloud' free of NSA, GCHQ snooping (it hopes)

Swisscom, the Swiss telco that's majority owned by its government, will set up a "Swiss cloud" hosted entirely in the land of cuckoo clocks and fine chocolate – and try to make the service impervious to malware and uninvited spooks. Companies providing secure communications, such as Silent Circle, already use Swiss data centers …
Iain Thomson, 04 Nov 2013
Kindle Big Brother

UK.gov wants public sector to rip up data protection law

The British government is in the preliminary stages of designing a controversial system which will share citizens' sensitive personal information across government departments without their consent. Leaked documents show civil servants are planning to mimic the data-sharing systems used by firms like Amazon or Tesco. This could …
Team Register, 04 Aug 2014

US! govt! ordered! Yahoo! to! hand! over! user! data! or! pay! $250k! fine! PER! DAY!

Yahoo! has tried to explain why it buckled under pressure from Uncle Sam to hand over its users' data to the US government - by promising to publish the court documents which ordered the snooping. Said filings will, we're told, show Uncle Sam threatened to make Yahoo! pay a $250,000 fine for every day it refused to hand over …
Iain Thomson, 12 Sep 2014

Tech companies are raising their game (and pants) post-Snowden

If there’s a positive to the disclosures by ex-National Security Contractor (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden, it’s that it’s been a disaster for technology and internet firms. Yes, a positive. In the last year we’ve learned the NSA has backdoors placed in the hardware that makes networks, the existence of massive funnels placed …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jun 2014
NSA parody T-shirt

Naughty NSA was so drunk on data it forgot collection rules

Declassified documents from America's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) shows that even the NSA didn't know the limits of what it was supposed to collect, and overstepped its authorisations for years. The documents were released to the Electronic Privacy Information Centre in response to an FOI request, and record …
big droplets falling from rain cloud

NSA, GCHQ spies have hurt us more than they know – cloud group

The PRISM revelations – that governments monitor their own citizens as well as those in other countries – have undermined business confidence in moving to the cloud. This is according to the UK-based Cloud Industry Forum, which conducted an annual survey of 250 private and public sector organisations and noted a reverse in …
Paul Kunert, 02 Jul 2014
snowden insider theft security

Snowden's HELPING public clouds says VMware hybrid head

VMware's senior veep and general manager for Hybrid Cloud Service Bill Fathers has told the Gigaom Structure conference that Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA snoopery have turned out to be a good thing for the hybrid cloud. In an interview visible here Fathers, at about the five minute mark, says the NSA's activities are “ …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Jun 2014
Houses of Parliament in night-time

MPs to review laws on UK spy-snoopery after GCHQ Tempora leaks

Parliament's intelligence services watchdog is to hold an inquiry into whether or not UK surveillance laws need updating in light of Edward Snowden's revelations into GCHQ's activities. The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) will also consider the impact on personal privacy of intercepting people's communications as part …
John Leyden, 17 Oct 2013
snowden SXSW

Security guru: You can't blame EDWARD SNOWDEN for making US clouds LOOK leaky

Accusations that the revelations from rogue National Security Agency sysadmin whistleblower Edward Snowden have damaged the US technology industry are misplaced, according to influential security guru Mikko Hypponen. Hypponen, chief research officer at security firm F-Secure, said that the disclosure that US tech was either " …
John Leyden, 30 Apr 2014
Cables

Microsoft's Azure cloud LASHED by BT's private cables

Microsoft's Azure cloud is being hooked into BT's private fibre cables giving security-focused organizations another way to access Microsoft's technology. Redmond announced the addition of BT to its "Azure ExpressRoute" service on Wednesday against a background of worry as panicked internet companies, including Azure-rival …
Jack Clark, 09 Apr 2014
For Sale sign detail

Brussels talks clouds and privacy

Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, warned yesterday that moves to cloud computing must not endanger citizens' rights to privacy and proper data protection. neelie kroes Neelie Kroes: Cloud companies need EC's "help" to "know exactly what is allowed and what is not". Kroes told the Université Paris- …
John Oates, 26 Nov 2010
Microsoft 'Scroogled' mug

Microsoft touts SCROOGLE merch: Hopes YOU'LL PAY to dump on rival

If you're bothered by the various ways Google uses the data you submit to its services to serve you targeted ads, then Microsoft has the T-shirt for you. Or a coffee mug, perhaps. You know – stuff that totally isn't ads. Microsoft aims for subtlety with its new merchandise line The software giant has opened a new section of …
Neil McAllister, 21 Nov 2013
Casio retro watch

Smartwatch deathmatch: Rivals battle for total ARM DOMINATION

Consumers face a battle for their wrists as mobile vendors and consumer electronics upstarts pile into the wearable tech market over the next few years. But their foreheads will remain largely uncluttered, as head-mounted kit is likely to remain the preserve of Google fanboys – for the time being, at least, analysts at Canalys' …
Joe Fay, 24 Oct 2013

IBM: We gave NOTHING to the NSA, stateside or elsewhere

IBM has become the latest of the tech giants to deny handing over customer data to the NSA's PRISM program. In this open letter, Big Blue's general counsel Robert Weber (also senior veep for legal and regulatory affairs) gives the “no way” message to the world at large. Specifically, Weber writes that IBM did not provide “ …
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops

Microsoft’s chief salesman Kevin Turner has tried to turn his company’s crushing lateness on devices into a positive for the sake of partners and employees. Speaking at the company’s annual partner conference, chief operating officer Turner cast mighty Microsoft as the plucky challenger with nowhere to go but grow as the world …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Jul 2014
Barack Obama in the Oval Office

Microsoft: NSA security fallout 'getting worse' ... 'not blowing over'

Microsoft's top lawyer says the fallout of the NSA spying scandal is "getting worse," and carries grim implications for US tech companies. In a speech at the GigaOm Structure conference in San Francisco on Thursday, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith warned attendees that unless the US political establishment figures out how …
Jack Clark, 19 Jun 2014

Vint Cerf wanted to make internet secure from the start, but secrecy prevented it

The NSA acted as a barrier to the rollout of encryption as standard from the very inception of the internet back in the mid 1970s. Youtube Video Engineers had wanted to add a network encryption layer as part of the original specifications for TCP/IP. Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman had published a paper on public key …
John Leyden, 07 Apr 2014
Fujitsu Oakleaf-FX PrimeHPC super

What does the post-Snowden internet need? A price list

Fujitsu’s CTO has warned that moves to localise the internet in the wake of the NSA scandal risk fracturing the system and are ultimately unnecessary given the possibility of better cloud management. Joseph Reger, talking to us last month at the firm’s Fujitsu Forum event, also warned of the security and privacy issues raised by …
Joe Fay, 12 Dec 2013
Tony Blair closes the RSA 2012 conference

Infosec experts boycott RSA conflab over alleged 'secret' NSA contract

More security researchers are boycotting next month's US edition of the RSA Conference in protest against an alleged "secret deal" the company is said to have struck with the National Security Agency. Last month Reuters reported that the NSA "secretly paid" RSA Security $10m in return for making the Dual_EC_DRBG random number …
John Leyden, 08 Jan 2014
Parliament in the clouds

Crack CERT warriors arrive to save UK from grid-crippling hack attacks

The UK is finally getting a national Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), with the delayed launch of the organisation taking place today. CERT-UK, a key component of the government's £650m National Cyber Security Strategy, will co-ordinate responses to hacking and malware-based cyber attacks on a national level. The …
John Leyden, 31 Mar 2014

Opinion

Houses of Parliament in night-time

Andrew Orlowski

Come on everybody, let's upload all our stuff into Government by Cloud
Joe Tucci EMC
frustration_anger_irritation_annoyance pain

Felipe Costa

Pressure to perform for stock market bearing down on disties
Columns of coins in the cloud

Michael Cote

Anything that simple to use has got to be complex to set up

Features

Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond debate Scottish independence
You keep the call centres, Hamish, we'll take the banks
Internet of Things
Everyone loves those Things, just not on each others' terms
No email? No CRM? No Daily Mail iPad edition? You need a plan
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever