FStech Awards

UK ‘planning joint cyber defence force’

The UK is reportedly boosting its cyber defence capabilities with an offensive cyber force of up to 2,000 people. The Ministry of Defence and GCHQ, the government’s intelligence headquarters, are to join forces on the cyber defence unit to combat the threat from Russia and other malicious actors, Sky News reported.

Equifax fined £500k for personal data failings

Equifax has been fined £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after the data of 15 million Britons was left exposed by a massive cyberattack. The data breach occurred over a three month period in 2017 and affected information belonging to 146 million people worldwide.

Ocado robot tech drives sales

Ocado’s growing fleet of industrial robots have driven continued sales growth in the third quarter of this year, as the online grocer continues to reap the benefits of its automated warehouse system. The group said its retail revenues had risen 11.5 per cent to £348.6 million over the three months to 2 September, slightly down on the 11.7 per cent seen in the first half of the year.

Banks back first commodities blockchain platform

Banks and trading firms are to launch the world’s first blockchain platform for commodities trading. The new platform developed by Komgo SA, a Genava-based company, is backed by 15 major investment partners and is expected to launch before the end of 2018.

Ethical AI efforts on positive corporate trajectory, finds study

A new study finds that ethical considerations are a growing part of enterprise thinking when dealing with artificial intelligence.

Audi partners with Amazon for e-car charging

Audi announced that it has struck a deal with Amazon to install home electric vehicle charging systems for its forthcoming e-tron models as it unveiled a new electric Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV).The German card brand announced the partnership with Amazon- the first deal of its kind for the e-commerce giant- as it launched an e-tron midsize SUV in San Francisco yesterday.

Robots ‘will create double the jobs they destroy’

Robots are likely to create double the number of jobs that are displaced by technological disruption within the next seven years, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). A new report into the future of the workplace predicts that by 2025 more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines, as opposed to just 29 per cent currently, resulting in a total loss of 75 million jobs.

VW announces plans for 10 million electric cars

Volkswagen has announced plans to build 10 million electric cars as it gears up for mass production by the end of 2022. Thomas Ulbrich, head of electric mobility at the German carmaker told audiences at a presentation in Dresden of plans to build 27 models under four group plans, all based on its new modular MEB platform (modular electrification kit) technology, with the Volkswagen ID the first model to go into production at its plant in Zwickau, Germany, late next year.

Legal requests for company data have doubled

Legal requests for businesses to hand over internal data to the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) have more than doubled in the past five years. Law firm Pinsent Masons says 1,032 ‘Section 2’ notices have been issued by the SFO in 2017-18 without the government agency needing to seek approval for the orders through the courts. This number is up more than 123 per cent on the 463 notices issued in 2013-2014.

No deal Brexit: Operators 'could hike roaming fees'

Mobile operators could hike roaming charges for British travellers in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the DExEU minister has said. Speaking after the publication of the latest batch of planning notices for a no-deal Brexit, Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, said that mobile operators could opt to reinstate roaming charges if the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, but said the government would act to soften the blow on consumers.

Co-op acquires HealthTech prescription app Dimec

The Co-op is entering the online pharmacy market with the purchase of HealthTech startup Dimec. Dimec, which facilitates the ordering of repeat prescriptions by linking up patients with GP surgeries and pharmacies via an app, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum in the first takeover by Co-op’s Ventures division.

EU approves controversial copyright law

MEPs approved contested digital copyright reforms yesterday, in their second vote on the matter. The reforms, first proposed by the European Commission two years ago, are intended to shift the balance of power between internet giants such as Google and Facebook and those who produce content such as music, films and news. The European Parliament’s position was approved by 438 votes to 226, with 39 abstentions. This means it can begin negotiations around the directive with member states, before finalising the revised directive and bringing it into force.