Investigation launched into algorithmic bias

The potential for bias in the use of algorithms in crime and justice, financial services, recruitment and local government is set to be investigated by the Cabinet Office’s Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI). The government body stated that algorithms have huge potential for preventing crime, protecting the public and improving the way services are delivered, but decisions made in these areas are likely to have a significant impact on people’s lives, so public trust is essential.

Scottish government developing payment platform

The Scottish Government is working on a new payments platform for the public sector. In September 2018, a small team was set up to take a closer look at how payments are made and received, as part of a wider programme of public service reform.

£6bn a year spent on cybersecurity testing

More than £6 billion is spent every year on cyber security testing by UK firms responding to a rise in the number of data breaches, according to figures from Avord. A survey of businesses by the cyber security testing firm found that 93 per cent had seen an overall increase data breaches in the last five years, with a third of companies experiencing a breach in the past year.

‘Not enough progress made’: GovTech survey

Industry body techUK has found that not enough progress is being made by the government on its commitments to help UK businesses with technology. Its latest report, which provides recommendations on how to improve small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) access to the public sector market, was informed by the fourth annual Govtech SME Survey.

EU regulators hit Google with $1.7bn fine

Google has been slapped with a $1.7 billion fine over unfair advertising practices by the EU’s competition watchdog.The penalty is the third EU fine for the online search giant since 2017.It follows a record $5 billion fine last July, after the EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager found the company had abused the dominance of its Android operating system. Google received its first fine for $2.7 billion in 2017 over its online shopping comparison services.

Europe falling behind in data-privacy compliance

European firms are lagging behind their Asian and US peers in the race to comply with data-privacy regulation, according to a report from Ant Financial and The Economist Intelligence Unit. The joint study surveyed by 250 chief executives in China, the US, Western Europe and South-East Asia to asses levels of preparedness amongst firms for data regulation, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

BPF finds UK well placed to lead in PropTech

The UK is well placed to become global hub for real estate technology and innovation, according to British Property Federation (BPF) research. The report suggested that the UK is already a front runner in terms of its capacity for innovation, data infrastructure, market transparency and quality of education, but falls behind other countries in terms of venture capital investment and technology infrastructure.

UK firm wins competition for AI defence tech

UK-based artificial intelligence (AI) firm Massive Analytic has won a Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) competition to investigate the application of its AI technology, Artificial Precognition, to enable defence and security forces to effectively conduct electromagnetic (EM) operations. Massive Analytic’s team has made progress in the automated recognition, understanding and classification of patterns with deep learning techniques. It is developing cognitive radio systems powered by the advanced mathematics to improve how UK defence can sense, manage, visualise and utilise the EM spectrum, in real-time.

Government spends £1bn on cloud transition

The government is set to spend more than £1 billion annually on transitioning to the cloud, according to new data. Figures obtained by the Telegraph showed that public sector bodies and government departments are expected to spend as much as £1.3 billion on cloud services in the year to April.

A third of SMEs lack cyber security strategy

A third of small of the UK’s small business are without any cyber security strategy, according to a new report that warns lacks of preparedness for a cyber attack could cost firms and their users thousands of pounds. A study from corporate responsibility body Business in the Community found that 42 per cent of small business reported at least one attack or data breach incident over the course of 2018. In 17 per cent of cyber security incidents it took the business and its systems at least a day to recover from the breach.

Cloud could disrupt gaming industry

Consumer spending on cloud gaming content subscriptions is forecast to grow to $1.5 billion by 2023, and this sector creates new disruptive opportunities for cloud service providers, says IHS Markit.

Three quarters of gov.uk websites ‘not secure’

Only a few weeks before the retirement of the Government Secure Intranet (GSI) platform, only 28 per cent of gov.uk domains have enabled Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). This means that nearly three-quarters are not following the minimum standard requirements suggested by the UK Government Digital Service (GDS) to authenticate email messages.