More Archive News
EU authorities weigh in on stablecoins
The European Council and the European Commission have stated that digital currencies such as Facebook’s Libra should not be allowed in the European Union until the risks they could pose are properly addressed. So-called 'stablecoins' may present opportunities in terms of cheap and fast payments, especially cross-border payments, the statement explained, but “at the same time, these arrangements pose multifaceted challenges and risks related for example to consumer protection, privacy, taxation, cyber security and operational resilience, money laundering, terrorism financing, market integrity, governance and legal certainty”.
Counter-drone technology gets government approval
Dedrone has been awarded certification from the UK’s Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) for its counter-drone technology platform. DroneTracker detects, tracks and identifies drones by using multi-sensor capability, combining radio frequency, radar and optical sensors.
ICO and Alan Turing Institute open AI consultation
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Alan Turing Institute have started a consultation to build guidance about explaining the decisions made by artificial intelligence (AI). The first draft of regulatory guidance into the use of AI is out for consultation until 24 January, and is aimed at data scientists, app developers, business owners or data protection practitioners whose organisations are using, or thinking about using, AI to support, or to make, decisions about individuals.
Millennials and Gen Z drive digital-first CX future
Almost 60 per cent of Generation Z and Millennials have used private social messaging for customer service, compared to 38 per cent of Generation X, 19 per cent of Baby Boomers and 16 per cent of the Silent Generation. This is according to a NICE inContact survey with more than 2,550 consumers across the globe, which also revealed that the majority of Generation Z and Millennials want companies to allow them to interact with customer service using private social messaging apps (72 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively).
Locum’s Nest launches digital bank for NHS
Locum’s Nest, the British HealthTech platform for locums, has launched The Digital Collaborative Bank, the NHS’ first digital collaborative staff bank for doctors, in partnership with eight Acute NHS Trusts. The bank will provide locum doctors with an online platform to access shifts at all participating Trusts, aiming to create one national staffing pool across the whole of the NHS, to help save £1 billion by 2025.
Page and Brin step back from Alphabet leadership
Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the chief executive and president, respectively, of Alphabet, have decided to leave these roles. A statement from Google’s parent company explained that they will continue their involvement as co-founders, shareholders and members of the board of directors.
British businesses missing out on RPA ROI
British businesses are missing out on the benefits of automation by not combining the right technologies, research from ABBYY has found. While 19 in 20 businesses have deployed some form of automation, only one in 20 use the full stack, meaning most businesses are missing out on what the firm calls the ‘secret weapons’ that could deliver the most return on investment (ROI).
83% of Scots want more digitised public services
Over 80 per cent of Scottish citizens want to see their councils use a wider range of digital technologies, according to research from Capita and the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN). They commissioned Opinium to survey 2,000 Scots during ths summer, finding that 84 per cent believed public services should embrace more digital technologies, with growing interest in concepts such as smart cities and the potential for connected devices in hospitals
Prime minister pledges to make BigTech pay UK taxes
Boris Johnson has pledged to implement an 'Amazon tax' in the UK, forcing US tech giants to pay more tax on their digital sales, despite opposition from Donald Trump. The British prime minister announced yesterday that he would push ahead with a digital sales tax ahead of today’s Nato summit.
Wireless Broadband Alliance hails WiFi6 test
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has confirmed the successful completion of its phase one trial of Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure and services at the Mettis Aerospace factory in the UK. The trial was the first of its kind in the world and an important part of the WBA's test and development program, which included applications of 4K video streaming, large scale file transfers, messaging and voice/video communications, and the first stage of Internet of Things (IoT) sensor and mixed reality testing.
MindFolio launches community engagement platform
Real estate consultancy MindFolio has launched LociLab, a community engagement platform for consumer insights to help shape the development of the public realm. Through an online community, LociLab engages users in the early stages of planning, obtaining local public opinion via daily polls, topical discussion on message boards and integrated surveys, to provide a deeper understanding of consumer demographics and psychographics.
Catapult to develop energy data platform
The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) has awarded a contract to Urban Tide to develop a data platform for the Energy Revolution Integration Service (ERIS). The £500,000 deal with the smart cities data specialist is to produce system for data storage on projects run by itself and its partners, with the capability to make it privately or publicly accessible.
Councils pledge to make IT systems more accessible
Freedom of Information (FOI) requests undertaken by SoftwareONE have revealed that almost three quarters (72 per cent) of all English councils are planning to invest in making their IT systems more accessible over the next 12 months. Almost all councils (95 per cent) have at least one disabled employee, and all respondents said they have assistive technologies in place.
90% of UK enterprises face ‘major cloud migration problems’
Cloudhouse research has revealed that 90 per cent of UK enterprises in the FTSE 100 and 250 have run into major problems migrating legacy business applications to the cloud as part of their digital transformation, with 84 per cent holding applications back. Interviewing 50 senior IT decision-makers within the UK’s largest enterprises, the firm found that almost all companies (96 per cent) are still running applications on legacy Windows operating systems.
Experts admit digital identity plans have stalled
Open Banking standards are more likely to morph into some form of digital identity protocol than any government-backed scheme, according to a panel of experts at TechUK’s Open Banking conference. Alastair Campbell, global head of digital portfolio and digital identity at HSBC, admitted that the bank struggles internally to agree on sharing of digital IDs, so “while I suppose this could happen in the UK, I think it’s unlikely”.
NatWest joins blockchain mortgage consortium
Coadjute, a network for decentralised workflow and data sharing within the property industry, has agreed a project with NatWest and a consortium of property software providers to create a new home buying journey leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT). The purpose of the consortium-led project is to speed up and simplify the entire home buying process through a NatWest mobile banking app.
MoJ develops cyber security log platform
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has begun work to collect its cyber security logs in an aggregation platform, after identifying that it was not able to fully understand the situation around its estate, as the logs are held in multiple systems. The government department is now aiming to develop a single, centralised store of logs that can be more easily queried to help correlate information on attacks and track the behaviour of cyber attackers.
Security fears persist as UK moves to cloud
New research from McAfee has revealed that 40 per cent of large UK businesses expect to be cloud-only by 2021, with only five per cent of organisations having already reached cloud-only status in the UK. The cyber security firm commissioned Censuswide in October to survey 1,310 senior IT staff and 755 employees in large businesses with over 250 employees across the UK, France and Germany – with 300 senior IT staff and 252 employees in the UK.
Equifax and ODI publish Open Data consent report
Equifax and the Open Data Institute (ODI) have launched a report looking at the international consent framework for Open Banking. It combines research into Open Banking and data portability initiatives from across a range of countries, as well as interviews with experts from each region, aiming to identify and compare consent environments from across the globe, as well as outlining the consequences for breaking national or regionally-specific data consent rules.
Law firm RPC hires new IT director
Law firm RPC has appointed Serious Fraud Office (SFO) chief technology officer Ben Denison as its new director of information technology. Joining the firm on 6 January, he will support firm's growth in technology and innovation, as well as helping to find solutions for clients to harness benefits of technology.
Cyber skills gap ‘reaches breaking point’
New research conducted amongst UK chief information officers (CIOs) and senior IT professionals has revealed that the cyber security skills gap has reached a crisis point. The study from digital resilience firm RedSeal showed that 87 per cent reported that they are struggling to find cyber security professionals with the expertise needed to combat serious and organised online crime, while 73 per cent said that uncertainty around Brexit was a concern when it came to hiring security professionals from outside the UK.
Buguroo raises $11m for global expansion
Madrid-based cyber security firm buguroo has secured $11 million in Series A funding to bring its deep learning-based online fraud detection and prevention technology to customers in new territories. Venture capital firms Ten Eleven Ventures and Seaya Ventures led the round, with existing investors Inveready Technology Investment Group and Conexo Ventures also participating.
HealthTech learning platform launches in UK
ANCILE Solutions is bringing its content creation and in-app learning tool uPerform to support NHS organisations with the deployment and adoption of major IT systems. The company already delivers uPerform to 4,600 global customers, who use it to train and support users on 200 business and healthcare applications.
EU blocks controversial ePrivacy rules
The European Union’s proposed ePrivacy regulations - which aim to put the likes of Skype and WhatsApp on a level playing field with established telecoms services - have stalled after member states failed to reach an agreement about the overall scope. The draft directive was proposed in January 2017, with the goal of holding online communications and email services to the same standards faced by telecoms providers.
Berners-Lee creates Contract for the Web
Tim Berners-Lee has launched a global plan to save the internet from the political manipulation, fake news and privacy violations which threaten to plunge the world into a “digital dystopia”. The Contract for the Web requires endorsing governments, companies and individuals to make commitments to protect the web from abuse and ensure it benefits humanity.
Weakest UK tech sector growth for four years
Business confidence, growth and sales volumes are all in decline across the UK’s tech sectos, according to KPMG’s quarterly survey. The latest analysis revealed a downturn in new work across the tech sector for the first time since the middle of 2012, due to softer global economic conditions and ongoing domestic political uncertainty.
Whether it be from David Attenborough’s documentaries, Greta Thunberg’s teenage activism or the Extinction Rebellion protests, it’s hard to miss the message about the earth’s impending climate catastrophe. But as governments miss environmental action targets, corporations greenwash their way to shareholder satisfaction and individuals struggle to make any impact, perhaps salvation comes from the variety of tech startups trying to make a difference.
Automation Anywhere gets $290m funding
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) firm Automation Anywhere has received $290 million in Series B funding at a post money valuation of $6.8 billion. The funding was led by Salesforce Ventures, with additional investment from existing investors including Softbank Investment Advisers and Goldman Sachs.
KPMG partners nsKnox for anti-fraud solution
KPMG has partnered with nsKnox to develop a secure payments system to prevent fraud in real time. KPMG Secure Payments will provide organisations with an end-to-end, holistic defense against fraud in supplier payments, whether caused by cyber attacks, internal fraud, social engineering, or data manipulation attempts. The joint solution verifies supplier and account details, safeguarding the payment process at every point of the transaction.
Celonis raises $290m to expand AI platform
Artificial intelligence (AI) process mining software firm Celonis has raised approximately $290 million in Series C funding, valuing the company at $2.5 billion. Arena Holdings led the round, alongside a group of principal investors and established entrepreneurs including Ryan Smith, co-founder and chief executive of Qualtrics, as well as Tooey Courtemanche, founder and chief executive of Procore.
Google to curb targeting on political ads
Google has announced plans to stop targeting of political adverts using data on public voter records and political affiliation, as UK voters prepare to go to the polls on 12 December. In a blog, the search engine giant said that recent concerns over the impact of political advertising on the democratic process had led to the change in policy, which will apply globally across all its platforms, including Google search and YouTube.
Manufacturers could make £13bn selling DTC
UK manufacturers stand to gain £13 billion over the next five years by using new technologies to sell direct to consumers (DTC), according to a report from Barclays. An Opinium survey of 500 managers at UK manufacturers found that 72 per cent believe retailing goods DTC and cutting out the middlemen is good for both consumers and manufacturers.
Alibaba set to raise £10bn in Hong Kong listing
Alibaba has revealed plan to raise up to HK$100 billion (around £10 billion) through a stock exchange listing in Hong Kong. China’s biggest publicly listed company is selling 500 million shares, with an extra 75 million available if there is substantial demand. This means the e-commerce group should raise between HK£88 billion and HK$101 billion, before underwriting fees and other expenses.
Porsche selects Dynatrace to drive software innovation
Porsche Informatik has deployed Dynatrace's Software Intelligence Platform to accelerate software innovation and improve user experiences. The sports car company’s wholly-owned subsidiary selected the tech firm to provide a 360 view across its applications, infrastructure and customers’ digital experiences.
UK PropTech gets $32m for expansion plans
London-based property management platform Plentific has raised $32 million in a Series B funding round led by specialist venture capital firm AO Proptech. The startup will now expand its presence in Europe - including in the commercial property sector - along with a planned launch in the US next year.
Judge warns of public service algo dangers
A Supreme Court judge has warned about the potential dangers of automating decision-making in public services. In a lecture at the British and Irish Legal Information Institute this month, Philip Sales QC said that while new systems of digital government offer potential cost savings, they also have the potential to undermine human rights.
Workers more willing to work alongside robots
Nearly 40 per cent of workers are now seeing artificial intelligence (AI) in their daily working lives, as the use of automated technology takes hold across the economy. A survey of 1,000 professionals by software provider Advanced found that 38 per cent of workers encountered AI in the course of this year, up from 26 per cent last year, while 29 per cent saw chatbots, up from 18 per cent last year.
VR and AR could add £62bn to UK GDP by 2030
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are forecast to add £62.5 billion to the UK economy - a 2.4 per cent boost to GDP - by 2030, according to PwC. The majority of the contribution to the UK economy will come from AR (£44.4 billion), with VR providing £18.1 billion. These technologies will also have a significant impact on the UK workplace, with 1.19 per cent of jobs - 400,663 people - utilising the technologies by 2030.
Oxford partners Ripple to solve tech skills gap
The Oxford Foundry has announced plans to tackle the growing technology skills gap in the UK via a partnership with blockchain technology provider Ripple and its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI). Up to 1,000 University of Oxford students will be given the opportunity to gain new skills in blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning across different industries, as well as the opportunity to learn how to code in Python and build smart contracts.
British Business Bank invests in Balderton tech fund
British Patient Capital, a subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has committed $45 million to the Balderton Capital Fund VII, as it closed at $400 million. The fund will focus on the Series A stage to support tech founders at this critical point in a startup’s journey.
UK takes step towards crypto legal certainty
The UK Jurisdiction Taskforce of Tech Nation's Lawtech Delivery Panel has today published its legal statement on the status of cryptoassets and smart contracts under English and Welsh law. The landmark statement sought to address legal uncertainty by recognising cryptoassets as tradable property and smart contracts as enforceable agreements under English law.
UK HealthTech gets funding for growth
Careology, a HealthTech platform for cancer care, has raised £1.1 million in funding from UK health and technology private angel investors. Its data-driven platform connects users to their family and healthcare provider, helping those affected by a cancer diagnosis to be supported and cared for.
Magway crowdfunds underground tunnel delivery system
A British startup which has developed technology designed to transport online customer orders through a network of pipes, has opened a new phase of funding, aiming to raise over £750,000 via Crowdcube. Magway claims that its underground pipe network will significantly reduce air pollution, accidents and congestion caused by the millions of vans and articulated lorries on the roads annually, as they deliver billions of parcels of goods to consumers purchased online.
Rising threat leads to rising cyber security vendor M&A
The cyber security sector’s largest ever deal - Broadcom’s acquisition of Symantec for $10.7 billion - set the tone for rising transaction volumes and continuously strong valuations, according to Hampleton Partners. The corporate finance consultancy’s latest market analysis highlighted the popularity of cyber security vendors as all industries seek protection from cyber attacks. Transaction volume in the sector rose by 15 per cent in the second half of 2019, compared to that of 2017.
Google partners Citigroup for bank accounts
Google is preparing to launch a bank account in partnership with Citigroup next year. Code-named Cache, the Wall Street Journal reported that the current accounts will not be branded as Google.
Labour pledges free public sector broadband
Labour has set out plans to deliver fast and free full fibre-broadband by bringing parts of BT into public ownership and creating a new British Broadband service. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to make the announcement officially this morning, describing the new free public service as “bringing communities together in an inclusive and connected society”.
Data-driven electricity use to double by 2030
Global data flows will increase twentyfold by 2030 as data-driven electricity use doubles, according to the latest report from ING. Analysis of data use by the Dutch financial services giant showed that electricity use, as a result of increasing data flows, will account for five per cent of the world’s electricity by 2030.
Scottish startup creates security bot
Casta Spes Technologies has unveiled a robotic security vehicle with security and inspection solutions across multiple sectors, including agriculture, energy and construction. Named ZIVA, the multi-terrain robot saves 92 per cent on the cost of a manned patrol by combining autonomous navigation with multiple software add-ons, such as licence plate recognition and threat classification. It was designed to reduce the cost and time associated with false alarms, using dynamic and flexible nature to cover blind spots, a major drawback of static cameras.
Information security M&A surges to $21.6bn
Merger and acquisition (M&A) deal value in the information security market has surged to $21.6 billion in the first nine months of 2019. PreciseSecurity’s analysis of the cyber security, digital ID, critical communications, access control, and video surveillance sectors showed that deal value this year rose by 44 per cent compared to 2018, when during the whole year the M&A value reached $15 billion.
‘Gap widens’ between cloud perceptions and realities
UK enterprises are placing themselves at serious risk by misunderstanding their cloud service providers’ backup provisions, according to research by 4sl. Its survey of 200 large UK enterprises showed that the majority of senior IT decision-makers believe their cloud service providers retain backup data for much longer than they actually do.
Labour Party hit by DDoS attack
The Labour Party has been hit by a “sophisticated and large-scale cyber attack” on its digital systems from an unknown source, although it was confident that security systems ensured there was no data breach. Party officials reported the attack, which took place on Monday, to the National Cyber Security Centre.
Mayor partners Microsoft for tech challenge
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is launching an initiative with Microsoft aimed at encouraging tech companies to solve public policy challenges in London. The Civic Innovation Challenge will invite companies to come up technology-driven solutions to problems such as countering violent extremism online, delivering more affordable housing and making freight across the capital more efficient.
Survey finds NHS most trusted with data
The NHS has come above both central and local government in terms of public trust for how it uses personal data. The Open Data Institute (ODI) and YouGov surveyed 2,000 adults, finding 59 per cent trust the NHS to be ethical in its use of their data - the only sector to score more than 50 per cent - although this was a decline since a survey focused on healthcare data in early 2018, when the NHS was trusted by 64 per cent.
Regulators question Goldman Sachs’ Apple Card algo bias
Goldman Sachs is facing a probe by the New York financial authorities following online claims that the algorithms it uses to set credit limits for the Apple Card are gender-biased. New York’s Department for Financial Services confirmed it has launched an investigation after Bloomberg News reported that tech entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson posted a series of Tweets alleging he had been offered a credit limit 20 times higher than his wife when they applied for the card, despite her having a higher credit score.
75% of universities have cyber security staff
The proportion of UK universities achieving Cyber Essentials certification has almost trebled in a year, according to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Figures released by the cyber security arm of GCHQ also revealed that three-quarters of higher educational providers now have dedicated staff for cyber security.
Cyber-skills firm Immersive Labs raises $40m
Immersive Labs has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round, led by Summit Partners and existing investor Goldman Sachs. The British cyber skills startup, founded by former GCHQ researcher James Hadley, uses real-time feeds of the latest attack techniques, hacker psychology and tech vulnerabilities to build cyber wargames for IT and security teams to learn from.
UK ‘must harness AI’ or risk losing power
Failure to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) could damage the UK’s economic prospects, according to the chairman of the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation. Speaking at the Westminster eForum policy conference on the progress of the UK’s AI sector, Roger Taylor warned that the UK’s efforts to lead Europe in the acceleration of AI-driven techniques are often slowed by the need to ensure data ethics are taken into account.
Global app revenue reaches $21.9bn
Mobile consumers spent $21.9 billion on apps across the App Store and Google Play in the third quarter of 2019. According to PreciseSecurity, this represents a 22.9 per cent increase compared with $17.9 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2018. Data includes user spend for subscriptions, premium apps, and in-app purchases.
PropTech Immo raises €11m from Series A
Immo Investment Technologies has closed an €11 million Series A funding round. The London-based PropTech, which purchases homes on behalf of buy-to-let investors, got the backing of Talis Capital and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, with participation from Tom Stafford and Rahul Mehta of DST Global, among others.
Barnier calls for post-Brexit cybersec cooperation
The UK and Europe need to work together very closely to tackle cyber security, regardless of the eventual Brexit outcome, according to the European Commission’s chief negotiator. Speaking at the Amazon Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Michel Barnier stated that any new agreement between the EU and UK will be based both on trade and mutual security, noting that continued cooperation is key to protect against new threats.
Third of firms ‘more vulnerable’ to cyber attack
Over a third (36 per cent) of companies feel more vulnerable to cyber security threats than they did five years ago, according to a new survey of IT professionals. A YouGov survey of 506 IT professionals for Alsid, a cyber security software provider, found that there is a gap between perception of cyber risk and actual preparedness.
Government forms PropTech expert council
The government gathered PropTech firms in London this week to unveil a new expert advisory council dedicated to the digital transformation of the property sector. Housing minister Esther McVey explained that the group will advise ministers on how to support and grow the sector further, which will make it easier and cheaper to plan, build and buy new homes.
DataRobot ramps up European investment
Enterprise artificial intelligence firm DataRobot will invest millions more into Europe to meet the growing demand for its services in the region. The company, headquartered in Boston, has already opened new research and development centres in Copenhagen and Munich, employing dozens of software and data engineers and data scientists.
Brits give thumbs up to biometric verification
Brits are keen to use biometric verification for things like online shopping and app-based banking, according to new research from Equifax. Almost three quarters (71 per cent) would be happy to completely replace traditional security methods to access their mobile phones in favour of fingerprint ID, facial recognition or eye retina patterns.
UK HealthTech gets €22.5m from Bayer
Medopad has announced a €22.5 million Series B funding round, led by Leaps By Bayer. This brings the UK-based HealthTech startup’s total funding since inception in 2011 to over €45 million. It plans to use the latest investment to support new clinical studies, including digital biomarker discovery and creation of digital therapeutics (DTx) – as well as hiring new staff and expanding geographically.
Microsoft uses AI to store Superman in glass
Microsoft and Warner Bros have announced that a collaboration to store the data of the entire Superman movie on a piece of glass has been successful. The software giant said Project Silica saw scientists use recently discovered ultra-fast laser optics and advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to beam the data into a piece of quartz glass the size of a drinks coaster measuring 75 by 75 by two millimetres thick.
IBM partners Bank of America for public cloud
IBM has teamed up with Bank of America to design a financial services-ready public cloud, as rivals gear up to challenge the dominance of Amazon and Microsoft in the fast-growing cloud services sector. The software giant said that its public cloud offering would also be available to financial services institutions and their suppliers, with Bank of America committed to collaborating to use its platform built on IBM’s public cloud to help develop the industry-specific offering.
Wirecard partners Rinspeed for autonomous vehicle tech
Wirecard has partnered with Rinspeed and will integrate its payment technology into the latter’s autonomous driving concept vehicles. The planned use cases include retail, logistics and transportation. In cooperation with other partner companies, Wirecard will expand the functionality of Rinspeed vehicles using solutions from its Innovation Labs, such as the Grab & Go Store or biometric hand scanner.
JCHR calls for online data registry
The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) has raised serious grounds for concern about the nature of the consent people provide when giving over information online. A new report stated that privacy policies are too complicated for the vast majority of people to understand: while individuals may understand they are consenting to data collection from a given site in exchange for free access to content, they may not understand that information is being compiled, without their knowledge, across sites to create a profile.
Stablecoins ‘could come under existing regulation’
Existing securities rules could apply to digital currency initiatives, like Facebook’s Libra, to help realise its benefits, according to International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). At its meeting on 30 October, the regulator’s board met to consider the risks and benefits arising from ‘stablecoin’ initiatives with a potential global reach, and how securities market regulation may apply to such initiatives.
Microsoft announces Azure Synapse Analytics
Microsoft is announcing Azure Synapse Analytics, a new analytics service that brings together enterprise data warehousing and Big Data analytics. A statement explained that it uses either serverless on-demand or provisioned resources, at scale, to ingest, prepare, manage, and serve data for business intelligence and machine learning needs.
Wefarm secures $13m funding to scale up
Wefarm, the digital network for global small-scale agriculture, has raised $13 million in a Series A financing round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm True Ventures. This financing will help the startup further scale its network of 1.9 million farmers, and its newly created Marketplace, to connect farmers in Africa to the information, products and services they need to be more successful.
IT workers unaware how to tackle cyber breach
More than two fifths (43 per cent) of UK IT workers are unaware of how to defend their company from a cyber breach, according to new research. A survey of 1,032 IT workers by tech services company Probrand found that one in five (21 per cent) employees admitted to being in the dark as to what a cyber attack constitutes.
Tech Nation gets £2m to support UK LawTech
The Ministry of Justice has allocated £2 million in government funding to Tech Nation to support the development and use of UK legal technology (LawTech). Tech Nation will be responsible for delivering outcomes to achieve the aims of the funding, building on the work of the LawTech Delivery Panel.
Google buys Fitbit, promises not to sell data
Google has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fitbit for $7.35 per share in an all-cash deal that values the wearable tech company at $2.1 billion. The deal had been reported earlier this week, raising concerns around what the search engine giant planned to do with the biometric and location data from people’s devices.
Sidewalk Labs scales back Toronto smart city plan
Sidewalk Labs will scale back plans for a ‘smart’ neighbourhood in Toronto after concerns were raised about data privacy issues inherent in the project. Instead of developing 190 acres of property, as it pitched in June, the Google sister company has agreed to only develop the 12 acres it proposed in its initial response to a request for proposals two years ago.
Military cyber security to reach $16bn by 2023
Global defence industries are transforming their operations and capabilities through significant investments in disruptive technologies and platforms that are driving changes in military cyber security requirements. This is according to Frost & Sullivan analysis, which anticipates global military cyber security to grow to $16 billion by 2023 at a compound annual growth rate of 3.6 per cent from 2018 to 2023.
Cyber criminals will target IoT: report
In 2020, cyber criminals will target Internet of Things (IoT) devices for ransom from the device manufacturer, as tech giants pivot from a range of connected products to a more advanced ecosystem of connected services, according to an analysis by Forrester. The research firm’s sector predictions warned of major developments for connected device technology next year, including mounting cyber risk for manufacturers and consumers, with specific attacks carried out on device manufacturers to “devastating effect”.
DLT ‘moves from irrational exuberance to realistic assessment’
In the world of enterprise blockchain, the shift from irrational exuberance to realistic assessment is almost complete, according to Forrester’s 2020 predictions. While the market research said it still sees a lot of excitement around what distributed ledger technology (DLT) can or could do, the focus has expanded to include questions about how DLT is going to deliver a particular benefit.
Alliance to tokenise £500m of UK property
Alliance Investments, a direct-to-developer real estate investment company, has announced plans to tokenise £500 million of property projects across the UK over the next several years. The first project of its real estate tokenisation plan is River Plaza, a 180-unit luxury residential development in Manchester. In collaboration with tZERO, Tezos Foundation and Megalodon, the project is the UK’s first real estate-backed security token offering (STO) and one of only a handful of real estate STO’s worldwide.
AI startup secures £1m for automated software development
Cambridge-based artificial intelligence (AI) startup TurinTech.ai has raised over £1 million in its seed funding round. The startup, spun out from University College London’s AI research center, will use the funding - led by IQ Capital - to grow its business, which applies AI to optimise and evolve generic software. The company is also an alumnus of Conception X, a venture builder and a deep tech incubator affiliated to UCL.
France and Germany unveil EU cloud plan
France and Germany have launched plans to establish an EU-wide data infrastructure as part of efforts to challenge the dominance of tech giants such as Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud computing market. A joint statement issued by the finance ministries of France and Germany announced a timetable for the development of a blueprint for a “secure and trustworthy” European data infrastructure to foster home-grown cloud computing challengers.
Labour seeks to halt Google/Fitbit deal
The shadow digital, culture, media and sport secretary has written to regulators to request that they halt Google’s reported acquisition of Fitbit. On Monday, Reuters cited people familiar with the matter as confirming that Alphabet had made an offer to buy the wearable device maker for an undisclosed sum.
VW launches autonomous driving subsidiary
Volkswagen (VW) has launched a new self-driving car subsidiary as it steps up efforts to take on US autonomous vehicle rivals like Tesla. The new foundation, called Volkswagen Autonomy, is billed as a centre of excellence aimed at helping VW to make its autonomous driving vehicles market-ready for the middle of the next decade.
Chatbot HealthTech raises $15m
HealthTech chatbot startup Sensely has secured $15 million in a fresh round of funding aimed at building its tech and expanding its reach. The London and San Francisco-based firm, founded in 2013, provides its virtual assistant solutions to insurance companies, pharmaceutical businesses and hospitals worldwide.
Ofcom announces second 5G spectrum auction
Ofcom is set to hold another 5G spectrum auction in Spring 2020, freeing up 200MHz worth of bandwidth for next-generation mobile services. This follows the government and the four main mobile networks pledging last week to deliver 95 percent 4G coverage in the UK via a Shared Rural Network programme.
UK lags in European GovTech rankings
The United Kingdom is lagging behind other parts of Europe in terms of its electronic accessibility, according to a new measure. Capgemini, along with partners IDC and Politecnico di Milano, examined more than 10,000 government websites across 36 European countries, giving the UK an overall score of 61 per cent - compared to ratings above 80 per cent for the leading pack of Estonia, Austria, Latvia, Malta and Lithuania.
Despite delay, UK businesses not ready for Brexit
Almost two in three UK businesses (63 per cent) are not ready for Brexit, with 26 per cent needing a further six to 12 months to get their company prepared, according to new research by ThoughtWorks. The global software consultancy surveyed 1,026 business leaders across the UK, finding that there was little variation between a hard or soft Brexit on business readiness - 37 per cent for both scenarios - with only 14 per cent of business stating they were already fully prepared for Brexit.
Amazon sees first profit drop in two years
Amazon has seen its earnings plunge for the first time in more than two years, as investment in its one-day delivery service began to take its toll on results.The e-commerce giant yesterday reported an unexpected 25 per cent drop in net income for third quarter trading to $2.13 billion, down from $2.88 billion in the same period last year.
London gets £10m for full fibre broadband
The Mayor of London has announced a £10 million investment to extend the city’s full fibre infrastructure using public buildings and the underground network. Sadiq Khan stated that this will involve laying fibre optic cabling along tube tunnels to create a ‘fibre backbone’ across London and linking it to places like community centres and libraries, with the claim that this will reduce the cost to providers of laying cabling and support areas with little or no existing fibre connection.
60% of firms fear Brexit data flow disruption
More than half of the UK’s largest companies are concerned that their ability to transfer data will be restricted after Brexit, according to new research. A survey of 200 IT decision makers by data custody and availability firm 4sl found that 60 per cent of UK enterprises are concerned that vital data back up and other critical processes could be severely hampered by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Google claims quantum computing ‘supremacy’
Google has laid claim to being the first company to achieve “quantum supremacy” with its Sycamore quantum processor.The search giant yesterday announced in the Nature journal that the programmable superconducting processor had breached a major milestone in computing by successfully performing a task in 200 seconds that would require 10,000 years from the best supercomputers in the world.
FS firms voice supply chain fears over data and Brexit
Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of financial services firms have encountered some type of supply chain risk in the last year, according to a new survey. The study of 200 procurement and supply chain professionals in financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications and retail organisations - conducted by Vanson Bourne for procurement platform Ivalua - found that the greatest supply chain risks encountered by financial services firms included supply shortage (45 per cent), supplier failure (43 per cent) and environmental impact (35 per cent).
Gov puts £30m into electric tech centres
Up to £30 million is being provided by Innovate UK and UK Research and Innovation to set up flagship centres supporting the manufacturing supply chain of the latest power electronics, machines and drives. A statement from the government explained that while these technologies are taken to concept level in the UK, new products are usually manufactured elsewhere.
CIIS warns over lack of cyber security diversity
The IT security industry is still failing to attract workers beyond a highly limited demographic, the Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIIS) has warned. Unless it can embrace greater diversity - in gender, age, ethnicity, disabilities and experience - it will face a stagnating workforce, and be unable to keep up with a rapidly expanding skills gap, a new report has argued.
NCSC tackled 600 cyber attacks in last year
The government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has tackled more than 600 cyber attacks on the UK in the last year, with the majority coming from foreign state actors. In its third annual review, the cyber security arm of GCHQ revealed that it had countered a total of 1,800 attacks since it was established in 2016, with 658 taking place between September 2018 and the end of August this year.
Cyber security age gap shows young ‘less concerned’
Older workers have adopted better cyber security habits than their younger co-workers, exposing a ‘cyber security age gap’, according to new survey. A survey of employees in 2,256 organisations globally for the security division of Japanese technology group NTT revealed that those under the age of 30 - most of whom had grown up around digital technology - were less likely than over 30s to adopt cyber security best practice.
Gov provides £1m boost for UK smart waste tracking
Up to £1 million of government funding is being awarded to two companies aiming to use technology to tackle waste crime here in the UK and prevent illegal waste from being shipped abroad. According to an official statement, illegal waste activity drains the UK economy of around £600 million every year and the current systems for tracking household and commercial waste are outdated and largely paper-based.
Citi launches digital supply chain payments
Citi has launched a digitised supply chain payment solution with its internal WorldLink Payment Services platform. The Citi Supplier Finance offering combines Citi’s Treasury and Trade Solutions with WorldLink’s cross-border payments platform to deliver one point of implementation, a virtual interface and the opportunity for clients to transact across multiple major currencies for settlement.
SAP and Microsoft sign cloud co-selling deal
SAP has signed a three year deal with Microsoft to accelerate the adoption of its cloud platform for business customers.The partnership, called ‘Project Embrace’ will comprise the go-to-market journey from conceptualisation to sales and will let the two software giants to simplify the construction of cloud architecture.
Housing minister calls for PropTech digital revolution
The housing minister Esther McVey has detailed plans to release data held by local bodies to enable the UK PropTech sector to thrive and “bring about a digital revolution in the property sector”. She is set to announce measures to open up Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) data for the first time in a transparency drive letting PropTechs obtain things like energy performance certificates and the square footage information of properties.
Government puts £30m into quantum tech
A new government scheme has opened for businesses to get a share of a £30 million fund to tackle barriers to new products and services that exploit the latest quantum technologies. It suggested such innovations could transform the automotive, healthcare, infrastructure, telecommunications, cyber security and defence sectors.
Volvo invests in connected vehicle cyber startup
Volvo’s venture capital arm has invested in an Israeli automotive startup specialised in protecting connected vehicles from cyber attack. Volvo Group Venture Capital said its investment in Upstream Security would fund the development of systems to protect connected vehicles following the introduction of data-driven technologies.
Government backs Arm for cyber chips
The UK government is partnering with Arm in a new project to develop new chip technologies that are more resistant to cyber threats, backed by £36 million in funding. This is the next phase of the government’s Digital Security by Design initiative, also backed by Google and Microsoft.
Digital transformation 'putting tech leaders under pressure'
While progress has been made in digital transformation, technology leaders are finding that running their newly-upgraded organisations is challenging and they are under increased pressure to prove business value. This is according to a survey commissioned by New Relic and carried out by Vanson Bourne among 750 global senior IT decision-makers of enterprises with 500 to 5,000-plus employees in the UK, Australia, France, Germany and the US.
Security and privacy top IT audit risk poll
Security, privacy and data management have been ranked as the top challenges facing IT audit function, according to Protiviti and ISACA. Based on a survey of 2,252 chief audit executives (CAEs), internal audit professionals and IT audit vice presidents and directors worldwide, the eighth annual benchmarking study also found staffing and skills challenges, and third-party vendor management rounding off the top five tech challenges.
Facebook can win back FS support: Libra chief
Facebook is optimistic that it can win the support of payments and financial firms for its Libra digital currency project once it is able to provide assurances over regulatory concerns, its head of Libra has said. David Marcus told a panel at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) conference in Washington that he understood why a number of major payments and financial players - including Visa, PayPal, Mastercard and Stripe - had decided to exit the project in recent weeks, following mounting pressure from governments and regulators over money-laundering and data privacy concerns.
Scottish in-flight MedTech bags funding
MIME Technologies, a MedTech firm spin-out from the University of Aberdeen, has raised a combined £255,000 from first round investment and a Scottish Enterprise grant. The investment, led by Equity Gap investors and the Scottish Investment Bank, will be used to accelerate customer growth and create new operational and technical jobs in the firm.
Healx, an artificial intelligence (AI) driven HealthTech startup, has landed $56 million in Series B funding. The Cambridge-based company will use the money to launch a global accelerator programme for the detection of rare diseases, as part of clinical-stage portfolio including treatments for fragile X syndrome, the leading genetic cause of autism.
British Land backs PropTech firm WiredScore
British Land and Patrizia have become the latest investors in WiredScore, a PropTech company focused on digital connectivity accreditation. The funding forms part of a €3.6 million round supporting the UK-based startup’s plans to expand its Wired Certification offering.
National Technology Awards open for entries
The National Technology News Awards 2020 are now open for entries, with a deadline of 10 January next year. The fourth annual celebration of the best and brightest across the tech world will take place on 7 May 2020 at the Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.
DfE and Nesta launch £5.75m digital challenge
The Department for Education and Nesta are set to launch a £5.75 million initiative aimed at developing tech innovations to help adults in England gain the skills they need for the automated and digitised workplaces of the future.The CareerTech Challenge, is aimed at helping to fund and scale entrepreneurs and technologists to come up with solutions to the digital skills gap in industries such as retail and manufacturing, which are expected to experience automation in the coming years.
CEV launches first clean energy tech fund
Clean Energy Ventures (CEV), an investor in early-stage energy startups, has announced the close of its first fund. The $110 million Clean Energy Venture Fund targets the current capital gap for seed and early-stage investments in promising advanced energy innovations.
Brexit concerns have not ‘deterred IT investment’
Nearly half (49 per cent) of IT decision makers in the UK believe that uncertainty surrounding the outcome of Brexit has not impacted their company’s decision to invest in IT infrastructure. A survey of more than 2,450 global senior IT professionals for connectivity firm Equinix found that political uncertainty was not deterring companies from making longer-term decisions on digital transformation.
NICE seeks digital transformation partner
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has put out a call for a strategic supply partner to assist with its digital transformation programme over the next couple of years. A statement explained that it has already carried out an expert review on its data management practices, focusing on its use of data and Microsoft software.
Libra down to 21 members after FS exodus
Facebook’s Libra project yesterday confirmed that 21 firms have signed the Libra Association charter, following an exodus of financial services firms from the initiative amid regulatory concerns.The formal announcement of a governance structure and charter for the digital currency project confirmed the continued membership of tech giants Uber, Spotify and Vodafone, but revealed that major early backers Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Booking Holdings and Mercado Pago have now followed payments firms PayPal and Stripe in abandoning the project.
Thoma Bravo to buy Sophos for $3.9bn
US private equity firm Thoma Bravo has made an offer to acquire UK cyber security provider Sophos for $7.40 per share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $3.9 billion. The board of directors of Sophos have stated their intention to unanimously recommend the offer to the company’s shareholders.
UNICEF launches cryptocurrency fund
UNICEF will now be able to receive, hold and disburse donations of cryptocurrencies Ether and Bitcoin, through its newly-established cryptocurrency fund. In a first for United Nations organisations, UNICEF will use cryptocurrencies to fund open source technology benefiting children and young people around the world.
Dyson puts brakes on £2bn electric car project
Dyson has announced plans to scrap its £2 billion its flagship electric car project, after the company spent three years developing a prototype. In an email sent to all employees yesterday, James Dyson, the inventor best known for creating innovative vacuum cleaners, announced that the firm’s electric car division had successfully built a “fantastic electric car”, but that a roll-out of the model was “not commercially viable”.
Lloyd's of London warns of ‘supply chain catastrophe’
A new report from Lloyd’s of London and risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide has set out guidelines for risk managers and insurers aiming to close the ‘protection gap’ before the next catastrophic supply chain disruption occurs.The method is outlined in a new report that analysed data from almost one million disruption events. It stated that insurers can expect claims made up entirely of ‘business interruption’ and ‘contingent business interruption’ losses in the future.
EU warns over overseas 5G supplier risks
The European Union has published a joint risk-assessment warning that 5G networks could be at risk from suppliers with links to national governments. The report, prepared by an EU security group, stopped short of naming the likes of Huawei and ZTE, but highlighted the increased security problems posed by well-resourced state-backed organisations and called for a new approach to securing telecoms infrastructure across Europe.
Libra will need to meet strict standards: BoE
Facebook’s digital currency Libra must meet stringent standards if its it to become a significant part of the payments landscape, according to the Bank of England (BoE). In a hardening of its stance on Facebook’s plans to launch the digital payments system, along with the Calibra digital wallet, across its messaging platforms, the Financial Policy Committee (FPC) said the system has the potential to “become a systemically important payment system” and would need to ensure it meets the highest regulatory standards in advance of a roll-out, currently planned for 2020.
New IMF chief warns of ‘digital Berlin Wall’
A future slowdown in global economic growth and the breakdown in trade co-operation could lead to the creation of a “digital Berlin Wall”, according to Kristalina Georgieva, the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Setting out the agenda for her term as IMF chief, the Belgian economist spoke of the need for countries to continue ‘moving in synch’ to avoid a deceleration in global GDP growth.
NCSC looks to simplify Cyber Essentials
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has started a tender process as it prepares to hand over its Cyber Essentials scheme to one of the existing certification bodies. It has appointed the IASME Consortium to run the search for an organisation to take on the five-year contract beginning in April 2020.
London councils partner for IoT project
Five London local authorities have partnered with Digital Catapult to explore the use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The South London Partnership - consisting of Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton councils - will develop IoT solutions to improve services for local residents and businesses.
US and UK sign serious crime data sharing deal
The UK and US governments have signed an agreement for access to electronic data in fighting serious crime. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office published the full agreement yesterday, responding to increasing fears that terrorists and criminals are using digital services, such as social media applications, to coordinate their activities.
PayPal quits Libra project
PayPal has become the first company to drop out of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, as the project receives increased regulatory scrutiny. The social media giant has attempted to reassure authorites by explaining the digital payment technology would be overseen by the Libra Association’s independent board - featuring what was 28 technology and payments firms - to ensure a stable roll-out and maintain high security standards.
Plexal names 10 startups for inclusion programme
Plexal has announced the first 10 startups to join the UK’s inclusion accelerator programme aimed at supporting products, services or projects that make work more accessible. Plexal, the innovation centre and coworking space based in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park last week announced a partnership with UCL and GDI Hub to launch the first fully accessible, specially designed space for entrepreneurs and business leaders who are either disabled or focused on developing products for the disabled community.
Scottish parliament investigates facial recognition
Holyrood’s Justice Sub-Committee on Policing has launched an inquiry into the use of facial recognition technology. MSPs are keen to find out more about police use and future plans in relation to the tool, which is becoming increasingly prevalent.
NHS launches AI platform for workplace automation
Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools that can be used to save NHS hundreds of hours of work are now available on a digital marketplace developed by virtual workforce platform Thoughtonomy. The platform, hosted on Microsoft Azure, enables NHS Trusts to launch and expand tech projects that automate repetitive tasks. This removes the need to start innovating from scratch for similar projects and is aimed at helping staff to spend less time on administration tasks and more with patients.
Joint call for Facebook to halt encryption
Home secretary Priti Patel has joined forces with the US and Australia to write an open letter to Facebook warning that encryption of messaging services across its social media platforms could put children at risk of abuse and prevent security forces from fighting terrorism. The letter, which has been jointly written by US attorney general William Barr, Patel and officials from Australia, calls on Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, to postpone plans to introduce end-to-end encryption on messaging across the WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram platforms, until officials can establish its impact on public safety.
UK and Singapore sign IoT security agreement
The UK and Singapore have signed an agreement on embedding security in the Internet of Things (IoT). It forms part of a wider strategic partnership on areas of common interest, with both countries seeking to ensure that connected devices have security built-in by design.
SnapLogic secures $72m in growth funding
SnapLogic has raised $72 million in growth financing to accelerate global expansion. The new round was led by Arrowroot Capital, joined by Golub Capital and existing investors. The company’s self-service, artificial intelligence-powered interface enables application integration, data integration, API management and data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform.
Businesses raise IoT cyberthreat fears
Despite estimates suggesting that £595 billion will be spent this year on Internet of Things (IoT) technology, more than half of organisations are concerned that they are unprepared to counter the cyber threats they face from connected devices. A survey of 1,800 IT security professionals by the Ponemon Institute for cyber security firm nCipher found that for those working in the manufacturing, finance and healthcare sectors in the UK, the top threat to IoT devices is having their function altered by a malicious third party, with 75 per cent citing hacking as their main concern.
Digital twins help bridge construction productivity gap
In a drive to increase on-site productivity and operational performance in the construction industry, BAM Nuttall has teamed up with tech firm Iotic and researchers at Cranfield University to develop a computer-vision system using digital twin technology. The Learning Camera project employs a standard webcam, integrated with an Internet of Things (IoT) framework of smart sensors to collect real-time environmental data, such as wind speed and weather conditions, combined with contextual information including location, date and time. All this data is fed into a cloud-based system to create digital twins, which bridge the physical and virtual world.
UK tech leaders ‘climb in c-suite rank’
A KPMG and Harvey Nash survey has shown that UK chief information officers (CIOs) are gaining more strategic influence in organisations, while more (54 per cent, up from 49 per cent last year) are seeing budget increases than at any other time in the last 15 years. The latest analysis, which examines responses from more than 900 senior technology leaders in the UK, also revealed that CIOs are likely to become even more vital in the near future, with 42 per cent of organisations expecting to change their product/service offering or business model fundamentally in the next three years.
SaaS drives $71bn of deals in record six months
The global market for enterprise software saw a record $71 billion of investment in the first six months of 2019, following a number of mega-deals between software giants. Hampleton Partners highlighted the rapid acceleration of digital transformation efforts in businesses worldwide, with 651 transactions agreed in the first half of the year, led by software-as-a-service (SaaS) deals.
Cyber threat reaches ‘sustained and sophisticated’ level
The current cyber security threat environment is “sustained and sophisticated”, with phishing attacks serving as the primary cause of data breaches, according to Carbon Black. The cloud-native endpoint protection company released the results of its third UK Threat Report, based on a survey of 250 chief information officers, chief technology officers and chief information security officers across the UK.
Government seeks ‘groundbreaking aerospace tech’
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can now apply for a share of £2.5 million to develop innovative technologies that could win new business in the aerospace sector. The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) has £10 million to support SMEs developing innovative technologies for the aerospace industry.
Data breach cost to reach $5 trillion by 2024
The cost of data breaches will rise from $3 trillion each year to over $5 trillion in 2024, as the rate of incidents climbs by 70 per cent, according to Juniper Research.The report predicts that attempts to breach cyber defences will rise by an average growth rate of 11 per cent per year in the next five years.
Chancellor promises £5bn for rural broadband
Sajid Javid has unveiled plans to boost high-speed broadband internet connectivity across the country in a speech to the Conservative Party conference. The chancellor used his time at the podium in Manchester to set out a £25 billion infrastructure delivery plan.
Cyber and AI are top compliance concerns
Cyber security risk and artificial intelligence (AI) are amongst the top business concerns of compliance and procurement professionals, according to new research. A ComRes poll of 630 compliance and procurement professionals for data insights firm Dun & Bradstreet found that respondents were increasingly less confident of their ability to manage third party relationships.
MoD sets up cyber team for secure innovation
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has set up a Defence Innovation Cyber Security and Assurance Team (DICSAT) to support its Defence Assurance and Information Security (DAIS) service. Based in London, it will provide advice on support for innovation projects, for up to two years with a budget of £2 million.
AI driving ‘next generation’ of UK jobs
The uptake of artificial intelligence (AI) by industry will drastically change the UK job market in the coming years – with 133 million new jobs expected to be created globally. In the UK alone, up to a third of jobs will be automated or likely to change as a result of the emergence of AI, impacting 10.5 million workers, according to recruiter Robert Walters and market analysis firm Vacancy Soft.
More than a year on, 28% of firms are GDPR compliant
Over a year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Capgemini Research Institute has found that companies vastly overestimated their readiness for the rules, with just 28 per cent having successfully achieved compliance.This is compared to a GDPR readiness survey last year which found that 78 per cent expected to be prepared by the time the regulation came into effect in May 2018.
Looking into the Quantum future
When the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger famously conducted his cat in a box experiment and concluded the cat could be simultaneously dead and alive until the observer opened the box, it highlighted, despite such a seeming absurdity, the much wider issue of how quantum systems can operate in multiple states until observed or measured.Fast forward to the 21st century and its relevance is becoming increasingly clear, with quantum computing eventually set to supersede the classical (binary) computing we have now.
Two thirds of business have no data science function
More than two thirds of UK businesses have no dedicated analytics or data science function, according to a recent poll. A survey of 1,000 respondents to a social media poll for MHR Analytics found that 69 per cent of organisation lacked internal data science expertise, as businesses struggle to catch up with demand for advanced data management skills.
Microsoft partners Vodafone for gaming tech
Microsoft and Vodafone have announced a new partnership which will enable customers to take part in a preview of the software giant’s new cloud-based game streaming technology.
The Project xCloud public preview will enable Vodafone customers to play Xbox games on their mobile phones and tablet devices via Vodafone’s 4G and 5G networks.
Amazon launches virtual health app
Amazon has announced it is entering the healthcare sector with the launch of a virtual health clinic app. The Amazon Care app pilot project will offer the company’s employees in Seattle access to in-app video consultations with physicians or nurse practitioners for instant diagnosis or referral to a specialist.
Audi partners commercetools for in-car purchases
Audi has chosen the commercetools software platform to enable new digital in-car services, so drivers can buy and activate new functions via their myAudi app. The on-demand capabilities will be launched in Germany before being rolled out to other European markets over the coming months.
Quantum computing ‘set to revolutionise cyber security’
Rapid developments in quantum computing methods are set to ‘revolutionise’ industries including financial services, cyber security, logistics and transport. A report into the state of quantum computing by Reply, a global network of affiliated tech firms, found that increased investment in quantum technology, included £153 million government funding, will enable major advances in artificial intelligence and data encryption tactics available to firms.
Google wins EU right to be forgotten case
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that Google only has to remove links to sensitive personal data in Europe, rather than globally. This follows the search giant’s 2015 dispute with Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), France’s privacy watchdog, which demanded that information be delisted from internet search results globally upon request, in what has become called the ‘right to be forgotten’.
UK 5G adoption to reach over 26% by 2024
The demand for 5G is robust in the UK and the technology's adoption is forecasted to reach over 26 per cent of total mobile subscriptions by 2024, according to GlobalData. EE was the first network to launch 5G in the UK, but Three and Vodafone have since launched their 5G strategies to try and make it to the top spot.
Microsoft chief calls for data democratisation
The world has reached a turning point as people demand more control over the use of technology and data, according to Microsoft’s president Brad Smith. Speaking at a launch event for his new book ‘Tools and weapons: The promise and Peril of the Digital Age’, Smith outlined how data privacy scandals involving global social media companies and governments have made the public much more protective of their personal information and how it is used.
Johnson pledges £1bn for climate tech
British scientists and innovators will be able to access up to £1 billion of aid funding to develop and test new technology targeted at tackling climate change in developing countries, prime minister Boris Johnson will announce at the UN General Assembly today. The Ayrton Fund aims to give developing countries access to the latest tech to help reduce their emissions and meet global climate change targets.
Mindtree opens European HQ in London
Mindtree has announced the opening of its new European headquarters in London. The office is equipped with the first European Digital Pumpkin innovation hub, which aims to help clients discover and design their path to digital transformation success.
Government looks for new digital chief
The UK government has begun its search for a new chief digital information officer (CDIO), potentially at a higher grade than the existing director general of the Government Digital Service (GDS). The Cabinet Office has advertised the current job with John Manzoni, chief executive of the Civil Service, saying it will be at second permanent secretary level. The person appointed will report directly to him and lead the government’s 17,000 digital, data and technology professionals.
Cyber security firm Red Sift lands $8m funding
Cyber security startup Red Sift has secured $8.8 million to drive growth and support its expansion into the US market. The London-based company, which counts TransferWise, Greenhill & Co and Telefonica as clients, said it would also use the funding to further develop its solutions which use machine learning to combat attempted online security breaches.
Digital performance challenges cost $3.3m
The cost to businesses of addressing digital performance problems has reached $3.3 million, according to a survey of chief information officers (CIOs). A Vanson Bourne survey of 800 CIOs in large enterprises for cloud software company Dynatrace found a 34 per cent increase in the cost of addressing digital challenges, with 88 per cent of respondents foreseeing that artificial intelligence (AI) will be key to their ability to master the growing complexity of IT systems.
Nets and KPMG partner for fraud prevention
Nets has collaborated with KPMG, to develop a new fraud monitoring and prevention solution. Nets Fraud Ensemble is an anti-fraud engine that deploys true machine learning - a system that identifies emerging fraud indicators as well as established patterns - to step beyond existing rules-based models that are currently in use across the banking industry.
Smart home security popularity increasing in UK
Research from GoCompare Home Insurance has revealed that 79 per cent of UK householders worry about being burgled, and are turning to smart home technology to keep their possessions safe. According to police figures, the number of recorded burglary offenses in England and Wales has actually fallen by three per cent in 2019, but 83 per cent still think they should be doing more to improve their home security, with 39 per cent rating their security measures as moderate to poor at best.
Banks team up on blockchain supply chain project
High Street banks including Barclays, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered have teamed up with the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) to pilot the use of blockchain to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of global supply chains.The Trado model was also piloted with the backing of Rabobank, Sainsbury’s and Unilever in a bid to prove a use case for distributed ledger technology.
Government offers SME innovation loans
Innovate UK, as part of UK Research and Innovation, is offering up to £10 million in loans to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to commercialise innovative products or services. Ideas can come from any area of technology or the economy and must lead to sustainable business growth.
Tech Nation opens three growth comps
Tech Nation is calling for applicants for three of the UK’s most renowned growth programmes - Future Fifty, Upscale and Rising Stars. The programmes are designed to scale and grow the next generation of UK tech businesses, with alumni including Monzo, Starling Bank, Darktrace, Deliveroo and Skyscanner.
Cloud moves continue despite security concerns
The majority (60 per cent) of UK businesses plan to migrate their apps and data to the public cloud within the next year. This is according to a NetApp survey conducted across a database of 200 decision-makers responsible for IT buying decisions in the United Kingdom, working in companies with 500 or more employees.
UK workforce ‘unprepared’ for automation
Research has revealed that people feel unprepared for the introduction of new technologies, despite being optimistic about their job prospects. The Gallup Real Future of Work report was based on telephone interviews conducted in February and March with random representative samples of 1,000 employed adults in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, finding that most are generally upbeat about the impact of technology on their careers, despite some analysis predicting that machines would take over half of human jobs within the decade.
Managers have highest digital skills gap
Business leaders are concerned about a chronic skills shortage in cloud based infrastructure (33 per cent) and cyber security (33 per cent), according to new research. A survey 500 senior UK business figures by The Open University analysed by the TheKnowledgeAcademy.com found that staff members at manager level are rated as the most lacking in the digital skills needed to compete with increased use of technology in the workplace.
UK businesses ‘unaware of Wi-Fi vulnerabilities’
UK businesses need to be more aware of the security vulnerabilities their wireless devices present, according to research from Probrand. A survey of 1,075 UK workers in full or part-time employment, carried out by the technology services provider, revealed that 72 per cent of companies which suffered a data breach in the last year found that the network infiltration came from an unsecured wireless device – such as a printer, scanner, mobile phone or laptop connected to their Wi-Fi network.
Many businesses ‘struggling with AI infrastructure’
Most businesses are well underway with artificial intelligence (AI) experimentation, but many still lack an understanding of the use cases to deliver business value and the data infrastructures for making it a success across the enterprise on a sustainable basis. This is according to a survey from digital transformation company Mindtree, which gathered data from 650 global IT leaders from key business markets, finding 85 per cent of organisations have a data strategy and 77 per cent have implemented some AI-related technologies in the workplace – with 31 per cent already seeing major business value from their AI efforts.
Virtual hospitals to provide cardiac care
Swedish-Indian HealthTech firm VBRI has launched the first field trial of a virtual hospital concept, which it is hoped will provide more than 500 cardiac consultations in 90 days. VBRI said its mHospitals, which use advanced technologies like cloud medicine, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), will go live in four different centers in China, India and Sweden.
Brits ‘mistrust US companies’ over data protection
Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of internet users in the UK are ‘concerned’ or are ‘somewhat concerned’ about storing private data with US companies. This is according to a YouGov survey of 2,534 UK adults last month, commissioned by European email provider GMX.
MPs slam addictive games industry practices
MPs have called for regulation on video game ‘loot boxes’ under gambling law, with sales banned to children in order to protect players. A new report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee also highlighted a “lack of honesty and transparency” among representatives of some games and social media companies in giving evidence.
Libra to apply for Swiss payments license
The Geneva-based association tasked with overseeing Facebook’s Libra digital currency is to pursue a license as a payment system in Switzerland.The Libra Association, an independent non-profit, brings together Facebook’s Calibra digital currency project with 27 global payments, technologies, telecommunications and venture capital firms - including Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Uber and eBay - to supervise the launch and development of the social media giant’s Libra coin - currently scheduled for 2020.
Boundary secures £1.2m for smart home security
Security tech startup Boundary has landed £1.22 million investment from Equity Gap and the Scottish Investment Bank to develop its smart home security alarm.The investment, led by the investment arm of Scotland’s national economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, will create several new jobs and prepare its smart home security alarm for launch.
Mastercard partners R3 for blockchain payments
Mastercard is partnering with software company R3 to develop a blockchain-powered cross border payments solution. Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Mastercard will act as the network operator to process, clear and settle international payments while R3’s blockchain software and Corda ecosystem will enable banks to deliver a single frictionless real-time payments proposition.
Cybercrime-as-a-service industry ‘thriving’
Hackers and fraudsters operating on the dark web are fuelling a “thriving” trade in cybercrime-as-a-service, with a raft of new goods and services, even including aftersales support, according to new research.The data was taken from 12 different English and Russian speaking dark markets and forums between February and June 2019 by researchers at cyber security firm Armor.
Scourge of tech giants takes on EU digital policy
Brussels is bracing for further battles with the world’s tech giants after Margrethe Vestager was confirmed as staying on as the EU’s competition watchdog in a beefed up role which puts her in charge of digital policy. Vestager, a Danish politician who has built up a reputation as the scourge of US tech titans after doling out fines of €8 billion to Google and €100 million to Facebook in competition cases, was confirmed as the EU competition commissioner with an expanded remit for making “Europe fit for the digital age.”
MoD to explore AI and 3D printing tech
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that it will consider emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing as key concepts in its new approach to innovation and technological change. Two strategy documents published today - the Defence Technology Framework (DTF) and the Defence Innovation Priorities (DIP) - outline the MoD’s strategy for coping with the accelerating pace of technological change in the defence space, with the arrival of drones, cyber warfare and automated threat detection.
ProGlove raises $40m for industrial wearables growth
Industrial wearables firm ProGlove has announced a $40 million investment from global growth equity firm Summit Partners. It plans to use this funding to expand its international footprint and connect more of the world’s workforce with the industrial Internet of Things (IoT).
Royal Navy to launch autonomy accelerator
The Royal Navy’s autonomy accelerator Navy X is to launch a search for innovative ideas in autonomy capability. In a statement announcing the Autonomy Innovation Accelerator - a joint project between the Navy’s Defence and Security Accelerator and NavyX - the Navy said the new competition would involve “reaching out to innovators to propose mature autonomy ideas that will increase the efficiency of maritime operations, or otherwise provide improved operational capability and help them delivery military output on operations”.
Monmouthshire uses tech to tackle loneliness
Monmouthshire County Council has launched two projects to find solutions to loneliness and limited public transport in rural areas. The local authority has selected the projects from five that were funded to develop concepts and work with its private sector partners as part of the GovTech Challenge, backed by the Cabinet Office, to provide solutions to various social problems.
Facebook joins Microsoft to combat deepfakes
Facebook has launched a partnership with Microsoft and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers from Oxford, UC Berkeley and MIT to combat the online phenomenon of ‘deepfakes’.The joint project will take the form of a Deepfake Detection Challenge aimed at developing software and technologies to identify where AI has been used to alter a video in order to mislead the viewer.
Scots ready for IoT HealthTech
Research commissioned by Capita on behalf of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) has revealed that Scots believe the internet of things (IoT) and smart technologies will improve healthcare. The survey of 2,000 Scottish adults found 88 per cent agreed, while 84 per cent said digital access to healthcare - through video appointments and online chats - was important to where they choose to live.
Amazon trialling ‘hand swish’ payments tech
Amazon is reportedly trialling the use of new technology which would enable shoppers to pay for goods with the swish of a hand. According to the New York Post, the e-commerce giant has been testing biometric scanners with employees at its New York office, with a view to rolling the technology out to its Whole Foods supermarkets chain.
Police facial recognition tech ruled legal
The High Court has thrown out a bid to block the use of facial recognition by police in South Wales in a landmark ruling. The court yesterday ruled in favour of South Wales Police to allow continued use of Automated Facial Recognition (AFR) after data privacy campaigner Ed Bridges launched a judicial review against the practice.
Consumers ‘prefer chatbots to humans’
The Capgemini Research Institute has found that consumers increasingly prefer to interact with robots rather than humans, especially when it comes to researching products, learning about new services or following up on post-purchase customer service queries. It surveyed over 12,000 consumers who use voice/chat assistants and 1,000 business executives - from companies covering consumer products and retail, retail banking and insurance, and automotive - finding that nearly 70 per cent of consumers think they will progressively replace visits to a store or bank with their voice assistant within three years’ time.
Facebook rolls out face recognition to all users
Facebook is rolling out its facial recognition setting to all users as it phases out the ‘tag suggestions’ option. Writing in a blog, Srinivas Narayanan, applied research lead at Facebook AI, explained that those who newly join the social media platform, or who previously had the tag suggestions, will have the face recognition setting automatically added.
Boots pilots electric vehicle prescription delivery
Boots is piloting a scheme in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to deliver prescriptions in electric vehicles. The pharmacy group is adding five electric Renault Kangoo iVans to its fleet used to pick up prescriptions and deliver them to patients’ homes.
Digital transformation projects ‘still failing’
Despite rising optimism for digital transformation projects, the vast majority of organisations are still suffering failure, delays or scaled back expectations, according to Couchbase. The cloud database provider surveyed 450 heads of digital transformation in enterprises across the UK, US, France and Germany, finding that 73 per cent have made ‘significant’ or better improvements to the end-user experience in their organisation through digital innovation.
King’s Cross cancels facial recognition tech
Facial recognition software will no longer in operation in the King’s Cross area, following controversy over its use in a number of CCTV systems last month. The Information Commissioner’s Office announced it would investigate the development’s use of the technology after it admitted to using facial recognition in the 67-acre zone of central London zone around King’s Cross train station.
Brits ‘concerned’ over driverless cars
Almost half (43 per cent) of UK adults are worried about the problems that may arise from driverless cars, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 adults by technology firm Studio Graphene found that the rise of automated vehicles and the impact they may have on road safety was highest on people’s list of technology concerns.
Dutch central bank to regulate cryptocurrencies
The Dutch central bank has announced that it is to begin regulating cryptocurrency services from 10 January 2020. In a statement this morning, De Nederlandsche Bank said: “In concrete terms, firms offering services for the exchange between cryptos and regular money, and crypto wallet providers, must register with De Nederlandsche Bank.”
Governments moving rapidly into cloud: Gartner
Government agencies around the world are making strong progress in adopting cloud platforms, according to Gartner. Its 2019 Hype Cycle for Digital Government Technology report revealed that cloud office is the only GovTech area to enter the ‘plateau of productivity’.
Millennials most likely to fall for ‘safe’ account scams
More Millennials are falling victim to scams designed to trick them into handing over cash to fraudsters than any other age group, according to Lloyds Bank. There has been just under a four-fold increase in the number of 18 to 34 year-olds being caught out by impersonation scams in the past 12 months, who are now as likely as those aged over 55 to fall victim to such scams.
Gov launches £3.5m AI fund for service sector
UK Research and Innovation has made up to £3.5 million available to support projects developing new accountancy, insurance and legal services based on artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies. The funding comes from the UK government’s £20 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Next Generation Services Challenge, which aims to explore how new technologies could transform these services.
Google uncovers ‘sustained’ iPhone hack
A team of security researchers at Google claims to have uncovered hackers trying to access iPhones in an attempted attack that has lasted at least two years. Writing in a series of blogs, cybersecurity expert Ian Beer, a member of Google’s Project Zero security taskforce, said that a “sustained effort” had been identified to use websites to harvest contacts, images and data stored on iPhones. The hackers implanted the websites with malicious software.
Leeds firm acquires HealthTech in £1m deal
Leeds-based independent health and wellbeing business OneMedicalGroup has acquired HealthTech solutions firm Rescon for £1 million. The deal will allow OneMedicalGroup to use Rescon’s patient management platform Lincus, with plans to roll it out across primary and urgent care sites nationally, followed by wider roll out to the health and care market.
Biometrics Institute warns of innovative spoofing
The Biometrics Institute has warned of the risks of hackers spoofing identification technology with 3D face masks or fake silicone fingerprints.The independent body for public and commercial users of biometrics stated that such data could be obtained either directly or covertly from a person online or through hacked systems and used to attack a biometric system through the creation of fake identification.
Slow pace of digitisation costing procurement £1.9m a year
Less than half (45 per cent) of procurement processes have been digitised, with paper-based or manual processes costing UK businesses an average of £1.94 million per year, according to new research. A Vanson Bourne survey of 200 procurement, supply chain and finance professionals for procurement firm Ivalua found that procurement teams are spending almost a third (31 per cent) of their time dealing with analogue processes, with 71 per cent of respondents believing that the rate of digitisation is holding them back from doing their jobs.
UK PropTech Residently raises £7m
UK-based PropTech startup Residently has raised £7 million in seed funding from Felix Capital, LocalGlobe and A/O PropTech, along with a number of existing angel investors. The investment will be used to grow engineering and product teams, as well as to help build out Residently’s rental portfolio in London and New York.
Government ‘held back by legacy systems’
More than two fifths (42 per cent) of government bodies are spending more than a quarter of their IT budgets maintaining legacy systems, rather than investing in new technology, according to a new report. A survey of 190 state and local government technology professionals, published by the Centre for Digital Government at the University of Massachusetts and OutSystems, a low-code platform, found that 57 per cent of departments are using ‘legacy’ software or systems that are more than five years old.
Scottish Government publishes 5G strategy
The Scottish Government will work with local authorities and Transport Scotland as part of its strategy for 5G network deployment. The 5G: Strategy for Scotland report includes several steps to support regional councils in the deployment of the technology.
Less than a quarter of firms prioritise cyber
Less than a quarter (24 per cent) of businesses prioritise cyber security when it comes to technology investment, according to new data. A survey of more than 500 UK business leaders for security firm Advanced revealed that just over a third (34 per cent) of business leaders think regulatory change, including the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May last year, has driven the purchase of new technology in their organisation.
BBC to launch voice assistant to rival Alexa
The BBC is to launch a digital voice assistant in 2020, as the corporation seeks to diversify access to its content and face down the challenge from tech firms such as Amazon, Google and Apple. The smart assistant, which has been given the working name of Beeb, will not be a hardware device but rather a voice software assistant which can be used on a variety of smart speakers and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Cyber crime losses set to exceed $5 trillion by 2024
The cost of data breaches will rise from $3 trillion each year to over $5 trillion in 2024, an average annual growth of 11 per cent. Analysis by Juniper Research suggested this will primarily be driven by increasing fines for data breaches as regulation tightens, as well as a greater proportion of business lost as enterprises become more dependent on the digital realm.
Gov offers £30m for 5G in rural areas
Digital secretary Nicky Morgan has launched a £30 million, UK-wide competition to spark a tech revolution in countryside communities and help rural Britain seize the opportunities of 5G networks. Up to 10 rural locations will be chosen to run trials of 5G applications and stimulate commercial investment in 5G technology, which offers mobile speeds 10 to 20 times faster than previous generations.
Hacker’s Bitcoin to be sold for compensation
In a pioneering move for the UK justice system, £915,000 worth Bitcoin confiscated from imprisoned hacker Grant West is to be sold to compensate victims. The assets were seized after he was arrested on a train from Rhyl to London in September 2017, following two and a half years of criminal activities, including stealing data from more than 100 organisations worldwide and selling how-to hack manuals.
EU ‘considers plan for €100bn to help European tech fund’
The EU is reportedly considering plans to set up a €100bn to help European tech companies face up to competition from US and Chinese rivals.Under proposed plans put forward by officials in Brussels, and seen by the Financial Times and Politico, the megafund could help EU tech firms rise to the challenge posed by the likes of Amazon and Alibaba.
ICO changes Subject Access Request guidance
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said that organisations need to change their calculations on responding to Subject Access Requests (SARs). The update to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act compliance comes after a ruling of the EU Court of Justice.
Startup unveils largest ever computer chip
US tech startup Cerebras Systems has revealed what it is calling the largest computer chip in the world, to aid the development of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Slightly bigger than an Apple iPad, the Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine (WSE) has 400,000 core processors and is described as the heart of the company’s deep learning system.
Fitbit to provide Singapore with HealthTech devices
Fitbit is to supply devices to track the health of up to one million of Singapore’s citizens as part of a major public health drive.The program, which requires users to sign up to Fitbit’s premium subscription in exchange for a free wearable device, the Fitbit Inspire, will be the company’s first integration with a national government.
EU ‘considering’ Facebook Libra competition probe
The EU’s antitrust regulators are weighing up a competition probe into Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, according to reports. The European Commission’s competition watchdog has sent out a questionnaire to a number of those involved in the Libra project, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the potential probe.
UK HealthTech gains key US patent
UK HealthTech firm Isansys Lifecare has announced that it has had a key method patent granted by the US Patent Office. Its patient monitoring platform aids the early detection of deterioration in patients, integrating sensors, connectivity and predictive analytics.
Human error remains primary data breach cause
New figures have revealed that of the 4,856 personal data breaches reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) between 1 January and 20 June 2019, 60 per cent were the result of human error. This is according to security firm Egress, which obtained the data via a Freedom of Information request. It found that of those incidents, nearly half (43 per cent) were the result of incorrect disclosure, with 20 per cent posting or faxing data to the incorrect recipient.
Deloitte launches 'Blockchain In a Box' tool
Deloitte has introduced Blockchain in a Box (BIAB), a new tool designed to provide intuitive, tangible blockchain demonstrations and experimentations. It is a mobile, self-contained technology platform capable of hosting blockchain-based solutions across four small-form-factor compute nodes and three video displays, as well as networking components that enable integration with external services, such as traditional cloud technologies.
Facebook launches data privacy feature
Facebook has launched a new tool allowing users more control over the personal data shared with third parties.The move, which will have an impact on the social media giant’s advertising revenue, lets users view the ‘offline’ information about them sent by apps and websites to Facebook and delete it if they choose.
UK tech sector pulls in record investment
Investment in the UK’s tech sector has hit record levels, with more foreign funding in the first seven months of 2019 than in the whole of 2018. Data released by Tech Nation and Dealroom showed that $6.7 billion has been invested in UK tech companies in the first seven months of 2019, with $3.7 billion - or 55 per cent - coming from US and Asian investors.
Porsche invests in road vision sensing startup
Israeli startup TriEye, whose shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensing technology enables vision in adverse weather and night-time conditions, has expanded its Series A funding round to $19 million with an investment from Porsche. The additional funding will be used for ongoing product development and operations, as well as team growth.
Tech giants call for France to ditch digital services tax
US tech giants are ramping up their resistance to France’s plans for a digital services tax.On Monday, senior executives from Amazon, Google and Facebook spoke at a hearing in Washington to outline the impact a French levy could have on their European businesses, urging Paris to withdraw the plans.
Scottish Government starts fourth CivTech Challenge
The Scottish Government has focused on tech solutions to 11 public service issues in the fourth round of its CivTech Challenge programme. It has begun the engagement process with potential suppliers, aiming to begin the exploration phase by the middle of next month. The programme is aimed at matching digital tech innovators with the public sector organisations leading the challenges.
Gov offers £20m for low carbon automotive tech
The Advanced Propulsion Centre and Innovate UK are looking for projects that demonstrate the development of on-vehicle technologies for on or off-road vehicles, offering up to £20 million for late-stage research and development in advanced low carbon propulsion in the automotive sector. Projects must either accelerate the development of low and zero tailpipe emission capable technologies, or demonstrate a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions leading to air quality improvements.
Manchester office trials finger scan payments
Employees and visitors to office space concept All Work and Social’s XYZ building in Manchester will be able to pay for food and drink using finger scan biometrics as part of a trial beginning this autumn. Launched in partnership with Fingopay, using its VeinID scanning technology, customers can link ‘vein signatures’ in their fingers with payment cards.
Cyber attack disrupts police forensics
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has revealed that forensics checks were disrupted earlier this summer, after a cyber attack on one of its private sector suppliers. While it has now approved the return of Eurofins Forensics Services, the NPCC acknowledged that it had suspended all law enforcement submissions to the company since June. This reduced national capacity and created a backlog of approximately 15,000 samples.
Police forces resist facial recognition tech
UK police forces are reportedly resisting efforts made by the Home Office to roll out trials of facial recognition technology, as controversy mounts over the privacy implications of biometric surveillance. According to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests submitted by the Observer newspaper, Kent and West Midlands police forces are pushing back against government testing of facial recognition systems.
ICO to investigate King’s Cross facial recognition tech
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched an investigation into the use of live facial recognition technology in the King’s Cross area. News of the probe comes after it was revealed this week that CCTV cameras in the 67-acre area around London's King’s Cross - traversed by thousands of visitors every day - were using facial recognition features.
Finance leaders predict automation benefits
A majority (87 per cent) of finance leaders believe that automation will lead to greater efficiency for their business in the next three years, according to new research. A survey of 250 senior finance decision-makers by data and analytics firms Dun & Bradstreet, in association with the the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), found that despite expectations that automation is set to drive workplace transformation, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) of financial and credit organisations are automating less than a quarter of their processes.
IET to lead new UK Cyber Security Council
After a competitive grant competition, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has been appointed the lead organisation in charge of designing and delivering the new UK Cyber Security Council, alongside a wider alliance of cyber security professional organisations. According to a statement, the UK Cyber Security Council will aim to coordinate the existing professional landscape, to make cyber security a well-structured and easy to navigate profession which represents, supports and drives excellence going forward.
Innovate UK seeks quantum tech investors
Innovate UK has announced it has up to £12 million to spend on innovative projects exploiting new quantum technologies and is seeking private investment partners. A statement from the government’s innovation agency explained that new quantum technologies could transform products and services in many business sectors, including automotive, healthcare, infrastructure, telecommunications, cyber security and defence.
UK HealthTech secures funding for growth
Advanced Digital Innovation (ADI) has secured a £650,000 investment from NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. The funding will allow the HealthTech startup to grow its sales and marketing team and further develop its product MyPathway.
EV charging points outnumber fuel stations in UK
Electric car charging points now outnumber petrol stations in the UK, as drivers accelerate the shift to green technology, according to figures from Nissan. Data from the automobile maker said that there are almost 1,000 more public places to charge electric cars than there are forecourts to pump petrol in the UK, with 9,300 EV charging locations compared to 8,400 fuel stations.
Researchers uncover 1m people’s biometric data
The fingerprints of over one million people, as well as facial recognition information, unencrypted usernames and passwords, along with personal information of employees, was discovered on a publicly accessible database for a company used by the likes of the police, defence contractors and banks. Last month, security company Suprema announced its Biostar 2 biometrics lock platform was integrated into another access control system – AEOS. Biostar 2 uses fingerprints and facial recognition as part of its means of identifying people attempting to gain access to buildings.
Blockchain firm R3 to open new Dublin office
Enterprise blockchain firm R3 is set to further its European expansion with the opening of a new office in Dublin next year. It will serve as another of R3’s tech hubs and will be primarily staffed by engineering specialists who will work closely with the existing engineering team in London.
King’s Cross cameras use facial recognition tech
Visitors to the King’s Cross area in London are being tracked by cameras using facial recognition technology.The Financial Times reported that the 67-acre area around King’s Cross, which is home to a number of residential units, retail stores and offices - including Google’s UK headquarters and Central Saint Martin’s college - is using cameras as part of security efforts.
Thames Valley councils make tech challenge call
The Thames Valley Berkshire Smart City Cluster - consisting of Reading, Bracknell Forest, Wokingham and West Berkshire Councils - have launched a series of challenge fund calls for the development of technology to improve public services in the area. The group of local authorities published details of its second round of calls at an event for potential suppliers late last week.
Vodafone switches on Irish 5G network
Vodafone has become the first mobile operator to switch on 5G networks in the Republic of Ireland. Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford are the first cities to get faster coverage, with additional locations planned in the coming months.
Aberdeen first Scottish council to partner Microsoft Cloud
Aberdeen City Council is the first Scottish local authority to partner with Microsoft’s Cloud Navigator Plan as it carries out a digital transformation of its services. Announcing the next step in its collaboration with Microsoft, Aberdeen City Council said its Cloud Navigator plan would “fundamentally change” the way it delivers services to more than 200,000 people, whilst driving efficiencies.
FS firms facing ‘onslaught of cyber attacks’
Financial services firms are facing an “onslaught” of cybersecurity threats, with 348 breaches targeted at Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and financial records data reported in 2018. According to a survey of 211 organisations carried out by IT services firm Wipro, the banking, financial services and insurance sector is consistently one of the most targeted industries, with 68 per cent of organisations saying email phishing is a top risk.
£2m grant for autonomous vehicle cyber security
Up to £2 million is being made available for UK businesses to define a cyber/physical connected and autonomous vehicle test facility. The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) is partnering with Zenzic - formally Meridian Mobility - and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.
Ofcom to ‘fine tech giants for toxic videos’
Tech giants such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram could face fines worth tens of millions for posting harmful videos, under new powers being handed to broadcasting regulator Ofcom. The plans currently being drawn up by ministers give Ofcom the power to impose fines worth up to five per cent of a company’s revenue, if online platforms are judged to have failed in their duty to prevent young users seeing pornography, violence and other harmful material.
London boroughs call for tech ideas
The London Office of Technology and Innovation (LOTI) has called for ideas for future projects. The collaborative vehicle to strengthen London boroughs’ ability to innovate, build common capability and to scale-up digital innovation across public services, went live in June, backed by 15 founding boroughs.
Tech investment drops on slowing economy
Investment in the UK’s tech sector slowed down in the second quarter, as the wider economy showed sign of weaker growth, according to the latest industry survey from KPMG. Whilst the industry continued to outperform other sectors in the three months to July, data from the professional services firm showed that staff hiring plans were at their lowest point for two years.
Etihad partners for blockchain distribution
Etihad Airways has partnered with Winding Tree to explore using blockchain to distribute products and services without the need for third parties. The United Arab Emirates’ national carrier is one of several airlines and hotels - including Air Canada, Air France-KLM, Lufthansa, Swissport and citizenM hotels - that have joined with the Swiss open-source travel platform to bypass intermediaries using the distributed ledger technology.
Only a third confident of disaster recovery plans
Only a third of UK organisations (35 per cent) have full confidence in their current disaster recovery plans, while less than half (49 per cent) have complete confidence in their current backup solution. This is according to Databarracks’ annual survey, now in its 11th year, which questioned over 400 IT decision-makers in the UK on issues relating to security, disaster recovery and business continuity practices.
NHS gets £250m AI lab investment
The government has announced a £250 million investment in a National Artificial Intelligence Lab to use the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the health and lives of patients within the NHS. The lab will bring together the industry’s best academics, specialists and technology companies to work on some of the biggest challenges in health and care, including earlier cancer detection, new dementia treatments and more personalised care.
Commerzbank pilots blockchain payments with Daimler Trucks
Commerzbank is testing a blockchain-based machine-to-machine payment system with Daimler Trucks. The pilot involved the exchange and settlement of payments between an electronic charging point and a Daimler Truck system without any human intervention.
Chinese state hackers turn to personal gain
FireEye has identified a group of Chinese state hackers which are taking on more financially-motivated operations on the side. The intelligence-led security company has released details of the newly-named Advanced Persistent Threat group – APT41.
BA suffers IT systems issue at London airports
An IT systems issue affecting British Airways’ (BA) check-in procedures has caused cancellations and delays to flights departing from its London airports. National Technology News understands that technical difficulties have caused some systems to malfunction, but the airline is operating with back-up manual systems to try and keep flights operating from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.
Which? warns Facebook still flooded with fake reviews
Facebook is failing to stop fake review factories that are increasingly being used to mislead consumers – despite being ordered to take urgent action by the regulator. This is according to an investigation by Which? revealing that more than a month after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) raised concerns, Facebook remains flooded with fake review groups.
UK PropTech completes seed funding
London-based PropTech firm askporter has secured a £1.5 million in seed funding. The property management software firm, which already counts Google as an investor, received fresh funding from Venture University, Pi Labs, Plug and Play, WISAG FM and Henley Investments.
Cybereason raises $200m for market disruption
Cybereason has announced a series of investments and commitments totalling $200 million by SoftBank Group and its affiliates. This raises the total invested and committed capital to date for Cybereason is now approximately $400 million, with capital previously raised from CRV, Spark Capital and Lockheed Martin since founding in 2012.
Two thirds worried AI will take their jobs
Two thirds (67 per cent) of UK adults are worried artificial intelligence (AI) will result in jobs being lost to machines. This is according to think tank and development company Fountech.ai, which surveyed a nationally-representative group of more than 2,000 people.
Consumer robotics shipments to hit 74m by 2024
Over 74 million consumer robots will be shipped in 2024, up from an estimated 28 million in 2019, according to Juniper Research. It’s market analysis forecasted that vendors’ focus on educational features in consumer robots, such as coding tools, and adding features to established device ranges will increase the consumer value proposition, will drive the growth of consumer robotics adoption over the next five years.
UK and Singapore sign GovTech MoU
After three years of facilitation and support, SIN Singapore has brokered a partnership between the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) and Singapore’s GovTech Agency (GovTech). The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is aimed at strengthening their collaboration in the design and delivery of digital government services.
Scottish spaceport counts down to launch
Plans to open a new spaceport in Scotland have moved closer to final approval after property developers working on the deal have signed a 75-year lease. The land to be used for Space Hub Sutherland will launch small satellites via private services from companies including Lockheed Martin and Orbex.
Survey reveals Whitehall data shortcomings
Only 48 per cent of 101 central government IT leaders responding to a survey from Pure Storage believe their current data infrastructure can help them meet their strategic transformation objectives. The data solutions company commissioned consultancy Insight Avenue to poll the civil servants earlier this year, finding that 85 per cent think their infrastructure can compromise operational agility, while 83 per cent believe it increases operational costs, 82 per cent reckon it creates compliance challenges and 80 per cent believe it reduces the ability to meet citizen expectations.
Tech giants ‘must open up about IoT device data’
Tech giants, such as Google and Amazon, should be forced to open up about the data collected through connected home devices such as Alexa and Google Home and destroy it if necessary.This is according to Damian Collins, the chairman of parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, who said that the scope of online harms legislation currently being drawn up by the government should include tougher rules over the data collected by voice-activated devices.
R3 commits to London as post-Brexit tech hub
Enterprise blockchain software firm R3 has reaffirmed its commitment to London, doubling the size of its London Wall hub to accommodate a rapidly-growing engineering team. The extra space will also support an “aggressive hiring plan” to increase the company’s global headcount from its current level of 215 to nearly 300 by the end of the year. Of this, over half of the new hires will be in the London office, with more than 40 new recruits being made in the capital.
Lack of budget slows gov cloud adoption
The number of public sector organisations that are ready to implement a cloud-first strategy or move their entire infrastructures to the cloud has decreased by almost 20 per cent since last year. In fact, only 32 per cent of government organisations would consider implementing a cloud-first strategy, and only 20 per cent would consider becoming completely cloud-based.
Cyber criminals launch 3.5bn hacks on banks
Cyber criminals launched 3.5 billion attempted attacks on the financial services sector over a six month period.Data from US cloud and digital services provider Akamai found that half of all unique organisations impacted by observed phishing domains were from the financial services sector.
British Army to launch cyber warfare division
The British Army is set to restructure its operations to combat the rising threat of cyber warfare, misinformation and hacking, the Ministry of Defence has announced. The planned changes involve the reintroduction of the Sixth Division unit, which will train existing troops recruited into the division in cyber skills such as intelligence gathering, covert surveillance and countering online propaganda from hostile states.
Nearly 90% say AI needs human supervision
A survey of UK consumers has revealed that 86 per cent think that the rise in artificial intelligence (AI) requires more accountability from government and technology leaders to tackle bias in automated decision making. A survey of more than 2,000 UK citizens by data integration and analytics firm Qlik found that debate over the impact of AI on job losses is moving to a fresh debate over the role of humans in AI programming, the potential for bias and where accountability should lie for trying to resolve this issue.
Human/robot interaction consultation launches
The John Lewis Partnership has partnered with the Small Robot Company, design consultancy Method and various robotics companies and industry bodies in the UK, to develop a blueprint for Human Robotic Interaction (HRI) in the 21st century. Envisioned as an open framework to be evolved over time, the initiative will foster and accelerate the safe and ethical adoption of robotics across British industry. It will also help define how autonomous robotic technology should interact with people in the real world across different environments and sectors, including retail, manufacturing and farming.
Security alliance demands encryption back doors
Five Eyes, the anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, has come out against the use of end-to-end encryption and asked technology firms to install backdoor access to encrypted communications. After a two-day summit in London, ministers from the member countries said the efforts of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute the most serious crimes would be "hampered" if the industry carries out plans to implement end-to-end encryption "without the necessary safeguards".
Connected devices ‘still not essential’ for digital lifestyles
More than a third of UK consumers now own a digital assistant such as Amazon Alexa and Google, but are still not considered an essential tool, with almost three quarters saying they would be willing to give them up for at least a week. A survey of the digital lifestyles of 4,500 consumers in Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the UK and the US, also found that more than a third of digital device owners would be willing to stop using them permanently.
West Midlands tenders for 5G accelerator
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has put out a call for partners to help it set up a 5G network application accelerator. This will provide support for public and private sector organisations testing new 5G services and scaling them up in a real world environment.
Apple credit card to launch in August
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has confirmed that its new credit card will launch next month, as the iPhone maker looks to become the latest tech titan to enter financial services. Apple first announced plans for a Mastercard credit card, issued in partnership with Goldman Sachs, in March.
UK risks falling behind in IoT: Microsoft
The UK risks falling behind in the race to unlock trillions of dollars of benefits from the Internet of Things (IoT), according to research from Microsoft. The software giant conducted a survey of 2,496 business managers and 737 developers in companies across the US, UK, France, Germany, China and Japan, finding that UK firms are less likely to adopt IoT technology than those in parts of Europe, North America and Asia.
Capital One reveals 100m customer data hack
Capital One has confirmed that it was the victim of a hack which involving the data of around 100 million US individuals and six million in Canada.The US financial services giant announced that the hack, which was discovered on 19 July, involved “unauthorised access by an outside individual who obtained certain types of personal information” relating to people who had applied for its credit card products and to Capital One credit card customers.
Ripple makes crypto plea to US lawmakers
Responding to US lawmakers’ scrutiny of Facebook’s digital currency plans, Ripple executives Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen have written an open letter urging the authorities not to paint all cryptocurrencies with the same regulatory brush. Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee have demanded an immediate moratorium on the implementation of Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency and digital wallet, citing the social media giant's recent privacy issues as a threat to the world economy.
ICO selects 10 data projects for sandbox
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has selected 10 data projects for the beta phase of its regulatory sandbox. Opened to applicants in March, it is designed to support organisations using personal data to develop innovative products and services.
ODI examines cities’ private sector data access
The Open Data Institute (ODI) has started collecting examples of how cities around the world access data held by the private sector. This forms part of its three-year Open Cities project, which includes a stream on Open Data, along with work on infrastructure, standards, open source and open government solutions.
SoftBank launches second Vision Fund
SoftBank Group is set to launch its second Vision Fund, with participation from major tech players including Apple, Foxconn and Microsoft. The Vision Fund 2 will focus on artificial intelligence (AI) based technology, with about $108 billion in capital committed, according to the published memoranda of understandings. SoftBank’s own investment in the fund will be $38 billion and it is still in discussions with other potential participants, so the total size of the new fund is expected to increase.
Salesforce partners Alibaba for cloud services
Salesforce is partnering with Alibaba as it looks to gain a foothold in China’s growing software market. A statement on Alibaba’s website explained: “Alibaba is now the exclusive provider of Salesforce CRM [Customer Relationship Management] in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.”
BT goes open source for 5G core
BT has selected Canonical’s Charmed OpenStack as a key component of its next generation 5G core. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, will provide the open source virtual infrastructure manager (VIM) as part of BT’s Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) program, and the transition to a cloud-based network.
Biometrics Institute says privacy concerns ‘holding industry back’
Three quarters of biometrics industry professionals think privacy concerns are holding the market back – with two thirds stating privacy and data protection is the biggest restraint. The annual Biometrics Institute survey, which had 453 responses, of which just under half were members of the institute, found that 38 per cent said poor knowledge of biometrics among decision makers was to blame for market restraints, while 35 per cent thought that misinformation about biometrics was an issue.
Facebook fined record $5bn by US regulator
Facebook has been fined a record $5 billion to reach settlement over data privacy concerns, according to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).The regulator said the social media giant must also set up a new privacy committee “that will hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users’ privacy” which is independent from the control of chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
Smart home devices ‘sweeping the UK’
The number of households with a connected home device increased by five per cent from 71 per cent in October 2018 to 76 per cent in May 2019, according to research from digital home insurer Policy Expert. This is equivalent to an extra 1.36 million households purchasing a smart home device in the last eight months, with the average spend on smart home devices coming in at £836 per household and 26 per cent of households with a connected home device spending over £1,000.
Tile secures $45m for smart location tech
Smart location tech firm Tile has closed a Series C fundraising round, securing $45 million to accelerate plans to expand embedded partnerships whereby third party products become ‘findable’. The investment will also allow Tile to grow more aggressively internationally, expand into new product categories, and enhance its Premium service to deliver more peace of mind to its growing community of users.
Wiltshire council rolls out virtual assistant tech
Wiltshire County Council has implemented virtual assistants to check staff and school payroll. It is using Microsoft technology to complete repetitive tasks in its human resources department to free up staff to work on more critical tasks that directly help the 435,000 residents in the county.
Farmers Edge launches agriculture InsurTech platform
Farmers Edge has announced the agriculture industry’s first InsurTech platform that combines field-level data, remote sensing, artificial intelligence-driven models and secure automation technology designed to deliver efficiency and transparency for both insurers and growers. Connecting automated insurance reporting and claim filing tools to data management platform FarmCommand, Farmers Edge is aiming to transform traditional crop insurance to create a more streamlined experience for all stakeholders.
BigTech firms to face competition probe
The US Department of Justice has announced a competition investigation into Big Tech firms. A statement released by the department said it would look into “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers”.
Cloud vulnerabilities soar in first half of 2019
The first half of the year has seen a marked growth of vulnerabilities in cloud containers, according to analysis by Skybox Security. Containers, which create a distinction between virtual servers hosted on a shared machine, have seen vulnerabilities increase by 46 per cent in the first six months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018, and 240 per cent compared to the first half of 2017.
Microsoft signs $1bn deal with OpenAI
Microsoft has signed a $1 billion deal with OpenAI - the artificial intelligence (AI) company co-founded by Elon Musk - to develop supercomputing technologies. The software behemoth has signed a multi-year partnership with San Francisco-based OpenAI to build a platform that will harness the power of AI to develop systems which operate on artificial general intelligence (AGI) cloud computing software.
30% of EU businesses still not GDPR compliant
Almost a third (30 per cent) of European businesses admit they are still not compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This is according to a survey conducted by the European Business Awards on behalf of tax advisers RSM, which also found that only 57 per cent of businesses are confident that their business follows the rules, with a further 13 per cent unsure either way.
Equifax could pay up to $700m in data breach deal
Credit reporting agency Equifax has agreed to pay up to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over a 2017 data breach which left the details of up to 150 million people exposed. The deal reached with the US regulator, which will involve at least $575 million, will register as the largest ever payout to the FTC to settle a data breach case, following the $148 million paid by Uber last year.
Lords committee consults on digital democracy
The House of Lords Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies has today launched a call for evidence to seek the public’s views on both the benefits and negative impact of digital technologies on democracy. The committee is seeking evidence on the impact of digital technologies on political campaigning, the electoral process, the understanding of the truth and the public’s wider engagement with politics and political debate. It is seeking written evidence to be received by 20 September.
BMW partners Tencent for self-drive computing centre
BMW has announced an agreement with Chinese technology giant Tencent to collaborate on a computing centre aimed at launching self-driving car technology in China. Announcing the agreement in Beijing, BMW said its automated driving platform, called the BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform, would be set up and ready to begin operations by the end of this year.
DCMS launches digital identity consultation
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has published a call for evidence on the future of digital identities, which includes questions on needs and problems, criteria for trust, and the roles of government and the private sector. It comes with a prediction that unlocking the value of digital identity could add three per cent to UK GDP by 2030, but also raises further questions about the future of GOV.UK Verify, the service developed by the Government Digital Service (GDS) for public sector online identity authentication.
Gov pumps £80m into net zero cars and planes
The government has announced £80 million investment to support the development of next-generation electric cars and planes. In addition to new electric vehicles (EV) technology, the new funding which has been released as part of the government’s industrial strategy, aims to strengthen collaboration between industry and academia to accelerate the development of new hybrid aircraft.
Token.io brings Open Banking to property
Token.io has partnered with UK property marketplaces, StuRents and Mashroom, to give renters, landlords and agents access to Open Banking services, including bank direct payments and data aggregation. StuRents operates a national student property platform that combines a student-centric property search with online contract signing, payment facilitation, property management and research capabilities. It will integrate Token’s technology to expand the payment options available to tenants and property managers who transact within StuRents’ ecosystem.
Microsoft revenue hits $33.7bn on cloud boost
Microsoft’s cloud business has helped drive up revenues and profit in the fourth quarter. The software behemoth reported that total revenue was up 12 per cent to $33.72 billion in the three months ending 30 June, beating analysts’ expectations of $32.77 billion.
Europol head calls for 5G police surveillance
The head of Europol has warned that 5G networks could result in the police being unable to track suspects’ mobile devices. In an interview with Reuters, Catherine De Bolle appealed to EU leaders for greater powers to fight tech-savvy criminals, pointing out that member states do not yet have the domestic regulations or technology to fill the gap that will open when 4G networks become obsolete.
Digital transformation ‘key to lightening NHS load’
The NHSX, the new unit driving forward the digital transformation of health and social care in the UK, is looking to actively engage with HealthTech companies to improve patient care and lighten doctors’ loads. This is according to Hadley Beeman, chief technology officer for the NHSX and chief technology adviser to the secretary of state at the Department for Health and Social Care, who spoke at the Unbound London conference this week.
Barclays launches San Fran startup programme
Barclays has launched a San Francisco-based startup programme, with the first edition targeted on the UK’s AgriTech entrepreneurs. The Barclays Global Connect programme will offer UK startups the chance to participate in three-day events to build the knowledge, skills and contacts they need to build their businesses.
Gov launches retraining for those ousted by tech
Adults whose jobs could change due to advances in technology will get support to retrain and get on a path to a new career, education secretary Damian Hinds announced today. The National Retraining Scheme has begun its initial rollout in Liverpool with the launch of a new digital service, Get Help to Retrain.
Facebook ‘won’t launch Libra until regulators approve’
Facebook is prepared to postpone the launch of its Libra digital currency until global financial regulators are satisfied that it meets security, data privacy and consumer protection standards. In an appearance before the United States Senate Banking Committee, David Marcus, a former PayPal executive who is leading Facebook’s Libra unit, told lawmakers that the company had heard concerns raised by governments and policymakers “loud and clear”.
Introducing the CyberSecurity Live conference
Following from the success of RegTech Live in February, National Technology News sister title FStech is pleased to announce the inaugural CyberSecurity Live conference. As the amount of personal data processed by financial services firms increases exponentially, so does the potential for criminals to intercept it. Not a week goes by without a new threat identified or breach admitted to, so this one-day event will bring together experts from across institutions, regulators and government - along with the leading tech firms - to debate the biggest issues in cyber security.
Traxens closes $23m funding round
Supply chain data provider Traxens has closed a Series C funding round worth close to $22.7 million, led by the Itochu Corporation, Bpifrance and Supernova Invest. This financing will enable the company to launch a global large-scale sea/land fleet of Internet of Things (IoT) tracking solutions on vessels operated by its partner shipping companies, including CMA CGM and MSC.
EU to investigate Amazon’s use of merchant data
The EU’s competition watchdog has launched an investigation into Amazon’s use of merchant data, as regulators continue to put pressure on tech companies’ use of customer information. The office of Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner, confirmed that the European Commission (EC) has opened a formal probe into the e-commerce giant’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace.
AI uncertainty holding back UK adoption
The majority of businesses (70 per cent) across the UK acknowledge that failing to get on-board with artificial intelligence (AI) now will cost their organisation for the next decade. In fact, just 17 per cent of UK businesses have a fully implemented AI strategy, according to a survey of business leaders in the UK conducted by Vanson Bourne for Avaya.
NCSC thwarts 140,000 phishing attacks in 2018
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) stopped 140,000 phishing attacks over the course of the last year, including a scam in which hackers attempted to spoof a UK airport and defraud thousands of UK citizens. In its second annual report, the dedicated cyber security unit of GCHQ detailed how its Active Cyber Defence (ACD) strategy has taken down 190,000 fraudulent websites, in addition to combatting a growing range of cyber security threats targeting consumers and government agencies.
UK jobs ‘not threatened by AI or bots’
UK workers are feeling positive about the future of the artificial intelligence-driven workplace, with 59 per cent saying they don’t feel their jobs will be threatened by AI or bots in the next 10 years. A survey of 800 adults conducted by contact centre solutions provider Genesys, also found increasing evidence of positive uptake of AI-based technologies amongst younger age groups, with 41 per cent of Millennials saying they spend 50 per cent or more of their time interacting with machines and computers rather than humans.
OneWeb satellites deliver HD streaming from space
OneWeb has announced the successful test of its six satellites in low earth orbit, all of which delivered high-speed, low-latency services, with speed of more than 400 mbps, enabling the fastest real-time video streaming in full high definition from space. The tests, which took place in Seoul, South Korea, represent the most significant demonstration of the OneWeb constellation to date, as it moves closer to the goal of providing superior broadband connectivity anywhere on the planet.
myGaru launches personal data control app
myGaru Technologies has launched an app that aims to help users take back control of the data gathered about them online. The app works by sweeping up personal data from users’ devices - from social media ‘likes’, to geolocation and online purchases - that would traditionally be collected by third parties such as advertising technology, and preventing unauthorised use of the data.
FCA demands consideration of AI ethics
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in financial services is still only at a “nascent” phase, with a number of firms yet to ask themselves fundamental questions around ethical use, according to the Financial Conduct Authority’s executive director of strategy and competition.
Announcing the launch of the FCA’s partnership with the Alan Turing Institute at a conference this morning, Christopher Woolard said the project would focus on the practical challenges of ensuring the transparency and explainability of AI in the financial sector.
PM agrees £500m EV loan to Jaguar Land Rover
Theresa May has agreed a £500 million loan to support Jaguar Land Rover’s electric vehicle (EV) development, as part of new green measures which will make it a legal requirement to install EV charge points in all new housing in England by 2050. The outgoing prime minister signed off on the funding at a meeting of the UK’s leading auto manufacturers, including Ford, Nissan, Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover.
MP warns over outdated NHS computer system
Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister has sounded a warning over the number of NHS computers still running on Windows XP. Jo Platt said it represents failings in the government’s approach towards cyber security, especially just a couple of years after the spread of the WannaCry virus seriously disrupted many NHS organisations.
GDPR drives 175% jump in data breach reports
The number of data breaches reported by whistleblowers to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has jumped 175 per cent in since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced. A Freedom of Information request from law firm RPC revealed that the number of breaches highlighted by individuals concerned over consumer data privacy rose to 379 reports in 2018-2019, from 138 in 2017-18.
‘No tech grounds’ for Huawei ban: MPs
There are no technological grounds for banning Huawei, but ethical concerns must be taken into account, according to the Science and Technology Select Committee. In a letter to the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport about Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network, the committee’s chair Norman Lamb concluded that there are no technical grounds for excluding Huawei entirely from involvement in telecommunications.
Half of consumers fear IoT device eavesdropping
With the use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices on the rise, more than half of consumers fear that their digital assistant is listening to them at all times, with 45 per cent believing their information is being shared by the device. A survey of more than 2,000 UK and US consumers by nCipher Security found that more than 41 per cent of UK consumers leave the default settings in place when setting up a digital assistant, which can expose them to hackers.
P2P drives mobile money transfers to 200bn by 2024
The volume of domestic money transfers via mobiles will exceed 203 billion in 2024, up from 130 billion in 2019, driven by peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, and will account for 80 per cent of all domestic transfers in 2024. This is according to Juniper Research, which pointed out that in developed markets, digital wallets have made P2P payments far simpler, with services including PayPal, Venmo and Cash App enabling low cost, fast and secure payments for a rapidly growing number of users.
Ford and Volkswagen team up for self-driving and electric cars
Ford and Volkswagen are joining forces to develop self-driving and electric cars as the world’s leading automakers step up efforts to develop green vehicle technology. The car makers announced today they had agreed investment in Argo AI, Ford’s autonomous vehicle platform company, in a deal which values Argo AI at more than $7 billion. VW is investing $2.6 billion in the company and will also buy $500 million worth of Argo shares from Ford meaning both companies have an equal share in Argo AI.
UK pushes on with digital services tax
The UK government is to forge ahead with plans to introduce a digital services tax on tech companies, despite US backlash to France’s introduction of a similar levy. The Treasury today published the draft details of its proposed two per cent tax on the revenues of social media platforms, online marketplaces and search engines.
A quarter of Brits want ‘data death’
One in four (24 per cent) of UK internet consumers think that their online data profile, including social media and email accounts should be automatically removed upon their death, according to new research. A CensusWide study of 2,053 adults for life insurance broker LifeSearch found that the equivalent of nearly 13 million people across the UK would support the idea of a ‘data death’ –the wiping of all their publicly available online information- to accompany their passing.
Amazon offers tech retraining to 100,000 workers
Amazon is to offer upskilling and re-training to 100,000 employees by 2025 as the e-commerce giant adapts increased workplace automation.The company announced yesterday that it plans to invest $700 million in the next six years to provide re-training programs for a third of its US workforce.
Cloud-based health data ‘left unprotected’
Nearly a third of healthcare organisations store all their sensitive data in the cloud yet lack the resources to protect it, according to a new analysis. A study of the progress of cloud data security in the healthcare industry conducted by information security company Netwrix also found that the number of providers who say they are ready to ready to adopt a cloud-first approach has increased by a third (31 per cent) since 2018.
NHS partners Amazon Alexa for patient information
The NHS has launched a collaboration with Amazon Alexa aimed at providing patients with reliable health information with the help of voice-assisted technology.The initiative, which will link the algorithm on the Amazon Alexa device to information from the NHS website to answer questions on health complaints such as headache treatments, flu symptoms and the signs of chickenpox.
Citi Ventures joins $5m round for vehicle payments startup
Citi Ventures has joined a $5 million funding round for Car IQ, a machine commerce startup that allows vehicles to autonomously pay for services. Car IQ, founded in 2016 by automobile veteran Sterling Pratz, has developed technology to enable cars to connect to a bank’s payment network, which it says will eliminate the need for credit card payments in vehicle service and payment workflows.
FS firms 'at higher risk of cyber attack'
Financial services firms are at higher risk of hacking attempts and cybersecurity breaches than other industries, according to a new report. An analysis of security data from 225 financial services customers compiled by mobile security firm Wandera over a six month period found a higher volume of phishing attacks than peers outside the vertical, with 57 per cent of financial services firms in the study hit by this kind of attack compared to 42 per cent across industries.
Marriott faces £99m ICO fine over data breach
The Marriott International hotel group is facing a £99 million fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over a data breach which is thought to have affected 339 million customers. The breach, which was first report in November 2018, relates to the hacking of guest reservation systems of Starwood hotels group in 2014, two years prior to Marriott’s purchase of the business in 2016.
Digital transformation takes toll on CIOs
The challenges of digital transformation are taking their toll on Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and straining their relations with other executives according to a survey which revealed that just 23 per cent of UK CIOs are aligned with their chief financial officer (CFO) on tech strategy. A global survey of 555 C-level decision makers by digital transformation software Apptio and Financial Times Focus found that nearly half (47 per cent) of respondents agreed that instead of integrating their organisations, digital transformation has deepened the divide between IT and finance.
Consumers support crackdown on third party data
Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of UK adults want to see tougher action on penalising companies that abuse data privacy through misuse of third party data sharing, according to a YouGov study.The survey of more than 2000 UK internet users, conducted on behalf of data protection platform myGaru found that a year on from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which details of 87 million Facebook users were shared with a third party data firm, consumer attitudes are hardening when it comes to control over data and punishment for breaches.
£40m for electric vehicle infrastructure
The government has announced a cash boost for the UK’s electric vehicle infrastructure, with nearly £40 million pledged for technology including ‘pop-up’ pavement chargers and wireless charging stations.The department for transport this morning set out plans to give £37 million of funding to twelve projects focussed on making it easier and more cost effective to own an electric vehicle in the UK.
Less than half of firms say cloud expectations are met
As cloud adoption among UK business enters the mainstream, just 44 per cent of firms say that the flexibility it offers them has lived up to expectations, according to a new study. A study of the views of around 500 decision makers working in digital business in the UK found that cloud platforms and storage solutions are only offering the expected efficiencies to 31 per cent, followed by productivity gains (31 per cent) and mobile (21 per cent).
BA facing £183 million ICO fine for data breach
The owner of British Airways (BA) is facing a £183.39 million fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) over a data hack involving the details of around 500,000 customers. The ICO this morning issued a notice of its intention to fine British Airways, owned by International Airlines Group, 1.5 per cent of British Airways’ worldwide turnover for 2017, under General Data Protection Regulation.
Jaguar Land Rover to produce electric vehicles in UK
Jaguar Land Rover has announced plans to produce its new range of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK, as the car making giant becomes to the latest to shift to green vehicle technology.
The company said the decision to make the fully electrified Jaguar XJ model at its manufacturing plant in Castle Bromwich marked the next phase in its strategy to offer EVS across all new models of Jaguar and Land Rover from 2020.
Research reveals public mistrust of AI ethics
As organisations harness the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), consumers and employees are watching closely and are ready to reward or punish behavior, according to the Capgemini Research Institute. It surveyed 1,580 executives from large organisations across 10 countries, and over 4,400 consumers across six countries, finding that respondents would be more loyal to, purchase more from, or be an advocate for, organisations whose AI interactions are deemed ethical.
EU votes down Wi-Fi connected car standard
A majority of European nations have defeated an attempt to create a Wi-Fi connected car standard. In April, the European Parliament voted in favour of the older technology as the basis for how next generation cars talk to each other.
BMW and Daimler partner for automated driving tech
BMW Group and Daimler have launched a long-term partnership aimed at developing self-driving technology for passenger cars by 2024. The automakers said the collaboration would involve 1,200 engineers and development specialists from both companies combining to create technologies for driver assistance systems which will enable “highly automated driving on highways” and automated parking.
Government internet regulation plans ‘fall short’: CBI
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has backed the government’s proposals for an independent internet regulator, but has warned that business needs greater clarity on its scope and plans for a duty of care over online harms. The trade body’s response to the Online Harms White paper called for “clear regulation” and highlighted the need for the proposed Duty of Care, which would hold bosses of tech companies and social media platforms responsible for harmful content, to be focussed specifically on “illegal harmful content”.
CMA launches digital market investigation
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation to the influence of BigTech firms on digital advertising markets and the impact of personal data use on consumers.The UK competition watchdog’s digital markets strategy will examine major online platforms and their monetisation of data through digital advertising.
Brits still prefer passwords to biometrics
New research has suggested that 30 per cent of the British public prefer typing in a password to login to online accounts, as opposed to new biometric methods. This number has halved since a similar poll was taken in 2016, but alternative login methods have not yet become widely accepted.
World Economic Forum selects UK as AI procurement testbed
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has selected the UK and Bahrain as the testbed countries for new public sector artificial intelligence (AI) procurement guidelines. The WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution made the announcement at a meeting in Dalian, China.
MPs demand role in choosing online harms regulator
A committee of MPs is calling on the UK government to commit to a six month deadline to pass a law which would monitor online electoral interference and give lawmakers new powers over an online harms regulator. The digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee used its report into the government’s Online Harms White Paper to set out recommendations which would demand a statutory veto over the appointment of a new online harms regulator.
Nanoprobe research brings human-machine interfaces nearer
Machine enhanced humans - or cyborgs as they are known in science fiction - could be one step closer to becoming a reality, thanks to new research from the University of Surrey and Harvard University. Researchers have manufactured scalable nanoprobe arrays small enough to record the inner workings of human cardiac cells and primary neurons.
Enterprise Ireland launches new tech fund
Enterprise Ireland has announced a dual-stream technology fund with an initial budget of €2.75 million. The minister for business, enterprise and innovation, Heather Humphreys, launched a new Regional Technology Clustering Fund, which forms part of Project Ireland 2040 and aligns with the department’s Future Jobs Ireland and Enterprise Ireland’s new ‘Powering the Regions’ plan – to scale and expand the reach of Irish exporting businesses.
Amazon to create 2,000 UK tech jobs
Amazon has announced it is opening 2,000 new jobs in the UK over the course of 2019, including data, analytics and cloud computing roles. The e-commerce giant said the move to boost numbers in its UK head office, research and development and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and operations units, would bring its total number of permanent UK jobs to more than 29,500.
Cloud SaaS sales set to hit £79 billion
Sales of cloud software are set to reach £79 billion in 2019, with major players Microsoft and Salesforce leading the field. Data compiled by Synergy, a market research firm, showed that revenues in the SaaS market are on track to hit an annual rate of $100 billion (£79 billion) this quarter, after rising to rising to $23bn in the first quarter of 2019, with growth continuing at almost 30 percent per year.
Big Tech firms hit back at online regulation plans
The world’s largest technology companies have hit back at the UK government’s proposals to address online harms.In a submission responding to the government’s draft proposals, published in April, The Internet Association, a lobby group representing the views of leading tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft, warned the plans- which include holding tech bosses personally liable for harmful content0 could “hold back the British tech sector.”
ABN AMRO uses blockchain for shipping platform pilot
ABN AMRO has carried out a successful pilot of a new blockchain-powered supply chain platform. The Dutch banking giant teamed up with Samsung SDS and the port of Rotterdam to trial a paperless, instantly financed and door-to-door tracking of the container from Korea to the Netherlands, based on blockchain platform DELIVER.
FCA sees huge rise in cyber incident reports
The number of cyber security incidents reported by the UK’s financial services firms rose to 819 last year, up from just 69 in 2017, according to new data obtained from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A freedom of information request submitted by accountancy firm RSM found a huge rise incidents reported to the regulator, with retail banking firms accounting for 486 incidents – nearly 60 per cent of all reported.
Blockchain drives cross-border transactions to hit 15bn by 2023
Blockchain-based payment networks are set to drive a seven per cent increase in business-to-business (B2B) cross-border transactions over the next four years, from 13.5 billion in 2019 to 14.8 billion processed by 2023. This is according to market analysis from Juniper Research, which suggested international payments will become faster, cheaper and less complex. The digitalisation of cross-border payment networks, aligned with the use of cloud-based tools, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and blockchain, will enable the replacement of bilateral networks with multilateral models.
EV infrastructure essential for Green UK, says CBI
The UK needs to build a comprehensive infrastructure network for electric vehicles if it is to meet its net zero emissions target by 2050, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). In a letter sent to Greg Clark, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, the business body set out a series of measures industries and government need to adopt, including nuclear power stations, carbon capture technology and infrastructure, in order to reach the target for greenhouse gas emissions.
Belgian PropTech moves to UK
Belgian PropTech startup SweepBright is expanding into the UK with a new office and chief operating officer. Stephan Engelen will lead the company’s latest move, bringing management experience from senior executive roles at companies including Cisco Systems, Philips Business Electronics and startups such as iText.
Facebook reveals ideas for content oversight board
Facebook has released initial feedback on its plans for an oversight body aimed at grappling with the task of moderating online content, following mounting criticism of the company’s management of harmful or violent content on its digital platforms. The social media giant yesterday responded to a consultation launched in November on proposals for a 40-person independent panel, which would allow users to appeal content decisions and quell concerns over censorship by a private company.
ICO slams Metropolitan Police over SARs
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has criticised the Metropolitan Police Service for its record in handling Subject Access Requests (SARs). In a blog post, the ICO’s director of data protection, complaints and compliance Suzanne Gordon explained that they had been working with the Met Police on its large backlog or SARs.
Biometrics commissioner warns over data abuse
There are “clear risks” of abuse of biometric data, the UK’s biometrics commissioner has said, as he used a report to call for proper regulation of databases storing citizens’ fingerprints, behavioural and other biometric data. In an annual report laid before parliament, biometrics commissioner Paul Wiles criticised a search by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the police national fingerprint database and said it the data had been shared “without an agreed, clearly defined lawful basis”.
ABN AMRO collaborates on quantum computing security
ABN AMRO is collaborating with a Dutch university to explore the potential for quantum computing technology to improve cyber security in banking. The Dutch banking giant said the joint research with QuTech, which is based in Delft University, would investigate the Quantum Key Distribution via glass fibre and through the air, to ensure secure data traffic and make the safety of online banking “future-proof”.
Culture of resistance ‘holding back digital transformation’
A lack of digital skills training, combined with cultural resistance in the workplace, is prohibiting business leaders from launching digital transformation projects, according to a new study. A Censuswide survey of 250 business leaders at public and private sector organisations for HR and analytics firm MHR found that more than half (47 per cent) said they felt a general lack of knowledge and training is the main barrier to carrying out successful digital transformation in their workplace.
PropTech raises £3.1m for digital passports
London-based Canopy has raised £3.1 million from West Hill Capital and Vision Blue Solutions, with additional backing from credit score agency Experian. The PropTech startup provides tenants with RentPassports that track their rental history, allowing them to build credit scores and replace deposits with insurance.
UK firms facing cyber attack ‘paralysis’
Cyber attacks have been ranked as a top business issue in the next 12 months, but UK firms are facing paralysis in the face of increasingly advanced methods of cyber crime, according to a new study. A global survey of 2,256 decision-makers from multiple industry sectors by digital security firm NTT, found that more than half (54 per cent) of UK respondents said that cyber attack was one of the top three issues that could affect their business in the coming year, ranking it as second only to the risk of ‘economic or financial crisis’ (56 per cent).
WeGift closes £4m funding round
Digital rewards platform WeGift has secured £4 million in Series A funding, led by Fred Destin at Stride.vc - who will join the board - and other investors including SAP.iO Fund and Unilever Ventures. This investment will help the British startup deliver on its vision of creating the world’s first real-time infrastructure for digital rewards and incentives. Funds will be used to further scale operations and support the expansion to the US.
Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs reveals $1.3bn Toronto smart city plan
Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs has unveiled plans for a $1.3 billion smart city on Toronto’s waterfront. The urban design company, which is the Google owner’s smart city subsidiary, published its blueprint for an urban-data driven ‘city within a city’, which is hopes will bring $38 billion in private investment by 2040.
A third expect 'radical' digital disruption by 2021
Research and investment in new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and machine learning, are climbing to the top of business leaders’ list of priorities, with a third (34 per cent) of firms expecting their business to change “radically” in the next two years. An HSBC survey of more than 2,500 companies in 14 countries found that more than half of businesses (55 per cent) are planning more investment in research and development of new technologies as they seek to become more customer focussed.
Majority ‘have no say in workplace tech’
More than half (58 per cent) of employees disagree that their employer gives them the opportunity to influence how new technology is used in their workplace, according to a report on technology from the Commission on Workers and Technology, which is due to be presented by Labour MP Yvette Cooper. In a speech at the Community conference in Liverpool today, Cooper will summarise the findings of the commission, which has spent the last year visiting workplaces and taking evidence from workers, academics and business leaders.
Police Scotland rolls out mobile tech
Police officers in Dundee, Perth, Kinross and Angus are to be equipped with new Samsung phones and digital notebooks, which enable them to email and log into a number of police systems, including the Police National Computer. A spokesperson said that by spring 2020, every response officer and community police officer in the country will be equipped with the devices.
IoT trial for Peterborough’s smart city status
Social housing estates in Peterborough are being transformed into a test bed for smart city technology. A partnership between social housing landlord Cross Keys Homes (CKH) and CityFibre, will assess how a network of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors deployed throughout its estate could monitor health, safety and environmental factors, as well as deliver cost savings and reduce the carbon footprint of both CKH and its residents.
Technology laggards ‘face extinction’
Conventional wisdom has it that large companies always have the resources and know-how to compete, but in an age of disruption, many big businesses are struggling to digitally transform and could face an uncertain future. This is according to a new report from the CBI and Oracle, which suggested that more technology adoption, coupled with better management practices, could add £100 billion to the UK economy and cut income inequality by five per cent.
85% of firms struggle to protect systems from cyber attack
New research has revealed that 85 per cent of large enterprises rated having “insufficient visibility into network activity to be certain about what is happening” as a significant challenge for their organisation. This is according to a survey commissioned by Endace and carried out by Virtual Intelligence Briefing among senior executives and technical staff at more than 250 large enterprises globally, which also found that 80 per cent rated ‘alert fatigue’ as a significant concern.
1 in 5 businesses lose out to ‘dirty data’
One in five business in the UK are losing customers and revenue due to ‘dirty data’, according to new research. A Censuswide survey of 510 UK and US decision-markers for information database firm Dun and Bradstreet found that, a year on from the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), almost 20 per cent of businesses have lost a customer due to using incomplete or inaccurate information about them, with a further 15 per cent saying they failed to sign a new contract with a customer for the same reason.
Facebook to call for tighter internet regulation
Facebook is set to call on lawmakers to draw up tighter regulation for global tech giants, signalling the company’s openness to sweeping changes to the rules governing online content.Speaking ahead of a major speech today, Nick Clegg, who became Facebook’s head of global affairs and communications in 2018 after serving as the UK’s deputy prime minister from 2010 to 2015, said that responsibility for new rules on removing harmful and violent content from its platforms was not something the company “can or should” do on its own.
Automation could put 40% of jobs at risk
Workplace automation and new technology could lead to nearly 40 per cent of jobs changing significantly or becoming redundant in the next five years, according to a new report from the Open University. The study, based on a survey of 500 chief technology officers, managing directors, HR directors and HR managers in the UK, estimated that 12 million jobs could be affected by the digital revolution, with 37 per cent expected to change or be eliminated altogether in the next five years.
BIS warns over BigTech entry into banking
Governments and regulators should act to ensure the entry of BigTech firms into financial services will not pose risks to financial stability, competition and data protection, according to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). The Basel-based entity, which promotes co-operation between central banks, used its latest annual report to issue a call for a swift regulatory response from governments to ensure a “level playing field between BigTechs and banks”.
Pi Labs ramps-up PropTech investment
Investment firm Pi Labs is to significantly increase its funding activity within the PropTech sector. The company, which has already raised £110 million and backed 44 tech firms, says it will raise stakes in each startup it selects from £250,000 to £1 million and double the number of companies it backs each year.
Over a third of businesses implementing AI
The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding, with more than a third (38 per cent) of businesses implementing some form of the technology within the past year. A social media survey of 500 professionals carried out by MHR Analytics found that machine learning or AI featured in respondents’ analytics approach in the last 12 months.
NAO highlights government data shortcomings
A new report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned that the importance of investing in good quality data is not well understood and there is a culture of tolerating and working with poor data. In a new report, the NAO stated that despite the government planning to publish a data strategy next year, and efforts by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to encourage good practice, not enough progress has been made, largely because staff have been diverted to working Brexit.
94% of enterprises improve bottom line with better data
An overwhelming majority (94 per cent) of enterprises claim that using data-driven insights to inform business decisions improves their bottom line by enabling them to better serve customers. This is according to cloud-based data warehouse Snowflake, which surveyed 159 global enterprises, of all sizes and across various sectors, finding that 96 per cent view data as integral to how they serve their customers.
Retailers fall short in digitising supply chains
New research has found that just six per cent of European retailers have developed a digital trading relationship with their supply chain. A study of 700 European retailers and manufacturers conducted by digital services provider TrueCommerce found that efforts to digitise supply chains are falling short of industry aspirations, with 85 per cent saying they would like to digitise trade with their entire supplier base.
Facebook cryptocurrency plans face backlash
Facebook’s plans to launch its own ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency have sparked a wave of criticism from lawmakers and businesses over its data privacy and regulatory impact, including calls for the project to be halted. Hours after Facebook confirmed on Tuesday that it was working on a long-rumoured project to launch a cryptocurrency and digital wallet as part of a push into financial services, representative Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the US House Financial Services Committee, called on the social media giant to testify in congress and put the development on ice to allow authorities to review the plans.
Workplace IT creating a £4bn UK productivity ‘black hole’
Workplace IT issues are creating a £4 billion productivity ‘black hole’ in the UK through lost working hours, according to new research from Capita. The business services group commissioned Opinium in March to survey 2,000 UK workers who use a computer to access data and applications, finding that almost half (48 per cent) lose at least an hour a month to IT problems, with an average 1.2 hours lost.
5G will ‘help startups compete with incumbents’
A new report from Vodafone has revealed that 60 per cent of small businesses think the 5G network roll-out will help them compete against more established rivals. The survey was carried out among 508 startup decision-makers - from retail & hospitality, construction, manufacturing, professional services, financial services, media and healthcare industries - in May, finding that 58 per cent think 5G will enhance their competitiveness within two years, while 56 per cent expect it to change the way they operate their business.
A quarter of digital transformation projects fail
Digital transformation projects are failing in more than a quarter of cases (26 per cent), according to new research. Digital services firm Econocom commissioned Censuswide to survey 150 IT and financial decision-makers in retail, legal and financial services companies in the UK, finding that the overwhelming majority (62 per cent) of firms are in the process of implementing a digital transformation project.
UK PropTech fundraises for growth
CreditLadder is looking to raise £600,000 through the Seedrs platform, plus up to £2 million externally. The UK PropTech startup provides recognition tools for agents and landlords to report rental payments and help improve their tenants’ credit scores.
Oxford accepts £150m donation for AI ethics hub
Oxford University has received a record £150 million donation to fund a new institute for the study of ethics in artificial intelligence (AI) and the humanities. The university said the gift from Stephen A. Schwarzman, the billionaire chief executive of private equity firm Blackstone - the largest single donation it has received since the Renaissance - would found the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.
Stanford study highlights IoT security risks
Stanford University research, in collaboration with digital security firm Avast, has revealed that about 40 per cent of households across the globe now contain at least one Internet of Things (IoT) device. Avast scanned 83 million IoT devices in 16 million homes worldwide to understand the distribution and security profile of connected devices by type and manufacturer. The findings were then validated and analysed by research teams at Avast and Stanford University.
Cyber security no longer a cost factor for c-suite
Cyber security is now recognised as a key business driver by the c-suite, rather than a cost factor, according to new research. Radware commissioned Merrill Research to survey 263 executives from across the globe, with four in five of them helping to lead companies with revenue of $1 billion. Respondents this year were split across 30 per cent in financial services, 21 per cent in retail and hospitality, 21 per cent in telecoms, seven per cent in manufacturing and distribution, seven per cent in computer products or services, six per cent in business services and consulting.
Facebook to launch cryptocurrency in 2020
Facebook expects its cryptocurrency ecosystem called Calibra, including a digital currency and wallet, to go live in 2020. The social media giant has confirmed that it has developed a digital wallet to store, save and send Libra, a new global currency built on blockchain technology.
Smart home tech revenue to hit $57m by 2024
Automation revenues will exceed $57 million by 2024, up from $18 million in 2019, driven by smart security solutions. Juniper Research found the ‘Do It For Me’ model, with vendors offering advice, installation, maintenance and cloud storage on monthly/yearly subscriptions, is gaining ground.
Cryptocurrencies held back by lack of trust
A lack of trust and understanding in cryptocurrencies is holding consumers back from using digital currency, with just 10 per cent saying they have a grasp on how it works. A survey of 13,434 consumers in 22 countries by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky found that despite the fact that 29 per cent of survey respondents had ‘some knowledge’ of cryptocurrency, the vast majority (81 per cent) had never purchased one.
Intel launches Israeli tech startup programme
Intel has launched a program aimed at boosting Israeli startups developing artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous systems and other data-centric technologies. Initially based in Tel Aviv, the 20-week programme will offer 10 to 15 pre-seed technology startups with mentorship from Intel and industry experts in a variety of product, management and technical areas.
Business leaders call for EU action on 5G
Europe’s largest businesses are urging the new European Commission to prioritise digitisation and 5G networks.The latest confidence survey from the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), which compiled the views of 52 chief executives and chairmen of Europe’s leading industrial companies, found that business leaders would like the newly formed European Commission to urgently focus on driving the development of new technologies.
Singapore and UK sign GovTech agreement
GovTech Singapore and the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen collaboration in the design and delivery of digital government public services. Under the terms of the MoU, GovTech and GDS - based in the Cabinet Office - will mutually share knowledge and best practices in improving the delivery of digital public services, building digital skills and capabilities of government officials, and adopting open standards for government information, data and software.
Baroness Blackwood underlines UK HealthTech importance
At the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) UK conference yesterday, Baroness Blackwood said she wants the UK to be the best place in the world to develop, test and launch innovative technologies, helping NHS patients to get faster access to new treatments. But while she praised the progress that has been made, Blackwood warned that this is no time to get complacent. “Working in a hyper-competitive global industry, you all know an important truth: if you do not relentlessly push for progress, you are finished.
Robots to take 1 in 5 finance jobs
One in five financial services jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) or automation within the next five years, according to the latest KPMG and Harvey Nash report. The survey of 3,600 IT leaders found that 43 per cent of banks expect a fifth or more of their workforce to be replaced by AI or automation by 2024.
Quantum computing developer gets £3.25m funding
Quantum computing software developer Riverlane has raised £3.25 million in seed funding, led by venture capital investors Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Amadeus Capital Partners, with the participation of Cambridge Enterprise. The UK startup is building a simulation engine for microscopic systems to replace expensive laboratory tests with computer simulation. Its software leverages the capabilities of the quantum computer, which operates using the principles of quantum mechanics. In the same way that graphics processing units (GPUs) accelerate machine learning workloads, Riverlane uses quantum computers to accelerate the simulation of quantum systems.
Facebook adds 500 UK jobs to online safety hub
Facebook has announced the creation of 500 new jobs for an engineering centre in London which will develop artificial intelligence (AI) software to help combat harmful and malicious content on its platforms. The 500 new roles, including 100 focussed on AI, will bring Facebook’s total London-based workforce to 3,000 by the end of 2019.
Survey finds AI investment/skills mismatch
UK companies are currently spending an average of £3.1 million per company on artificial intelligence - with large businesses investing over £6.5 million - but two-thirds aren’t educating staff well enough on how to use it or have no AI strategy in place. ABBYY commissioned 3Gem to survey 500 UK IT decision-makers in May, finding that the majority of UK companies are still at the start of their automation journeys, with just over a quarter (27 per cent) of those which have not invested in automation admitted this is because they “wouldn’t know what to do with it”.
Majority of SMEs still in the dark on cloud
New research has revealed that 58 per cent of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not use cloud-based computing. In total, a third of SMEs stated that they do not use the cloud at all, while a quarter are not currently using the technology, but plan to implement it in the next 12 months.
Facebook to pay users for collecting data
Facebook has launched a new app that pays users in exchange for collecting data on how they use apps from rival companies.The ‘Study’ market research app, which launches in the US and India today, is targeted at adults and comes after the social media giant was heavily criticised for paying children as young as 13 to gather data on how they were using competitors’ apps. The app was later shut down, but Facebook defended the initiative and said that parental consent had been received.
Government confirms digital identity goals
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Cabinet Office are set to launch a Digital Identity Unit in the coming weeks. Speaking at the Identity Week conference yesterday, the minister for implementation Oliver Dowden provided an update on GOV.UK Verify and set out the government’s next steps towards enabling the creation of a digital identity market.
Report warns on tech spend outside IT department
Tech spend outside IT department creates opportunities, but opens back door to potential security and consumer trust risks, according to the world’s largest technology leadership survey. Now in its 21st year, the 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey was conducted among 3,645 chief information officers and technology leaders between December and April 2019, across 108 countries.
HealthTech app chosen by NHS to tackle diabetes
Changing Health’s platform has been selected by the NHS to help tackle type 2 diabetes in the UK. Spun out from work at Newcastle University in 2015, the app gives access to information, online tracking tools and lifestyle coaching to help users to lose weight and improve their diet.
5G to reach 1.9bn subscriptions in 5 years
The number of 5G subscriptions is on course to reach 1.9 billion in the next five years, as the global rollout gathers pace and users switch to 5G-enabled devices. Ericsson’s latest mobility report found that there were 44 million new 5G subscriptions recorded in the first quarter of 2019 alone.
Salesforce buys Tableau for $15.7bn
Enterprise software giant Salesforce has agreed to buy analytics firm Tableau Software for $15.7 billion, as its steps up efforts to face down Google, Microsoft and Amazon in the cloud and data analytics sector. The deal will enable Salesforce to diversify its range of services beyond Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, incorporating Tableau’s data and analytics insights platform which helps staff understand raw data through the creation of visualisations.
Fiat Chrysler partners Aurora for self-driving fleet
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has struck a deal with autonomous vehicle startup Aurora to develop self-driving commercial vehicles. The partnership will focus on integrating Aurora’s technology into Chrysler’s Ram trucks, and potentially also into Fiat Professional vehicles.
AI could grow UK economy by a fifth: McKinsey
UK firms adopting artificial intelligence (AI) tools could deliver a 22 per cent boost to the UK economy by 2030, according to a new report from McKinsey and data analysis from Quantumblack.The analysis, based on simulations from McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), also suggested that firms could benefit from a 120 per cent increase in total economic value, implying additional growth in cash generation of about six per cent a year for the next 12 years.
Gov and industry pledge £1.2bn tech investment
Tech companies have backed the UK with investment of more than £1.2 billion to accelerate the development of quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Speaking at London Tech Week, the prime minister Theresa May is set to pledge £153 million in government funding, with an additional £205 million pledged by industry, to unlock the potential of quantum technologies, including accelerated drug development.
Coriolis launches AI supply chain project
Data analytics firm Coriolis Technologies is trialling artificial intelligence (AI) to improve supply chain data, supported by a grant from Innovate UK. The 18-month project, which is also backed by the National Institute of Economics and Social Research (NIESR), is aiming to improve access to trade data, with the ultimate goal of making it real-time. The plan is to develop an accessible tool useful for international statistics agencies, governments and central banks, and small business exporters, especially in the UK.
FuturMaster launches AI forecasting software
FuturMaster is launching a new forecasting solution that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help companies more successfully launch new products. The supply chain planning software firm already counts L’Oreal, Heineken and LVMH as clients and found that in a recent trial with a Chinese textiles firm, the tool was more accurate in over three-quarters of forecasting scenarios and twice as fast at unravelling data, when compared to using teams of trained forecasters and manual methods.
Cornish spaceport wins £20m funding
Cornwall Council will provide up £12 million in funding to develop Europe’s first horizontal launch spaceport at Newquay airport, with the UK Space Agency contributing up to £7.85 million. The council hopes Spaceport Cornwall could create 150 jobs, with launch operator Virgin Orbit planning to spend a further £2.5 million to enable small satellites to be launched from the site from the next few years.
Google challenges cloud rivals with $2.6bn data deal
Google’s cloud division has announced plans to buy big data analytics firm Looker for $2.6 billion in cash, as the search giant steps up efforts to rival Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud offerings.The deal will enable the company to expand its specialised software offering, and is the first major acquisition for Thomas Kurian, who took up the role of Google Cloud chief executive in November.
Amazon promises delivery drones 'within months'
Amazon will begin making drone deliveries “in the coming months” as it unveiled its latest Prime Air technology at the Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas. The new six-rotor hybrid aircraft is capable of vertical take-off and landing, as well as sustained forward flight, and uses a combination of data from visual, thermal and ultrasonic sensors to autonomously navigate.
Majority have suffered employee access breach
New research has revealed that 64 per cent of businesses globally believe they’ve likely had either a direct or indirect breach due to misused or abused employee access in the last 12 months, while 62 per cent believe they’ve had a breach due to compromised vendor access.
This is according to BeyondTrust, which surveyed 1,006 IT decision-makers from industries including manufacturing, finance, professional services, retail, healthcare, telecoms and the public sector, across the US, EMEA and APAC.
Scientists use tech to tackle hospital superbugs
Hospital superbugs such as MRSA or E.coli could soon be under attack from a new generation of drugs designed with the help of advanced computing technologies from STFC and IBM Research. Superbugs are becoming steadily more resistant to antibiotics, causing an ‘antibiotics crisis’ and a serious threat to public health. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2050, 392,000 deaths could be caused by antibiotic resistance in the EU, and worldwide, 10 million people will die from untreatable superbugs.
Jaguar Land Rover and BMW partner for electric cars
Jaguar Land Rover and BMW Group are joining forces to develop next generation Electric Drive Units (EDUs), a central part of the automotive industry’s transition to an ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared) future. The strategic collaboration will build on the knowledge and expertise in electrification at both companies. Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated its technical capability in bringing the world’s first premium battery electric SUV - the Jaguar I-PACE - to market, as well as plug-in hybrid models, while BMW has produced several generations of electric drive units in-house since it launched the BMW i3 in 2013.
MPs warn of UK cyber security vulnerabilities
As a leading digital economy with many online government systems, the UK is especially vulnerable to cyber attacks, according to a new report from the Public Accounts Committee, which set out a series of recommendations to tackle the problem. It cited The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which has dealt with over 1,100 cyber security incidents since it was established in October 2016.
‘Don’t forget human element': cyber experts
Organisations must not forget about the human element of cyber security, working with HR teams and staff to deter insider threats, according to a panel of experts at the Information Security Europe conference. Jenny Radcliffe, the founder and director of Human Factor Security, commented: “I’m always sceptical of people and businesses who focus only on the technology side, keeping the human side separate – attackers don’t see it that way, people are often the best targets.
Law Society warns over AI in justice system
A report of the Public Policy Commission into algorithms in the justice system has called for new measures to regulate what it described as ad-hoc procurement practices, suggesting a statutory register and a requirement for public bodies to own software rather than rent it from commercial suppliers. The commission was established by the Law Society for England and Wales, and took a year to investigate the matter, hearing from academics, civil society bodies and police forces, before publishing its findings.
Public concerns ‘still a barrier to drone adoption’
Less than a third of the public (31 per cent) feel positively towards drones, while more than two thirds are concerned about the potential use of drones for criminal purposes, according to PwC research. This contrasts with 56 per cent of business leaders who are positive about drones and their benefits. Including those already using drones in their business, this rises to 83 per cent.
AI could create 'vicious cycles' in decision making
Artificial intelligence-driven decision making could lead financial services firms into “vicious cycles” of automation, according to a panel of experts. Speaking during a discussion on the implications of AI technologies, such as machine learning and biometrics, at the Money20/20 conference in Amsterdam, Dror Oren, chief product officer and co-founder at conversational AI platform Kasisto, highlighted the need for continued human oversight of algorithms.
Brits reluctant to swap passwords for biometrics
Over half of consumers in the UK (53 per cent) are worried that the shift to biometrics to authenticate online payments will dramatically increase the amount of identity fraud, according to new research conducted by Paysafe. The research was completed among 6,197 consumers from the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Austria and Bulgaria, across ages groups and professions, finding that 79 per cent still favour passwords for making payments online, due to concerns about the security of new biometric options.
Consolidation of the Nordic data centre market
EcoDataCenter and Fortlax merge with the ambition to create a Nordic data centre giant. The merger supports the ambition to consolidate the data centre industry in the Nordic region.
NHS app assessment portal launches
NHS Digital has launched a portal for developers to assess apps for possible inclusion in the NHS Apps Library. The public beta went live on 20 May, ahead of a full live roll-out in September, providing an online self-service tool for developers to test whether their apps are likely to be accepted for the library.
BAE Systems partners UiPath for military ML
BAE Systems has partnered with robotic process automation (RPA) company UiPath to develop suites of software robots to automate high-volume, repetitive business processes, and integrate machine learning capabilities into defence and intelligence work. The companies are working together to develop and embed new automation capabilities within BAE’s Advanced Analytics Lab, which transforms large volumes of unstructured and semi-structured data into relevant and actionable intelligence for customers.
Dashlane closes $110m Series D
Dashlane has closed a $110 million Series D funding round led by Sequoia Capital. The credential and digital identity management solution will welcome Sequoia’s Jim Goetz to its board of directors, and also sealed investment from Rho Ventures, FirstMark Capital and Bessemer Venture Partners in the round.
Half of office workers would sell corporate info
Nearly half (45 per cent) of office workers would be willing to sell their firm’s corporate information, according to a new survey which highlights the growing risk of insider threat to UK businesses. A study by Malvern-based cyber security startup Deep Secure found that a quarter of employees would accept £1,000 as the price for giving away company information to outsiders, whilst five per cent would offer it for free.
Cyber security certification equivalency agreed
Cyber security certification bodies CREST and EC-Council have announced mutual equivalency for their professional entry-point technical qualifications. This initiative reflects the need to create an industry framework for equivalent technical cyber security qualifications measured against the same criteria, to replicate the approach in other professions.
Open letter criticises GCHQ chat spying proposal
An open letter signed by more than 50 companies, civil society organisations and security experts - including Apple, WhatsApp, Liberty and Privacy International - has called on GCHQ to abandon proposals to enable eavesdropping on encrypted chat services. The plans were first mooted by two senior intelligence officials, Ian Levy, the technical director of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, and Crispin Robinson, head of cryptanalysis at GCHQ, in November 2018.
Data breach fines up 30% last year
British companies were hit with a 30 per cent increase in fines last year for breaching privacy rules, with even bigger penalties are forecast for this year. PwC’s fifth annual UK Privacy and Security Enforcement Tracker revealed fines worth £6.5 million were handed down by regulators in 2018, over £2 million more than in the previous year. The private sector accounted for 86 per cent of these cases.
Uber partners with INSHUR
Uber has partnered with INSHUR to offer a range of insurance services to drivers who use the ride-hailing app. INSHUR uses information about average trips, location and driver ratings in near real-time. The data is then used to calculate risks and pricing, rewarding safe driving with cheaper policies.
Volvo launches mixed-reality car development
Volvo Cars and Varjo, the Finnish augmented-reality headset maker, have created a world-first mixed-reality approach to evaluating prototypes, designs and active safety technologies. The collaboration will be strengthened by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund’s decision to invest in Varjo.
Inovus uses VR for cyber surgery training
A UK MedTech startup is using virtual reality (VR) techniques to teach students and medical professionals how to carry out laparascopic surgery, also known as keyhole surgery on the abdomen. Inovus Medical, based in St Helens, designs and manufactures surgical simulation tools for more than 60 per cent of the UK’s NHS trusts.
IKEA to launch VR app for in-home visualisation
IKEA is launching a virtual reality (VR) feature that will enable customers to visualise how products would look in their own homes before purchasing them in-app.The Swedish furniture and home furnishings giant’s chief digital officer Barbara Martin Coppola told Reuters that the app’s VR experience would be part of moves to combine in-store and online shopping experiences.
Blockchain ‘not transformative for public services’
Blockchain is not yet transformative or disruptive for public services, but in its current form can provide some benefits, according to a new report. The European Commission’s ISA² interoperability group proposed a framework of policy steps to exploit the potential of distributed ledger technologies (DLT), stating that the priority is for the ecosystem to become more mature.
Co-op launches HealthTech app
The Co-operative has entered the HealthTech space with a new app that allows customers to repeat prescriptions in real time. Co-op Health lets patients registered with a GP in England to order their medication and collect from any pharmacy in England.
IT issues ‘costing businesses £3.4 billion’
IT malfunctions are costing UK companies £3.4 billion in lost productivity every year, according to new research. A survey of 1,137 UK workers carried out by technology services firm Probrand found that a third (33 per cent) of said their workplace IT systems were hindering their productivity.
SmartCity pavement tech firm launches fundraise
SmartCity tech firm PaveGen, which has developed paving stones that convert footsteps into electricity, has received backing from the Hinduja Group. Launching a £5 million fundraising effort on Crowdcube, PaveGen revealed it had also signed partnerships with technology giant Siemens.
Less than 1% of cyber crimes prosecuted
Cyber crime and hacking offences are going unpunished in the UK, according to a new report, which claims less than one per cent of reported attacks reach prosecution. City law firm RPC stated there were 65 prosecutions for computer hacking in the UK in the year ending 2018, up 38 per cent from the 47 incidents recorded in 2017.
Uber’s JUMP launches e-bike hire in London
Uber is launching a trial of its electric bike service JUMP in London this week, as the ride hailing giant seeks to diversify its range of services in the capital. A total of 350 free JUMP bikes will be available to rent in Islington from Friday, with plans to expand into other London boroughs if the service proves successful, according to Reuters news.
Facebook to ‘launch digital payments in 2020’
Facebook is reportedly planning to launch its own cryptocurrency and digital payments in 2020. It was first reported in December last year that the social media giant was working on plans for a digital payments system in around a dozen countries for the first quarter of 2020.
Major automakers launch first EV charging station in UK
Major car manufacturers including Daimler, Ford, BMW and Volkswagen have launched their joint venture for electric vehicle (EV) charging, IONITY, in the UK. The UK’s first IONITY station will be operated by Motor Fuel Group on their forecourt in Maidstone in Kent.
Salesforce launches $125m cloud startup scheme
Software giant Salesforce has launched a $125 million fund to support the growth of innovative cloud startup companies. The Europe Trailblazer fund, launch by Salesforce Ventures, the company’s investment arm, will be used to help growth and development of companies pioneering digital payments, machine vision, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the API economy.
Y Combinator seeks Government 2.0 startups
Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator has put out a call for tech companies which can solve the problems of government. Specifically, it is seeking to fund startups creating solutions that provide Americans with the foundations for economic growth, rather than looking to replace the government and its policymakers.
Retailers concerned over impact of AI & IoT
Nearly three quarters of retail professionals believe that artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) will be the biggest IT challenges over the next five years. A study of 200 retail professionals carried out by cloud solutions firm Cradlepoint for this year’s RetailEXPO event, found that 72 per cent saw new technologies including AI and connected devices as the main disruptors of the next half decade.
Academic warns over IoT legal liability
As connected devices increasingly control systems capable of inflicting death or personal injury, a new wave of liability is set to wash over the world of cyber security: strict liability for defective products. The warning came from Robert Carolina, executive director at Royal Holloway University’s Institute for Cyber Security Innovation, who wrote in a new paper that as the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, risks caused by cyber security failures also grow.
US eases Huawei restrictions
The US has announced a temporary reversal of certain trade restrictions on Chinese technology firm Huawei after customer fears of disruption to services sent global tech shares sliding yesterday. The US government placed the Chinese telecoms firm on an exports blacklist last week after long running concerns that the company’s hardware could be used to facilitate Chinese intelligence gathering – an allegation that has been vigorously denied by Huawei.
Call for ethical biometrics and facial recognition tech
The Biometrics Institute (BI) has called on governments, law enforcement agencies and border authorities to ensure the responsible use of biometrics such as facial recognition technology. The independent ethics watchdog warned that failure to make use of good practice guidelines could result in the public losing trust in the application of biometrics with policing and counter-terrorist procedures.
EU highlights China tech transfer problem
The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China has raised significant concerns about European companies being forced to transfer technology in China, despite Beijing stating the problem does not exist. China's trading partners have long complained that their companies are often compelled to hand over proprietary technology in exchange for trading access to the world's second-largest economy.
Half of businesses lack AI necessary skills
More than half of businesses do not have the right in-house skills to execute their artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, despite 93 per cent being “fully invested” in AI, according to new research from SnapLogic. A survey of 300 IT decision-makers from large companies in the UK and US found that the AI skills shortage was most acute in the UK, with 73 per cent lacking the talent they needed to execute their plans, compared to 41 per cent in the US.
Digital transformation outstrips cyber threat
The fast pace of digital transformation is outstripping the cyber security capabilities of UK businesses, according to a new report from KPMG. A survey of more than 1,800 chief information security officers (CISOs) and 2,000 consumers - including 100 CISOs and more than 100 consumers in the UK - found that, despite the evident risk to customer relationships of a breach of financial data, more than half (55 per cent) of UK CISOs prioritise financial loss and reputational risk in the event of a breach above the impact of such an incident on customer relationships.
Government expands use of ePassport gates
From today, visitors from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States will be able to use ePassport gates at ports across the UK in a move designed to speed up border controls for low-risk countries. There were over 10 million arrivals in the UK by nationals from these countries in 2017. In the year ending September 2018, 51.9 million passengers used them across the UK and juxtaposed controls.
Smart city tech revenues to reach $4bn by 2023
Smart city traffic technology solutions deployed to ease chronic congestion in cities will generate $4.4 billion in revenue in 2023, up from $2 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. These solutions typically use sensors in combination with machine learning algorithms to dynamically alter traffic light phasing according to traffic levels; smoothing urban traffic flows.
DWP leads Nat Tech Awards winners
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) took home two awards at last night’s National Technology Awards. The government department took home Best Public Sector Project for its DWP Digital Find a Job recruitment tool, and also the Tech Team of the Year award.
Amazon heats up food delivery with Deliveroo investment
Amazon has made a significant investment in Deliveroo, as part of a £450 million fundraising round for the food delivery app.The e-commerce giant’s investment, for an undisclosed sum, brings the total funding for the food ordering and delivery network to $1.5 billion since it launched in 2013.
NHS ‘should prescribe HealthTech devices’
The NHS should prescribe HealthTech options like smart scales and fitness trackers to those unable to purchase them, according to a new report. The Social Market Foundation think tank suggested that there are “huge opportunities” to keep patients away from burdening NHS services by using digital technologies.
Half of financial firms struggle with cyber threat
Almost half (45 per cent) of financial services firms across Europe are struggling to combat the rising cyber security threat, with hackers particularly exploiting internal loopholes through Business Process Compromise (BPC). A survey of more than 1,000 IT decision-makers in Europe by cyber security firm Trend Micro found that 61 per cent of decision makers felt the overall volume of threats have increased over the last year, with two fifths (43 per cent) saying that BPC attacks are a major threat.
China hits back at Trump’s Huawei ban
China has hit back at a decision by US president Donald Trump to blacklist Chinese produced telecoms equipment, as the standoff over Huawei’s involvement in 5G networks and trade tensions between the two superpowers escalate. The ratcheting up of rhetoric between the two countries came after Trump declared a national emergency and signed an executive order banning use of technology from “foreign adversaries”, while imposing stringent export controls on telecoms companies such as Huawei.
Fetch.AI and T-Labs cooperate on IoT
Cambridge-based technology startup Fetch.AI and Deutsche Telekom’s T-Labs are working together to create and deploy a possible economic Internet of the future. The parties have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see T-Labs and Fetch.AI research, build and deploy autonomous economic agents on the Fetch.AI test network. They will look at how such agents can be built into Internet of Things (IoT) devices to provide them with the authority and autonomy to organise themselves free of human intervention.
Google launches €10m online safety programme
Google has launched a €10 million grant programme to support universities, social enterprises and research institutions in developing online security and data privacy solutions. The European grant fund is the latest initiative from Google.org and will focus on the tools that technology companies can use to keep users safe online and tackle online harms such as extremism.