London is Britain's hacking danger zone, according to retailer GAME. The capital saw 4,348 reported hacking cases in the year up to September, that cost victims a total of £4,031.
The Finance Forward Europe 2020 accelerator - backed by PayPal, MetLife Foundation and Village Capital - has unveiled the five winners of $150,000 funding. The 10 participating tech ventures from across Europe are aiming to tackle challenges that face financially excluded groups, with these becoming more difficult during the ongoing pandemic.
SpaceX has released a public beta test of its Starlink broadband internet service, which is beamed to users via small satellites. Various local government departments across the US are already using it, but it is now being rolled out to a select group of individual consumers.
Barclays is launching a 12-week virtual accelerator programme designed to help early-stage tech businesses, founded by one or more Black entrepreneurs, in order to boost diversity in entrepreneurship. The accelerator, in partnership with social enterprise organisation Foundervine, includes a series of masterclasses focused on a number of core business skills, including product development, sales strategy, operations and leadership.
Employers are being called on to forge closer links to schools to stem the IT skills gap, as data shows there has been a 40 per cent slump in the total number of GCSE and A-level students studying computing qualifications between 2015 and 2020. In 2015, 144,635 students studied some form of IT/computing qualification at GCSE or A-Level, but in 2020 that figure dropped to 87,335, according to the latest Ofqual figures.
Ericsson has been selected by BT as its main 5G partner for London and other major UK cities. BT and other operators had been ordered by the government not to use core 5G equipment from Chinese firm Huawei.
Daimler Trucks and Waymo have signed a global strategic partnership to deploy autonomous driving technology. Initially they will combine Waymo's tech with a unique version of Daimler's Freightliner Cascadia, to enable autonomous driving.
Investment in the UK’s sustainable startups increased by nearly tenfold in the five years from 2014 to 2019. Research from Tech Nation and Dealroom showed that investments in ‘impact startups’ - those addressing one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals - increased by 9.5 times over the five-year period.
While almost all IT security professionals have transitioned to remote work because of COVID-19, only a third described that transition as “smooth”. This is according to a new survey, carried out by Dimensional Research on behalf of One Identity, among 1,216 IT security stakeholders between at the end of August.
Ant Group is set to raise up to $34.4 billion in what will be the largest stock market debut to date. The dual listing in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, would value Ant at around $312 billion, with options for a 15 per cent overallotment of shares.
Eagle Genomics has closed a $9 million scale-up funding round, promising to use the investment to further develop the capabilities of its artificial intelligence-augmented knowledge discovery platform and drive further commercial expansion across Europe and the US. Environmental Technologies Fund and a consortium of investors from across science, AI and analytics fields have provided this latest round of investment.
ActionAid International has published new research on the scale of potential tax revenue that could be raised from BigTech companies operating in the global south. ActionAid’s new research analysed Facebook, Alphabet and Microsoft and the potential tax revenue that their market activity could generate, if the tax regime and resulting corporation tax bills better reflected these companies’ economic presence.
The number of digital identity apps in use will exceed 6.2 billion in 2025, from just over one billion in 2020. Juniper Research stated that civic identity apps, where government-issued identities are held in an app, will account for almost 90 per cent of digital identity apps installed globally in 2025 – driven by the increasing use of civic identity in emerging markets and the lasting impact of the pandemic.
Ofcom has issued a statement of objections to Motorola Solutions UK and Sepura, stating that they infringed on the Competition Act by exchanging competitively sensitive information relating to future pricing intentions in connection with a procurement exercise run by the Police ICT company in 2018. Specifically, the provisional decision alleges that Motorola and Sepura participated in a concerted practice that had the object of preventing, restricting or distorting competition in the supply of devices, accessories and related services for use on the Airwave network in Great Britain and may have affected trade within the UK and between EU Member States.
British Patient Capital has made a $35 million commitment to the Evolution Technology Fund II, which is expected to achieve a targeted $250 million final close in the coming months and is already investing in growing cyber security and enterprise software companies. Evolution Equity Partners has been investing in cyber security companies over the past 20 years, targeting those making use of big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and software-as-a-service.
McAfee has returned to the public markets with an Initial Public Offering (IPO) that raised $620 million. The cyber security company had priced its IPO at $20 a share, aiming to raise $740 million from the sale of 37 million shares, but its stock opened at $18.60 per share yesterday – down seven per cent.
Taylor Construction has completed trials and is now using a 5G for its business networking in partnership with Cradlepoint. The Australian-based firm is already experiencing wide area network (WAN) speeds of up to 20 times the performance of its 4G connection, to support a range of bandwidth and latency-sensitive connected devices and applications on its construction sites.
Hundreds of space jobs will be created in Scotland following the government’s approval of plans for Lockheed Martin to transfer its satellite launch operations to Shetland Space Centre. The spaceport anticipates that by 2024, its site could support a total of 605 jobs in Scotland, including 140 locally and 210 across the wider Shetland region.
Ant Group, the parent company of Chinese digital payments giant Alipay, is launching a digital copyright services platform powered by blockchain and artificial intelligence technology. The platform will use AntChain, the company’s proprietary blockchain technology, to simplify the process of verifying and protecting copyright on original creations
Wayve has signed a deal with Microsoft to use Azure to scale its artificial intelligence-based autonomous driving technology. The London-based company that’s developing software for self-driving cars will use Microsoft’s cloud platform in its research and development of a data-driven solution capable of navigating urban environments.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is consulting on whether monitoring technology could be used to track fishing boats in English waters. A call for evidence has been published on the use of integrated onboard systems of cameras, sensors, video storage and GPS to prevent overfishing.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is looking to develop a cyber health framework for local authorities in England. A statement explained that it will carry out research and build a prototype over the six months from late November.
Quinyx has acquired Widget Brain to enhance its proposition by allowing organisations using its software to automate their labour optimisation process through Widget Brain’s artificial intelligence-driven technology. Widget Brain’s service allows companies to balance different business objectives by fully automating the labour scheduling process, resulting in significant time and cost savings.
Innovate UK has put out a call for investors to join a programme supporting businesses carrying out innovative projects that aim to reduce resources and energy use in key industries. Foundation industries - such as the cement, glass, ceramics, paper, metals, and bulk chemical sectors - are vital for UK manufacturing and worth around £52 billion to the economy.
Nokia has been chosen by NASA to build the first cellular network on the moon. The Finnish technology firm has been chosen by the US space agency as a key technology partner for technologies which will advance plans to establish a sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.
Nine out of 10 UK workers will need reskilling for the digital economy by 2030, at a cost of
£13 billion a year, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned.A report on the need for more adult education, based on analysis by McKinsey & Company, highlighted
the rising threat of automation to millions of UK jobs, arguing that re-skilling has become more urgent as a result of the Coronavirus.
Pimloc has raised £1.4 million in seed funding, in a round led by Amadeus Capital Partners with participation from Speedinvest and existing shareholders. Founded in 2016, the startup specialises in deep learning systems for security video and diverse image collections.
Leaders of the G7 group of nations have opposed the launch of Facebook’s Libra stablecoin until it is properly regulated. A statement prepared for a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the United States, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and the UK, said that digital payment services had to be appropriately supervised and regulated so that they would not undermine financial stability, consumer protection, privacy, taxation or cyber security.
IT leaders are increasingly concerned that accelerated digital transformation, combined with the complexity of modern multi-cloud environments, is putting already stretched digital teams under too much pressure. This is according to a global survey of 700 chief information officers (CIOs) in large enterprises with over 1,000 employees, conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by Dynatrace.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined British Airways (BA) £20 million for failing to protect the personal and financial details of more than 400,000 of its customers. An ICO investigation found the airline was processing a significant amount of personal data without adequate security measures in place.
Finastra has opened registration for its annual hackathon, with Hack to the Future 2020 being entirely virtual due to the COVID crisis. Prizes up for grabs include cash, platform certification fees waived, internship and coaching opportunities and the possibility to onboard projects into Finastra’s FusionStore app marketplace.
With the digitalisation of industrial infrastructure underway, 55 per cent of organisations are confident that the Internet of Things (IoT) will change the state of security in industrial control systems (ICS). A report from Kaspersky revealed that 20 per cent of organisations have already prioritised IoT-related incidents, although effective solutions against IoT threats are not yet widespread.
Data platform company RegulAItion has appointed the Open Data Institute (ODI) as partner in the development of its AIR Platform. The partnership will see the ODI implementing an extensive research, testing and data ethics programme as the platform deepens its privacy-by-design approach.
The first of the 2021 prediction reports has forecast that next year every company will double down on technology-fuelled experiences, operations, products, and ecosystems. According to Forrester’s outlook, the success of European organisations will depend on how quickly and well they harness technology to enable their workforce and build platforms that differentiate them.
Amazon will not have to pay the UK’s new digital services tax on products it sells directly to consumers, while small businesses which sell products on its site will face increased charges. The tax - which aims to get tech Silicon Valley firms to pay their way in the UK - is forecast to eventually bring in about £500 million a year.
Industry leaders have released the Global Standards Mapping Initiative (GSMI), the first and most comprehensive effort to assess the current state of blockchain. Based on input from over 30 technical standard-setting entities, 185 jurisdictions and nearly 400 industry groups, the reports are intended to serve as a resource for the blockchain community to develop frameworks and standards.
More than 1,000 UK tech startups have filed for administration, liquidation or dissolution since lockdown began, according to new research released today by Plexal and Beauhurst. Following artificially low filings between April and August, September saw a record number of filings - the highest monthly figure in 10 years - as the true impact of COVID-19 started to show.
Tech Nation has announced the 32 companies that have been selected to join its Applied AI Growth programme. The programme has been designed to support the UK’s most exceptional deep tech scaleups through peer-to-peer learning and mentoring sessions, addressing the particular scaling challenges for companies in the artificial intelligence sector.
The Council of Europe has identified “a number of shortcomings” in the protection of privacy and personal data in the legal and technical measures adopted by governments to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its report specifically looked at the 55 African, Latin-American and European countries which joined the data protection Convention 108.
Though external economic headwinds due to the Coronavirus persisted in the third quarter, venture capital (VC) exit activity saw a major uptick, achieving the second highest exit values on record. The latest PitchBook and National Venture Capital Association quarterly report suggested that positive momentum from the stock market in recent months has encouraged companies to move forward with Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) if they were prepared and considering that exit route.
New analysis by PwC has suggested that blockchain technology could boost the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) by £57 billion over the next decade. The professional services firm’s economists assessed how the technology is currently being used and gauged its potential to create value across every industry, from healthcare, government and public services to manufacturing, finance, logistics and retail.
The UK economy could get a £48 billion boost if companies made simple changes to how bosses work with staff and use technology. The study by Goldsmiths, University of London, in partnership with Microsoft, found that a failure to fully embrace technology is harming businesses.
The nations of the Five Eyes security alliance have called on technology companies to design their products so they offer 'back door' access to encrypted messages and content. It argued that "encryption is an existential anchor of trust in the digital world and we do not support counter-productive and dangerous approaches that would materially weaken or limit security systems".
September was the highest month for Tech Nation visa applications since records began in 2014, following August being the third highest month for visa applications. Tech Nation also stated that applications in the third quarter were up 42 per cent on the previous quarter, and up eight per cent on the same period last year.
Insect farming startup Ÿnsect has extended its Series C funding to $372 million – the largest amount ever raised by a non-American AgriTech business. According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, consumption of animal proteins will grow by 52 per cent between 2007 and 2030, posing a serious risk for the world's fragile ecosystems.
TalkTalk has received a takeover offer from one of its shareholders, Toscafund Asset Management (TAM). The investment manager already owns 30.5 percent of the internet service provider (ISPs), but has now offered 97 pence per share, making the value of the takeover offer approximately £1.1 billion.
Messaging app Telegram has integrated with ECOMMPAY to let users to make in-app purchases via Telegram Bots. With the global chatbot marketing growing rapidly, ECOMMPAY-powered payments will provide businesses with access to a new sales channel, enabling them to unlock more revenue, improve audience engagement and build stronger brand loyalty.
Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is moving to Azure and placing Microsoft’s cloud platform ‘at the heart’ of its new factory transformation plan. The health, hygiene and nutrition company - which makes products like Dettol, Durex, Gaviscon and Finish - will also roll out Microsoft 365 to support these initiatives and ensure its 40,000 staff can collaborate from anywhere in the world.
IBM has announced that it will split its business, accelerating its hybrid cloud growth strategy, while separating the managed infrastructure services unit of its Global Technology Services division into a new public company. The separation is expected to be achieved as a tax-free spin-off to IBM shareholders, and completed by the end of 2021.
Legal & General (L&G) has partnered with NTT DATA to help build its data science capabilities. L&G stated that it will leverage its data to improve the delivery of products and services encompassing investment management, pensions, annuities and life assurance it offers to its 13 million customers every day.
Amazon has formally announced the design of its first custom-made electric delivery vehicle. The delivery van, built in partnership with e-vehicle manufacturer Rivian, is one of three models that Amazon has commissioned as part of its Climate Pledge commitment to become carbon zero by 2024.
The development of 5G networks will increase the UK’s dependency on mobile connectivity, opening the country up to security risks such as espionage, sabotage or system failure, according to a report from the Commons defence select committee.
Salesforce has announced the launch of a second $100 million impact fund. The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software giant said the Impact Fund, from its Salesforce Ventures global strategic arm, would support the growth of companies driving impact across education and workforce development, sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion.
More than one in five (21 per cent) UK workers feel more vulnerable to cyber crime since the outbreak of COVID-19, according to a new survey from PwC. Of those people, 35 per cent cited stress or fatigue and 17 per cent cited working in isolation as a reason that they feel more vulnerable.
Despite the shift to cloud-based systems, 90 per cent of companies expect that mainframes will remain a platform for growth and long-term applications. A survey of 1,000 IT professionals by software company BMC also found that contrary to predictions of a phasing out of mainframe systems, 68 per cent expect MIPS, the mainframe’s measure of computing performance, to grow in the coming years.
The US House of Representatives antitrust report on BigTech monopolisation contains a “thinly veiled call to break up” the companies, according to Republican congressman Ken Buck. A draft response seen by Reuters, and confirmed by his representatives, stated that he shared Democratic concerns about the power of Silicon Valley firms and their ability to make “killer acquisitions” eliminating rivals and guiding customers to their products.
The leaders of two of the largest companies in the world have stressed the importance of tech transformation to survive the COVID-19 crisis. Speaking virtually during the second day of this year’s Sibos conference, BNY Mellon chief executive Todd Gibbons said the most fundamental change he’s implemented in the last six months has been improving disaster recovery plans.
Crowdcube and Seedrs today have agreed terms for a merger, in a move that will combine two of the UK’s largest crowdfunding platforms. The deal will accelerate the companies’ plans to create the world’s largest private equity marketplace and aims to further democratise investment in startup and scaleup companies across the UK.
The majority of IT experts believe the government should step in over the sale of UK technology giant ARM. A survey carried out by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, following the announcement that ARM Holdings is to be sold to American chip maker Nvidia in a deal worth £40 billion, found that 70 per cent of members believe the government should intervene in the deal - a measure it is actively considering under the Enterprise Act.
The overall UK gaming population has increased by 63 per cent during lockdown, according to Opinium’s latest report into the sector. The online survey of 2,000 UK adults in June showed that the amount spent on gaming has increased by a third during the Coronavirus crisis, with women - who traditionally tend to spend less on games - largely responsible for the rise, increasing their spending by 55 per cent during the last six months.
FinTech Legal Labs, a business accelerator programme provided by law firm Ashurst, is collaborating with Hitachi Vantara for data-driven analysis of sustainable business initiatives as part of efforts to drive a “greener future”.The 2020 FinTech Legal Labs and its new sustainability stream will offer FinTech and GreenTech startups insights into sustainable technology initiatives, as well as practical advice and guidance from financial institutions, legal practitioners and technology specialists to help them better understand and achieve their sustainable digital transformation goals.
Your.MD has closed a $30 million Series A funding round, led by Reckitt Benckiser (RB). The investment follows an initial round of funding led by RB and existing shareholders in 2019.
Octopus Energy has announced plans for 1,000 new jobs and a technology, data science and artificial intelligence centre in Manchester. The UK-based business announced its ambition to make the UK the "Silicon Valley of energy" with plans to double its existing workforce by the end of 2021.
IonQ has unveiled its next generation quantum computer system, which it claims to be the most powerful currently available. The new system consists of perfect atomic clock qubits and random access all-to-all gate operations for efficient software compilation of applications, giving 32 qubits with low gate errors and an expected quantum volume greater than four million.
More than half (65 per cent) of Brits know admit to knowing nothing about what companies do with their personal data. A survey of 5,007 consumers in the UK, Germany, France and Australia conducted by IPSOS and Publicis Sapient found that of those Brits who know a lot about what companies do with their data, 40 per cent were able to see the benefits of companies collecting more information about them.
AI platform Adarga has joined the UK government’s G-Cloud 12 framework for cloud computing services. The digital marketplace is aimed at helping customers in the UK public sector to find and buy cloud computing services.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched a public consultation on its draft statutory guidance, which details how it will regulate and enforce data protection legislation in the UK. Up for consultation are the ICO’s powers, when it will use them and how it calculates fines.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is creating a new digital function, bringing together DWP Digital and its digital tech provider Benefits Pension Digital and Technology Services (BPDTS). This follows the conclusion of a review into the BPDTS, which commended its performance and improvements to DWP's tech resilience since it was set up in 2016.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to change their working practices in a matter of weeks, with a new report showing that Internet of Things (IoT) adoption is no different, as 67 per cent in the UK have increased the pace of IoT projects. The research from Vodafone Business features responses from more than 100 businesses in the UK - 1,639 businesses globally - showing that adopters believe IoT was vital to keep them going through the crisis - 78 per cent said the technology was key to maintaining business continuity.
International law firm Hogan Lovells, supported by global industry leaders including BNP Paribas, The Crown Estate and Elevate, has launched a new transaction automation infrastructure. It aims to reduce administrative costs, enhance data security and accelerate transactions throughout the global real estate industry.
LawtechUK, a government-backed initiative within Tech Nation, has chosen five new members to join its advisory board. The LawtechUK panel was established to help transform the country's legal sector through technology. Established in 2018 by the secretary of state for justice, the group of leaders and experts from the public and private sectors acts as the advisory board to LawtechUK.
BT has announced a seven-year contract with financial market infrastructure provider TP ICAP. The contract will provide its 700-strong broker team in London with a secure platform and set of applications featuring remote working capabilities, strengthening its execution services across voice trading venues.
COVID-19 data will now be accessible to people with visual impairments thanks to a team of technology volunteers from the Scottish Tech Army. The project, which is the first of its kind in the world, forms part of the new Scottish COVID-19 dashboard launched this month, using data sonification to convert visual timeline data into notes of various pitches.
ID-Pal has raised €1 million in a funding round led by Act Venture Capital and several private investors. The Dublin-based identity verification startup said the money will help its expansion within Ireland and internationally.
A majority of British consumers would be prepared to sell their personal data for under £100 if given the option. A survey of 2,100 consumers by Juniper Research and Okta found that Brits would be willing to part with various aspects of their personal data and online identity in return for compensation.
Divided opinion on the perceived risk of cryptocurrency - including the links between cryptocurrency and illicit activity - were among the key findings of a new global survey. The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) and the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) commissioned YouGov to survey 566 professionals across the financial and cryptocurrency industries, including cryptocurrency exchanges, financial regulators and financial intelligence units.
Ofgem has issued a statement of objections to PayPoint alleging that it has breached competition law. It argued that the company held a dominant position in the market for over-the-counter payment services for prepayment energy customers for at least the period running from April 2009 to October 2018 – meaning it had a special responsibility not to act in a way that would impair its rivals’ ability to compete.
The Geospatial Commission is to invest up to £2 million in around 30 projects that investigate ways to improve transport integration, capacity, safety and infrastructure. The commission is an expert committee set up by the Cabinet Office to promote the best use of geospatial data.
Consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is partnering with Google Cloud to drive customer engagement and unify data for marketing campaigns. The parent company of brands such as Dettol, Nurofen and Vanish has launched the strategic alliance with Google Cloud as part of its multi-year digital transformation.
More than eight in 10 IT leaders (82 per cent) think their company is at a greater risk of phishing attacks when employees are working from home. A OnePoll survey of 250 IT leaders and 2,000 IT professionals in the UK and US for security company Tessian, found that 78 per cent believe the risk of insider attack has been increased by the shift to remote work during the Coronavirus pandemic.
TikTok has avoided being banned in the US, after a judge issued an injunction blocking the order that would have barred Apple and Google’s app stores from listing the social media app. The administration’s order was set to take effect at midnight on Sunday, but judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction before the deadline.
Crowdcube is partnering with Episode 1 to assist in the allocation of the £100m fund focussed on digital infrastructure and deep tech startups. The equity crowdfunding platform has launched the partnership to join up the pitch and crowdfund process. As part of the agreement, Episode 1, which has previously backed Zoopla, Shazam and carwow, will review selected business’ pitch for funding for their digital startups ahead of a funding round on Crowdcube.
The UK’s defence science and technology laboratory (Dstl) is set to launch the first tasking of a commercial satellite by a UK Government-owned and operated ground station for nearly 20 years. The Dstl, which conducts research and development to fuel the UK’s defence and security operations, will demonstrate its satellite operation capability using a relocatable ground station to task and receive data from multiple commercial satellites.
Cybersecurity is the main driving force for digital transformation projects, according to new research. A survey of more than 600 IT leaders for the upcoming DTX:NOW event found that cybersecurity has shot to the top of the list of priorities as businesses seek to adapt to a surge in remote working as a result of COVID-19.
A planned development to the NHS contact tracing app which will score users’ lifestyles for COVID-19 risk is alarming and needs clarity, software testers have warned. Before the launch of the app in England and Wales this week, Wolfgang Emmerich, chief executive of app developer Zuhlke Engineering, said a “personalised risk score” was being worked on, based on how many Bluetooth hits a person receives from others.
Amazon has launched a range of wireless smart home security cameras called Blink. The security cameras, which run on two AA lithium batteries for up to two years, offer customers HD video, flexible storage operations and the option to install smart home surveillance both indoors and outdoors.
Nokia is collaborating with data infrastructure provider Equinix to power its worldwide Internet of Things (IoT) Network Grid (WING). The collaboration will see Equinix join Nokia’s WING managed service as a strategic supplier, in a collaboration which aims to bring next-generation edge architectures and services to market.
Former Cambridge Analytica chief executive Alexander James Ashburner Nix has been banned from running limited companies for seven years, after permitting companies to offer potentially unethical services to prospective clients. He did not dispute that he caused or permitted SCL Elections or associated companies to market themselves as offering potentially unethical services to prospective clients; demonstrating a lack of commercial probity.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has begun criminal proceedings against three former employees of Redcentric: former chief executive Fraser Fisher, former chief financial officer Timothy Coleman and former finance director Estelle Croft. They have each been charged with two counts of making a false or misleading statement, contrary to Section 89 of the Financial Services Act 2012.
Awell Health has raised £1.9 million in funding to bring its collaboration and productivity tools to the healthcare industry. Early stage venture capital investor LocalGlobe led the round, with involvement from Moonfire.
More than half of UK organisations suffered a phishing attack during the COVID-19 pandemic, while over a third (36 per cent) have been hit by ransomware attacks. A global survey of 937 IT professionals, including 120 from the UK, by cyber security firm Netwrix, found that the crisis has emboldened cyber criminals and created a fast-moving threat landscape.
Mitek and Digidentity have securely scaled operations to enable faster onboarding of those registering with GOV.UK Verify. Working together, the digital identify verification firms ensured processing speeds of up to 400 applicants per minute to accommodate the growing need for UK nationals and residents to apply for government services during the pandemic.
More than half (51 per cent) of UK business leaders think their shift to a cloud-based business model saved their company from collapse during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is according to access management solutions provider Centrify, which surveyed 200 senior business decision-makers in large and medium-sized companies in the UK earlier this month, finding that 60 per cent are now planning to substantially increase their use of cloud-based IT throughout and following the pandemic.
People across England and Wales are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app to help control the spread of Coronavirus. The app launches today, after positive trials on the Isle of Wight, which participated in the original test in May, in the London Borough of Newham and among NHS volunteers.
Tesco has joined calls for the UK government to fast-track the shift to zero-emission cars and vans to 2030. The big four supermarket has joined a coalition of 27 large businesses - including Dixons Carphone, E.ON, Heathrow, Lime and SSE - in calling for faster action to tackle emissions and climate change as the government reviews its plans for zero emission car and van sales.
UK consumers have spent £2.1 billion on products and services due to misinformation from businesses in the last year, according to research. A Censuswide study of 6,000 consumers across the UK, Germany and France - including 2,000 in the UK - found that as adoption of e-commerce rises, 87 per cent of people believe that misinformation is already a problem, with a majority (57 per cent) believing the problem is set to grow in the future.
Facebook has warned that it may be forced to pull out of Europe if the Irish data protection commissioner enforces a ban on sharing data with the US. This follows the landmark ruling in July by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the case brought by Max Schrems, which found there were insufficient safeguards for personal data interference by US intelligence agencies.
More women than ever are working in IT roles across the UK - 326,000 in total - and now make up a record 20 per cent share of the specialist IT workforce, according to BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. The proportion of women in specialist computing roles increased to its highest ever level this summer, rising to 20 per cent from 17 per cent at the same point in 2019, the professional body for IT found.
Unilever is partnering with Google Cloud as part of a programme to use technology to expand the use of data for eco-friendly decision making. The partnership will focus first on the commercial application of Google Cloud and Google Earth for sustainable commodity sourcing.
Microsoft has announced plans to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of game developer Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion in cash. Bethesda brings a portfolio of games - including bestsellers The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout - technology and talent to Microsoft's Xbox.
CloudMargin has closed its largest funding round to date, making $15 million in a Series B capital raise. The primary investors were Deutsche Börse and current clients Deutsche Bank and Citi.
British biometrics firm iProov has agreed a partnership with the government of Singapore to provide face verification services for a national identity programme. The partnership will use iProov’s technology to enable four million Singapore citizens to prove they are genuinely present when accessing online services from more than 60 government departments, meaning they can complete activities such as tax returns and checking state pensions via a facial biometric scan at a computer or kiosk.
Companies spent the equivalent of around $15 billion extra a week on technology to enable secure home working during COVID-19, with global IT leaders spending more than their annual budget rise in just three months. That is the lead finding of this year’s Harvey Nash and KPMG CIO research, the largest technology leadership survey in the world, with 4,200 respondents from organisations with a combined technology spend of over $250 billion.
TikTok has set up a new company which it intends to list in the US to convince the Trump administration of its adherence to regulations and commitment to national security. Its Chinese parent company ByteDance stated today that TikTok Global will file for an Initial Public Offering, while confirming its partnership with Oracle - which has now been approved by the president - to become the data partner for the video-sharing platform, while Walmart becomes a commercial partner.
Anglian Water is partnering with Bottomline to automate business payments and cash management processes as part of its global digital transformation programme. The addition of Bottomline’s financial technology and payments solutions will help to simplify the payments journey, including Direct Debits, for more than six million customers of Anglian Water’s water and water recycling services.
The Home Office recorded a 120 per cent rise in data loss incidents between 2018 and 2020. According to analysis of the Home Office’s annual report and accounts compiled by the Parliament Street think tank, 1,895 individual data loss incidents occurred in the financial year 2018 to 2019, rising to 4,204 incidents in the most recent financial year, 2019 to 2020.
The value of in-vehicle payments will reach $86 billion in 2025, up from just $543 million in 2020. The latest market analysis from Juniper Research stated that this growth will be driven by increased partnerships which are improving the availability of services, particularly in the fuel and smart parking segments.
Kindred Capital has closed its second seed fund at £81 million. Through its Equitable Venture strategy, the firm gives seed-stage entrepreneurs co-ownership in the fund that invested in their businesses.
The US Department of Commerce (DoC) has confirmed that transactions on WeChat and TikTok will be banned from this weekend. The move, in response to president Donald Trump’s executive orders signed on 6 August, comes in order to safeguard national security, according to a statement.
The government has admitted that many of its attempts to modernise are being held back by legacy IT systems, as it set outs a vision for the digital transformation of public services. In a speech delivered virtually to TechUK’s Building the Smarter State conference, the Cabinet Office’s new parliamentary secretary Julia Lopez - with responsibility for the Government Digital Service - said that many of the current attempts to make smarter use of data and improve online access would require wholesale change to current structures and systems.
Google Cloud has appointed four new regional leads to head up the growth of its enterprise cloud business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Pip White is set to lead Google Cloud’s sales strategy in the UK and Ireland as managing director, after nearly two decades at Salesforce, while Daniel Holz joins the company as vice president across Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Nordics, following a 12-year stint at SAP Germany.
OneSpan has appointed Ajay Keni as its chief technology officer. He is the former head of product, engineering, quality and DevOps for Oracle's identity and access management products, and was one of the driving forces behind Oracle Cloud's Identity strategy.
The Libra Association, which manages Facebook’s digital currency project, has appointed a former chief executive at HSBC to lead Libra Networks. The independent member organisation, which was set up to oversee the rollout of Libra stablecoin, said James Emmett would take up the role on 1 October.
TSB has upgraded its property risk assessments and sped-up the application process by using intelligent location-based data provided by Landmark Valuation Services. Using its Valuation Risk Model (VRM), new applications are automatically assessed to determine whether risk factors such as flooding, subsidence or nearby energy infrastructure such as pylons, may have an impact on the property’s valuation.
RegTech provider Shield has joined the IBM cloud for financial services ecosystem. Shield, which supports financial firms with automated regulatory solutions, intends to onboard its communication compliance and surveillance offerings to IBM’s platform.
A record 794 mergers and acquisitions (M&A) involving e-commerce software, platforms and marketplaces were closed in the first half of 2020. Data gathered by technology M&A advisors Hampleton Partners showed that after reaching peak transaction volumes in 2016, the sector saw renewed impetus in the first half of 2020 as the COVID-19 drove rapid adoption of online shopping.
Pure Storage has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Portworx for approximately $370 million in cash. The deal represents Pure’s largest acquisition to date and its expansion into the growing market for multi-cloud data services to support Kubernetes and containers.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued a cyber security alert for academic institutions after a surge in online ransomware attacks against UK schools, colleges and universities. The cyber security division of GCHQ issued the warning along with a range of new resources and support to help establishments pike in ransomware attacks.
Snowflake's Initial Public Offering (IPO) today has become the largest software listing in the New York Stock Exchange's history, raising $3.4 billion at a valuation of more than $33 billion. The cloud data platform placed 28 million shares at $120 per share, after a surge in investor demand.
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) has announced a co-marketing collaboration with data-to-everything platform Splunk. Splunk will provide LORCA’s membership of cyber security scaleups with product and growth expertise. It joins co-marketing program alongside Lloyds Banking Group, Dell Technologies, Kudelski Security, Global Cyber Alliance and Kx.
A new report has revealed the extent and importance of ‘stealth’ funding rounds within the UK tech industry – claiming that around 69 per cent of all equity deals are kept quiet. Financial data platform Beauhurst uses proprietary technology to monitor the forms submitted to Companies House when issuing new shares, with its teams then verifying whether new investments have in fact been made.
Microsoft and bp have launched a strategic collaboration focussed on digital transformation in energy systems and advance the net zero carbon goals of both companies. The tie-up includes a co-innovation effort for digital solutions and the continued use of Microsoft Azure as a cloud-based solution for bp infrastructure and bp supplying renewable energy to help Microsoft meet its 2025 renewable energy goals.
Medefer has raised a £10 million in a funding round led by Nickleby Capital. The UK HealthTech startup stated that the new capital will help it scale in order to tackle the potential 10 million patient backlog that has grown due to COVID-19.
More than half (56 per cent) of UK businesses are planning to increase their digital skills training budgets for staff in 2021, as part of their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. A Censuswide survey of 200 senior decision-makers in large and medium sized companies for IT services provider Transputec, found that a majority (53 per cent) of businesses are planning to increase their IT infrastructure budget next year.
Cyber security has become the largest threat to FinTech adoption, according to a new report. A survey of more than 700 senior financial services decision makers in the UK, US and Europe by law firm Goodwin found that nearly half (47 per cent) ranked cyber security as the greatest challenge to the uptake of FinTech solutions.
US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin has confirmed that the White House will review Oracle's bid to buy TikTok in the US. “We'll be reviewing it with their technical teams and our technical teams to see if they can make the representations," he stated in a CNBC interview, referring to promised to keep data on US user mobiles safe.
Nesta is launching the £2.8 million Rapid Recovery Challenge to find and support tools and solutions that improve access to jobs and money for people across the UK. In partnership with the Money and Pensions Service and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the 12-month challenge will focus on supporting workers hit hardest by the economic shock of COVID-19.
Funding Xchange has completed a $10 million Series A funding round with the closure of a second tranche of financing. The funding technology platform has seen a surge in demand from the drive towards digital transformation accelerated by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Microsoft has confirmed that it is out of the running for the acquisition of TikTok’s US operations. A statement from the tech giant yesterday explained that the video sharing app’s Chinese parent company ByteDance had declined its offer.
NVIDIA and SoftBank Group have agreed to on the acquisition of Arm in a transaction valued at $40 billion. The deal brings together NVIDIA’s artificial intelligence (AI) computing platform with Arm’s microchip making ecosystem, "accelerating innovation while expanding into large, high-growth markets".
Zoom has added two-factor authentication (2FA) for all user accounts to help prevent security breaches on the video chat platform. The roll-out identifies users by requiring them to present two or more pieces of evidence, or credentials, that authenticate their ownership of the account, such as something the user knows (a password or pin), something the user owns (a smart card or mobile device), or something the user has (fingerprints, voice).
Oracle saw revenues hit $9.4 billion in the first quarter, as the company reaped the benefits of the shift to home working. The cloud and software provider said total revenues were up two per cent compared to the first quarter of last year, while cloud services and license support revenues were up two per cent to $6.9 billion.
Microsoft has warned that in recent weeks it has detected cyber attacks targeting people and organisations involved in the upcoming US presidential election, including unsuccessful attacks on people associated with both the Trump and Biden campaigns. A blog post from Tom Burt, the tech giant’s corporate vice president for customer security and trust, explained that the activity makes clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts targeting the 2020 election, as had been anticipated.
Hundreds of the country’s healthcare firms are being given government funding to boost their cyber security. The move comes after the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) identified a heightened cyber threat to the UK health sector in relation to the pandemic, with cyber crime groups attempting to steal sensitive intelligence, intellectual property and personal information from pharmaceutical companies and medical research organisations.
Businesses are abandoning digital transformation strategies because they are struggling to find common ground with vendors on cultural alignment and are receiving poor advice. A Censuswide survey of 3,032 business decision makers in the UK, US, Australia, France, Germany and the Nordics for enterprise applications company IFS, found that when selecting technology vendors 29 per cent look at the company’s ethics, while 27 per cent look for innovation, as their most desired traits.
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) has announced that companies on its cyber security accelerator programme have broken the £150 million milestone for investment.The government-backed innovation programme, delivered by the innovation centre Plexal, announced the funding milestone to mark two years since its launch, with the £153 million total coming in at 280 per cent of the original target of £40 million - and 12 months ahead of schedule.
Smart city operator Connexin has raised an initial commitment of up to £80 million in funding to support its expansion and meet the expected growth in demand for smart networks in UK cities and their connecting infrastructures. The injection of capital has been provided by independent infrastructure manager Whitehelm Capital.
Pcysys has completed a $25 million Series B funding round led by Insight Partners, along with existing investors Awz Ventures and Blackstone Group. The cyber security validation company, with its automated penetration testing platform PenTera, has raised $40 million to date.
The Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) has launched its first-ever certification program focused on transaction monitoring roles for early career professionals and their supervisors. The Certified Transaction Monitoring Associate (CTMA) program establishes a new global standard for compliance staff tasked with reviewing, investigating and escalating the transactional alerts that could potentially lead to the filing of suspicious activity reports (SARs).
Microsoft UK has promoted chief operating officer Clare Barclay to become the new chief executive from the start of October. She succeeds Cindy Rose, who was appointed in 2016 and will become president for Microsoft’s business across Western Europe.
Debilitating diseases such as cancer and osteoarthritis could be identified and treated faster and more effectively, thanks to some of the six projects benefiting from £32 million in new government funding. This week, science minister Amanda Solloway announced the projects aimed at developing revolutionary new technological approaches to transform care and treatments in the NHS by 2050.
The government has launched a National Data Strategy and set out the action it will take to support the use of data in the UK. The new strategy aims to put data at the heart of the country’s recovery from the pandemic, so companies and organisations can use it to drive digital transformation, innovate and boost growth across the economy.
Square and Mastercard are partnering with the Falkland Islands Government to help small businesses in the territory implement card and digital payments. The project will help retailers and small business move from a cash-only system to more streamlined digital transactions.
Banning and removing Huawei from the UK’s 5G networks by 2027 risks severely delaying operators’ 5G roll-out plans, potentially affecting the UK economy by £18.2 billion. The Chinese technology giant commissioned regulatory analysis firm Assembly to conduct a report into the UK government's decision to remove it from the list of approved suppliers for the network roll-out.
A project at the University of Glasgow using quantum-powered sensors for HealthTech monitoring has received £5.5 million in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). It is one of the six university projects invested in by the EPSRC’s Transformative Healthcare Technologies for 2050 fund, focusing on developing new technologies to transform care and treatment in the NHS over the next three decades.
The majority of people do not trust computers to make decisions about any aspect of their lives, according to a new survey. Over half (53 per cent) of UK adults have no faith in any organisation using algorithms when making judgements about them, in issues ranging from education to welfare decisions, according to the poll for BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
Despite the pandemic’s impact on volumes and valuations, deal making in the IT and business services sector is still strong, as IT departments and suppliers remain crucial in the shift of entire companies online. The latest report from mergers and acquisitions adviser Hampleton Partners revealed that in the first half of 2020, transaction volume dipped to 378 deals, compared to the 416 deals recorded during the second half of 2019.
Microsoft UK has appointed Gavin Jackson, former chief executive of EMEA for UiPath, to succeed Damian Stirrett as the managing director of its enterprise commercial business. Stirrett, who has led the UK enterprise business for six years, is moving to a new role within Microsoft.
Lenovo is partnering with SAGA Space Architects to support a practice ‘space mission’ in which a high-tech lunar home will be trialled to simulate habitation on the moon. The research project, which will see two Danish space architects Karl-Johan Sørensen and Sebastian Aristotelis live in the home they have designed themselves, is aimed at getting research results that will one day make human settlements on the moon possible.
European authorities have called for member states to strengthen the protection of personal data in the context of digital surveillance carried by intelligence services. In a joint statement issued today, the chair of the Council of Europe’s data protection committee, Alessandra Pierucci, and its data protection commissioner, Jean-Philippe Walter, sought to promote a new international legal instrument providing more effective safeguards.
BIMA has secured a $30 million investment to provide digital health and InsurTech services in emerging markets. The money comes from new investor Chinese FinTech investor CreditEase Fintech Investment Fund (CEFIF), along with existing shareholders LeapFrog Investments and Allianz.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called on the government to commit to significant long-term incentives for electric vehicle (EV) purchase and binding targets on charging infrastructure. The move follows a new survey which suggested that almost half of UK motorists don’t feel ready to make the switch to electric by 2035.
New research has revealed that UK government and public sector workers struggle when working on multi-agency initiatives, finding themselves overwhelmed by the complexity of apps available and confused by IT security policies. The study, commissioned by Huddle, interviewed more than 600 public sector employees, finding 19 per cent said their IT security policy makes it too difficult to share and collaborate on files with people outside of their organisation.
Clin-e-cal is looking to raise at least £50,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to help to further develop its asthma control technology. The British digital health startup has already raised £45,000 on Crowdcube, and has now opened up the round to the public.
The Good Things Foundation has received £500,000 in National Lottery Funding to upskill 4,000 people and help support communities through COVID-19. The charity, which focuses on social and digital inclusion projects, will use the cash to equip and upskill vulnerable and disadvantaged people in England whose quality of life has been made harder during the pandemic through digital exclusion.
Over half of IT administrators (59 per cent) believe they are under equipped to tackle the security and privacy demands of remote working, according to new research by ManageEngine. The enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation surveyed more than 500 global IT professionals, finding that nearly half (48 per cent) said the use or installation of systems, devices, software, applications and services without explicit IT department approval was on the rise - with only 22 per cent of organisations having strict policies in place to manage this threat.
The UK ranks as the fifth greatest digital tech services exporter in the world, at £23.3 billion in 2019, sitting behind India, the USA, China and Germany in the global rankings. This is according to Tech Nation's latest report, which explained that the UK's position is driven by a relatively high number (7,497) of high growth exporting tech companies in the UK, many of which are yet to realise their full exporting potential.
The UK’s first quantum computer will be made commercially available to businesses, the government has announced. The machine, which will be accessed by businesses via the cloud, will be based in Abingdon, as the UK vies to become the world’s first quantum-ready economy.
A statutory code requiring organisations to provide better online privacy protections for children comes into force today, triggering the start of a 12-month transition period. The Age Appropriate Design Code, or Children’s Code, applies to organisations providing online services and products likely to be accessed by children up to age 18, and gives organisations a year to make the necessary changes to put children’s privacy at the heart of their design.
The government has issued its response to last year’s call for evidence around digital identity, stating that it will now develop proposals for a legal framework to remove regulatory barriers and establish safeguards for citizens. The consultation outcome explained that responses called upon the government to take a lead role in developing the UK’s digital identity economy.
The number of vehicles with embedded connectivity will reach 200 million globally by 2025; rising from 110 million in 2020. This is according to Juniper Research, which stated that one of the main beneficiaries of this growth will be mobile operators.
Algorithms that change people’s lives - for example when estimating students’ grades - should now meet strict standards of ethics and competence, according to a new report from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. The trade association's new report demands that the government's use of data science must achieve public service standards of openness, accountability and objectivity to avoid another ‘computer says no’ moment in education and other disciplines.
Apple and Google are readying the roll-out of the second phase two of their Coronavirus contact tracing system, allowing users to receive notifications about their exposure to the virus without needing to install a specific app. However, the system will not fully work here until the UK government releases its own contact tracing app nationally.
Amazon is adding more than 1,800 electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz Vans to its delivery fleet in Europe this year. The German car manufacturer has also joined The Climate Pledge, which calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040; a decade ahead of the Paris Agreement goal of 2050.
Walmart has partnered with Microsoft to bid for the US operations of TikTok, potentially worth between $20 billion and $30 billion. The US retail giant is looking to keep up with Amazon’s e-commerce might, and sees a deal for the video-sharing social media app as one way to target a younger demographic.
Edge cloud platform provider Fastly is set to acquire Signal Sciences for approximately $775 million in cash and stock. A statement explained that Signal Sciences' web application and API protection solutions will improve Fastly's existing security offerings to bring customers a unified edge security solution.
The levels of trust in companies storing personal data have fallen significantly this year, according to the latest research from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The UK’s data regulator undertook 2,150 online interviews at the end of June, along with 80 phone interviews at the start of July, with a range of UK adults across the country.
Local government bodies are the most likely target for ransomware cyber attacks, according to new threat spotlight research from Barracuda Networks. The research, which identified and analysed 71 global ransomware incidents in the last 12 months, found that 44 per cent of all observed ransomware attacks in 2020 have been aimed at councils.
The Trump Administration is investing more than $1 billion into artificial intelligence (AI), quantum information science (QIS), 5G communications and other emerging technologies. The White House, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DoE) announced awards for the establishment of 12 new AI and QIS research and development (R&D) institutes.
The Supreme Court has ruled against Huawei and ZTE in a case that could have significant implications worldwide for licensing of intellectual property in telecoms. Two cases, Unwired Planet v Huawei and Conversant Wireless v Huawei & ZTE, will help define the licensing of patented technology considered essential to the international standards for previous and future generations of wireless telecommunications technology.
More than 73,000 scientists have collaborated on a new online platform set up by the European Open Science Cloud Initiative, where scientists share COVID-19 data to help develop treatments and vaccines quicker. A new website, which allows researchers to share difficult-to-find SARS-CoV-2 data from clinical trials, research centres, hospitals and national healthcare systems, has seen thousands of users collaborating to help beat the Coronavirus.
The government must put digital identities at the heart of its post-COVID strategies to enable the recovery from the recession, according to techUK. A new whitepaper from the trade association sets out the essential part that safe and secure digital identities will play in the UK’s economic recovery from the crisis, giving examples of where it is needed and citing the clear economic benefits.
Ant has revealed plans for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) potentially worth a record $30 billion. The Chinese financial technology group, which includes Alibaba and Alipay in its ecosystem, will place the shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Two thirds of UK businesses have had their Brexit preparations disrupted by COVID-19, with less than a quarter (23 per cent) having high confidence in their ability to cope with the extra administrative burden of leaving the EU. This is according to research from logistics specialist Descartes Systems, which commissioned SAPIO Research to interview supply chain managers in July.
More than half of financial services firms are moving resources towards cyber security technology in the wake of COVID-19, according to new research. A survey of 1,077 IT business and security decision-makers from the UK and eight other countries, for IT automation and security company Infoblox, found that attempted cyber attacks had risen by 41 per cent as cyber criminals sought to exploit Coronavirus-related disruption.
Biofidelity has raised a £9.2 million in a Series A round led by BlueYard Capital and backed by investors including Longwall Ventures and Agilent Technologies. The Cambridge-based HealthTech firm aims to simplify genetic testing using next generation sequencing (NGS).
The Coronavirus has accelerated the rate of digital transformation taking place within UK businesses, according to research from Studio Graphene. The London-based tech developer commissioned an independent survey among over 500 decision-makers within UK businesses, finding that half said their company has been incentivised by the pandemic to improve digital infrastructure.
Movewise has announced a funding round of £600,000 - taking the total amount raised to £1.1 million. The UK PropTech firm, which launched in 2018, manages the entire sales process for vendors, leveraging data to identify the best local estate agents for a property.
Over a third of consumers want future technological innovations to prioritise solving climate issues over non-essential needs such as space exploration, voice assistants or augmented home entertainment. A survey of 2,000 UK adults by technology and engineering consultancy Expleo Group suggested that people prefer “powerful, but boring” tech that solves real-world problems over flashy gadgets or novelties.
HealthTech app Humanity has launched from stealth mode, backed by a £1.9 million seed funding round. The round was led by One Way Ventures, alongside 46 others, including HealthTech angel investors Wired co-founder Jane Metcalfe and Calm app co-founders Michael Acton-Smith and Alex Tew.
Wipro has announced the successful implementation of a blockchain-based small-scale liquefied natural gas (ssLNG) trading platform for Uniper Global Commodities and its subsidiary Liqvis. The platform utilises a consortium model for all ssLNG market participants, resulting in market efficiencies and significant cost savings for traders.
Offr has raised €3 million in seed funding led by Barclays, with existing investors Delta Partners on behalf of Bank of Ireland, AIB, Enterprise Ireland, the European Investment Fund and Frontline Ventures also participating. The Dublin-based PropTech platform participated in the Barclays London Accelerator, powered by Techstars, earlier this year and was selected for follow-on investment by the bank.
Innovate UK has published its innovation design strategy for the next four years, seeking to encourage business to realise more value by embedding design within their processes and culture. A statement from the government agency noted that there are barriers to progress, and "it is not good enough for an idea to be technically feasible, it must also be desirable and fit-for-purpose".
Tesco Mobile has started a two-year partnership with Crisis aimed at helping thousands of people experiencing homelessness across Britain to reconnect with society. The partnership aims to combat growing issues around digital exclusion, as new data highlights the increasing barriers to accessing information, support and opportunity felt by people who are homeless. It includes an initial donation of £700,000 worth of phones, devices and connectivity in the net 12 months.
SpaceX has raised $1.9 billion in new funding, according to a regulatory filing. The largest single fundraising round to date for Elon Musk's rocket company gives it an equity value of $46 billion after the transaction, according to Bloomberg reporting.
HM Revenue and Customs is investigating more than 10,000 reports of phishing scams since March, as criminals seek to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. Official data obtained by Lanop Accountancy Group via a Freedom of Information request revealed that HMRC is probing 10,428 email, SMS, social media and phone scams.
HCL Technologies has collaborated with R3 to launch BUILDINGBLOCK, a blockchain platform created to streamline business property insurance for multinational companies. The platform enables insurance companies to craft a master policy document by enabling real-time data flow in a cryptographically secure and immutable manner.
UK small businesses are at risk of 65,000 cyber security attacks daily - with around 4,500 of these being successful - according to a new report by recruiter Robert Walters and data provider Vacancysoft, which claimed that the cost of data breaches is around £2.48 million per instance.
O2 has launched a range of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions designed to help businesses return to work in a COVID-secure way. The telecom provider's business division is rolling out a suite of digital services to enable fast, secure and safe access into and around the workplace, such as thermal scanning and contactless visitor management.
NHS Digital is looking to create a platform to help business intelligence and risk teams better understand cyber security operations. The plan is to move towards making decisions more based on consistently presented data rather than intuition.
The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) has launched a new version of the NHS contact tracing app. Like the first iteration, it will be trialled on the Isle of Wight, as well as with some NHS volunteer responders across England. There are also plans for a pilot in the London Borough of Newham as part of the NHS Test and Trace service.
Civica Group has acquired digital health software provider InfoFlex. The UK arm of the group bought Chameleon Information Management Services and its subsidiary InfoFlex, which is based near Watford.
L3COS, the world's first quantum-safe blockchain-based operating system for governmental and regulatory oversight, has appointed Mark Lyall Grant as a member of its advisory board. He will provide strategic advisory services and counsel to senior management as it engages with sovereign institutions and regulatory authorities around the world.
Barclaycard has launched a new service which uses data analytics to provide procurement departments with the most comprehensive picture of their supply chain. Barclaycard Payment Intelligence (BPI) combines hundreds of accounts payable data points with internal and third-party data, helping to speed up the process and cut costs as a result.
Facebook has launched a new payments unit run by its cryptocurrency head David Marcus. Facebook Financial will run all the social media company's payments projects, including the roll-out of Facebook Pay across its various apps in the coming months.
The Court of Appeals has ruled against South Wales Police on its use of automated facial recognition (AFR) technology. This overturned a High Court verdict from last September, in a case brought by civil liberties campaigner Ed Bridges and civil rights group Liberty, claiming that rights had been breached by the police force’s pilot programme in Cardiff.
Scammers have targeted NHS workers with more than 40,000 scam emails during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to new government figures. Data from NHS Digital, obtained by the Parliament Street think tank under a Freedom of Information request, has revealed that revealed that doctors, nurses and support staff received a total of 43,108 scam emails since the start of the crisis in March.
While most financial organisations worldwide (89 per cent) are moving to the cloud, a significant amount (68 per cent) already reckon that cloud migration has greatly or moderately changed their business for the better. Unisys surveyed 155 senior IT and business leaders within financial services in 13 countries around the world - including the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands - finding uncertainty across the financial services industry in relation to the pace of technological innovation.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has started a pilot programme for its new Document Checking Service (DCS) for non-public sector organisations that want to find out if British passports are valid. These checks may be required as part of giving users access to an online service in order to prevent crime.
The UK is facing an artificial intelligence (AI) skills gap that could leave companies struggling to compete with rivals from across the world, according to a new Microsoft report. The research revealed that businesses in this country use less AI than firms overseas, and when they do it tends to be less advanced.
The UK’s trade in digitally deliverable services is projected to climb to $104 billion by 2025, with finance, information and communication technologies (ICT) and business to business (B2B) sectors set to contribute 78 per cent of total growth. A report compiled by Western Union and Oxford Economics forecast that the value of international, cross-border trade in services will rise from $6.1 trillion in 2019 to $8 trillion by 2025 – a 31 per cent increase in overall value.
Nearly a third (30 per cent) of workers say it is taking longer for their employers to upgrade their technology hardware in the past five years, with one in five saying they have to wait 'a lot longer' for upgrades. A Consumer Intelligence survey of 1,000 people commissioned by DSA Connect, found that six per cent of people have not had their work desktop computer upgraded for at least five years.
Mashroom has raised £4 million in a new funding round, bringing its total funding to £7 million. Investment came from existing unnamed private investors and matched funding from the government's Future Fund.
Councils across the UK have been using digital platforms to help people who are self-isolating in their homes to receive care services. North Lanarkshire Council, Norfolk County Council and others have been using Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.
The Data Standards Authority (DSA) has recommended the use of new open data standards to improve data sharing across government. At the Spring Budget, the government made a commitment to improve how it uses data to drive better public services, so today the DSA has published summaries on metadata standards and guidance about how to implement them.
Donald Trump has issued executive orders banning any US transactions with the Chinese companies that own TikTok and WeChat, stating that the US must take “aggressive action” in to protect its national security. The president's orders prohibit “any transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”, beginning in 45 days.
Capital One has agreed to a $80 million fine from US regulators over last year's hack which exposed the personal information of more than 100 million customers and applicants. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) calculated the fine based on a "failure to establish effective risk assessment processes prior to migrating significant information technology operations to the public cloud environment and the bank's failure to correct the deficiencies in a timely manner".
Uber is set to acquire UK based rival Autocab as part of its British expansion plans. The financial details were not disclosed, but the ride hailing giant did state that Autocab will remain independent.
More than 80 per cent of organisations are not fully satisfied with their data management and warehousing initiatives, according to new research. A Vanson Bourne survey of 500 IT decision-makers in the UK and US for SnapLogic found that disconnected apps and data, outdated legacy technology and manual data movement were holding businesses back from achieving their objectives.
Biotech firm Moderna has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider, as well as its standard for analytics and machine learning workloads. The firm is pioneering a new class of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) medicines, and will now upgrade its platform and manufacturing facility with the AWS-powered research engine.
Google’s £1.6 billion acquisition of FitBit could be derailed after the European Commission (EC) opened a competition probe into the merger. The EC announced that it has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the deal and said it should have completed the process by 9 December.
Three quarters of UK enterprises are actively leveraging or testing artificial intelligence (AI), as the momentum behind data-driven technologies grows. A survey of 500 IT decision-makers based in the UK by Interxion, a cloud and data centre services provider, found that enterprise roadmaps for AI deployment over the next two years are already underway.
The majority of IT professionals (53 per cent) do not believe Huawei’s claim that the UK’s decision to ban the tech giant from its 5G network infrastructure will 'move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide'. The British Computer Society and Chartered Institute for IT surveyed its 2,962 members at the end of July, finding that over a quarter (28 per cent) did still agree with the Chinese telecoms firms’ warning that the UK’s tech development will stall without it - with 19 per cent remaining neutral.
UK-registered businesses can apply for a share of £8 million in grant funding for projects supporting the recovery and growth of foundation industries. These include cement, glass, ceramics, paper, metals and bulk chemicals – all of which are vital for the UK’s manufacturing and construction sectors. Combined, they are worth about £52 billion to the UK economy, but they face common challenges.
The number of malware attacks utilising machine identities have grown eightfold in the last decade, according to new research. Analysis of threat data gathered by Venafi, a machine identity management provider, showed a significant rise in the number of attacks using this method, with notable examples during 2018 to 2019, including high profile malware campaigns like TrickBot, Skidmap, Kerberods and CryptoSink.
Asda has struck a deal to become the first UK supermarket to use hydrogen fuel cell technology to power its fleet of warehouse lift trucks. US company Plug Power will provide the Asda with zero emission hydrogen fuel cell solutions, beginning with its fulfilment facility in Skelmersdale.
Cyber security chiefs have committed to lead a drive towards improving diversity and inclusion in the workforce after the publication of a major survey on the topics. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and KPMG UK have jointly published the first annual Decrypting Diversity: Diversity and Inclusion in Cyber Security report, which sets a benchmark for improving the experiences and opportunities for existing and future staff working in the industry.
The Coronavirus pandemic has seen investment in tech businesses targeted at improving healthcare and education surge by more than 100 per cent, according to new figures.
Data from Wealth Platform, which helps startups and scale-up companies access the Enterprise Investment Scheme, showed the crisis has prompted a spike in investments in medical testing, healthcare and children’s education businesses in the last three months.
As many as 72 per cent of organisations have put IT projects on hold, while two thirds have delayed hires due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis. A survey of 100 senior-level IT decision makers across industries - including financial services, professional services and healthcare - conducted by technology business services firm Apptio and the Technology Business Management Council, found that as the pandemic has prompted significant disruption for technology leaders.
The resilience of data centres across Europe is at risk, as the industry looks towards a permanent renewable energy infrastructure, according to a new report from Aggreko. The temporary power and temperature solutions company surveyed 700 data centre consultants across the Netherlands, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and Ireland, finding that 55 per cent expressed at least some concern about the capabilities of the local grid and energy infrastructure’s ability to meet current demand - with respondents in the UK among the least confident.
Following a conversation between Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella and president Donald Trump, the tech giant is exploring the purchase of TikTok in the United States. The move follows a weekend of speculation around the future of the popular Chinese social media app, with concerns raised by both the president and secretary of state Mike Pompeo around user data being fed back to the Chinese state.
London's tech industry workspace TechHub has gone into administration. A message from founder and chief executive Elizabeth Varley explained that due to a significant reduction in revenue due to the Coronavirus on member companies - and without an agreement from its major landlord to proposals for a way forward - it is unable to continue.
Global technology industry deals hit $131 billion in the second quarter of 2020, despite fears that the Coronavirus pandemic could slow growth in the sector. According to GlobalData’s database, the total value of deals were up 30.6 per cent over the previous quarter and only down 0.8 per cent when compared with the last four-quarter average of $132.1 billion.
Capita is supporting the UK’s first trial of StaySafe Diary, a privacy-first contact tracing app based on a design which has proved successful in New Zealand. StaySafe Diary lets customers, suppliers and staff check in and out of businesses - such as shops, pubs and restaurants - by scanning a QR code whenever they visit the premises, but without ever having to share their personal details.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched new guidance on the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) technology and data protection. An accompanying blog written by Simon McDougall, deputy commissioner for regulatory innovation and technology at the ICO, explained that the pandemic has driven innovation in the use of technology and data – but some of the challenges for organisations using AI are constant.
Imperial College is partnering with Citi to create a new research centre focussed on responsible business leadership and technological change. The Centre for Responsible Leadership will help businesses and organisations identify practices that improve their approach to business leadership and boost performance through study of disruptive technologies, data privacy rights and ethical decision making.
The bosses of the world’s largest tech firms were given a dressing down by US lawmakers yesterday in a hearing about their sector dominance and interference with online discourse. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google appeared before members of the House judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, which has collected 1.3 million documents and conducted hundreds of hours of interviews as part of its investigation.
Spanish bank BBVA is collaborating with Fujitsu on a proof of concept of its quantum-inspired optimisation solution. The collaboration comes after BBVA launched a number of studies to determine how quantum technologies could represent an advantage over traditional tools in different financial use cases.
The leaders of the world’s largest tech firms are set to make their case to Congress later today, attempting to avoid further regulation and scrutiny. Written testimony submitted and published yesterday gives a glimpse of their arguments, with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg arguing that “companies aren’t bad just because they are big”, rather painting the social media giant’s success as coming about “the American way, by starting out with nothing and providing products that people find valuable”.
InsurTech firm Zego has partnered with e-scooter company Ginger to provider insurance cover for the UK’s first e-scooter trial. The trial in the Tees Valley, comes after the government announced it would legalise rental e-scooters on UK roads during 12-month period to test their suitability as a mode of transport.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has begun a project with Vodafone and Forest Research to use Internet of Things (IoT) devices for forestry research. Sensors are attached to trees and connected through Vodafone’s narrowband IoT network to collect data on tree growth, temperature, humidity and soil moisture. Forest Research will analyse the data to assess the impacts of environmental change on the forests.
Mastercard and Microsoft have announced a collaboration to shape the future of digital commerce, drive startup innovation and enable financial inclusion. The partnership will accelerate Mastercard Labs’ cloud native research and development activities, enabled by Azure cloud and artificial intelligence systems to advance Mastercard’s mission to de-risk and commercialise emerging technologies and platforms for digital commerce.
A new digital platform has been launched to help empower utilities field teams and managers to make data-driven decisions in real-time, leading to greater safety, productivity and quality assurance. FYLD was built "by field workers for field workers" in collaboration with anchor customer and shareholder SGN, the UK-based natural and green gas distributor.
More than half (55 per cent) of UK consumers would be willing to carry on using a company that has leaked their data by accident, despite rising concerns about how personal data is used. A global study of 5,000 consumers by cloud customer experience firm Genesys found that 92 per cent were concerned about how companies are using their data, however it also revealed that convenience is a key factor influencing appetite for using services; even if their data has been put at risk.
Nearly half (43 per cent) of senior IT decision-makers say a lack of integration between their organisation’s technology systems has negatively affected their team’s performance during lockdown. A survey of more than 500 UK decision-makers by software and services solutions provider Advanced found that just 30 per cent of respondents have been using team collaboration software at a time when people have had to work remotely.
Midatech Pharma has raised £5 million via a placing to investors in the UK of eight new ordinary shares. The HealthTech firm, which as headquarters and a research facility is in Cardiff, is focused on enhancing and extending the lives of patients with rare and serious cancers. It develops chemo and immuno therapeutics using its Q-Sphera proprietary platform drug delivery technologies.
Land Registry has begun accepting witnessed electronic signatures for legal property documents. The new process involves a conveyancer uploading the deed to an online platform which sends a link to the signatories. Once authentication checks are completed they ‘sign’ the document electronically in the physical presence of a witness who then also signs.
A new cross-sector consortium of businesses and universities is set to provide the key to the challenge of data access for regulated industries, through an artificial intelligence-powered platform. The AIR Platform is a privacy preserving, data access and data collaboration tool that will deliver a "generational breakthrough" for how the private and public sectors operate and interact with each other locally and globally, according to Philip Treleaven, director UK Centre for Financial Computing at University College London (UCL).
A team of scientists from the University of California has launched a project to unlock the inner workings of lead batteries with the help of nanoscale technology. Working with the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI), the new industry-academia partnership based in Los Angeles will explore the fundamental processes occurring inside lead batteries as part of the consortium’s plans to deliver performance improvements in the technology for the automotive and utility grid storage sectors.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has teamed up with Innovate UK to call on companies to come up with new ideas and innovative approaches to the challenge. Robotics, sensors, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems are just some of the potential technologies which could be used for the Sort and Segregate Nuclear Waste competition, according to an official statement.
Plans have been revealed for building a network of overhead cables along 7,500 km of the UK’s major road network, which could electrify approximately 65 per cent heavy goods vehicle (HGV) travel, at an estimated cost of £19.3 billion. A report from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (CSRF) said this could be achieved by the late 2030s, and when combined with battery electrification of urban delivery vehicles, the ‘electric road’ network would almost completely decarbonise UK road freight.
A new email phishing scam, falsely purporting to be from the Government Digital Service team, has been uncovered by the Parliament Street think tank’s cyber research team. The attack targets low-income earners and claims that the addressee will be receiving a council tax reduction of almost £400.
Crown Courts and Magistrates’ Courts are to test a digital case management platform as part of the government’s digital transformation of the justice system. From September 2020, the Common Platform will provide criminal courts with access to relevant case information for all parties involved in cases, including the judiciary, solicitors and barristers, the Crown Prosecution Service and court staff.
Businesses should focus on attracting more neurodiverse people into the workplace to help fill the skills gap in cyber security, according to a new report.The study from CREST, a not-for-profit accreditation and certification body for the technical security industry, recommended ways in which careers advice and recruitment processes can be more creative, inclusive and tailored for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.
Quantexa has closed a Series C funding round, raising a further £51.2 million. The round was led by Evolution Equity Partners, with participation from pre-existing backers Dawn Capital, AlbionVC and HSBC.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has awarded its payment facilitation and collection contract to allpay. The Herefordshire-based payment solutions provider will drive the MoJ’s channel shift towards direct debits, which it expects to realise significant cost savings.
The UK’s capability to manufacture vaccines has received a substantial boost, as the government announced an additional £100 million to ensure that any successful COVID-19 vaccine can be produced at scale. The investment will fund a state-of-the-art Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre.
DPD has passed its 2020 target for sustainable delivery vehicles five months ahead of schedule, with 10 per cent of its van fleet now zero emission electric vehicles. The parcel delivery firm now has the largest sustainable delivery fleet in the UK. At the start of 2020, DPD had just over 130 EVs on the road, with that number rising rapidly to 700 as delivery rates spiked as consumers turned to online shopping during the Coronavirus lockdown.
More than a third of hijacked email accounts have resulted in attackers dwelling in compromised accounts for more than a week, according to new research. A report by security solutions provider Barracuda Networks in association with UC Berkeley examined 159 compromised accounts spanning 111 organisations, finding that a specialised economy is emerging around email account takeover, using a combination of brand impersonation, social engineering and spear phishing to hijack email accounts and monetise them.
FuelActive has confirmed new investment from the Development Bank of Wales, grant funding from Innovate UK and private equity backing from Adjuvo. The Welsh startup’s fuel pick-up unit is disrupting the diesel engine and equipment industry, where operators are experiencing incremental costs due to increased maintenance, reduced operating efficiency and breakdowns, caused by contaminated fuel.
Industry-wide professional standards are to be established for data science to ensure that the public can have confidence in how their data is being used. The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) will be leading on the work along with the British Computer Society (BCS) The Chartered Institute for IT, the Operational Research Society (ORS), the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng), the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the Royal Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA), to collaboratively shape and develop the data science profession.
Nearly half (43 per cent) of employees have made mistakes resulting in cyber security repercussions for themselves or their company, according to new research. A OnePoll survey of 1,000 workers in the UK during April for email security firm Tessian found that one in five companies have lost customers as a result of mistakenly sending an email to the wrong person – an error that the majority of employees (58 per cent) admitted to making.
The government is considering strengthening security laws after a report from parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) accused the government of underestimating the “immediate and urgent threat” of Russian cyber interference to the UK’s national security. In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, transport secretary Grant Shapps said ministers were considering a new law requiring foreign agents to register in the UK as part of their response to the report.
Neurovalens has raised £5.1 million in a funding round led by IQ Capital. Wharton Asset Management Company, The Angel CoFund, Techstart Ventures, Clarendon Fund Managers, and the government’s Future Fund also contributed to the round.
The government has been forced to admit that it deployed the COVID-19 Test and Trace programme unlawfully without a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), following a legal challenge from privacy campaigning organisation Open Rights Group (ORG). The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) made its admission after ORG threatened to take it to court unless it agreed to immediately conduct a DPIA.
Slaughter and May has launched the fourth round of its accelerator programme for emerging tech businesses. The law firm firm has opened applications for its Fast Forward programme, which offers £30,000 of value-add business services, including legal advice to support early and growth-stage emerging technology businesses.
Virgin Money has launched a trial of a new app designed to help first time buyers navigate the home purchase process. The challenger bank is launching the four-week Beta trial of the Home Buying Coach app in collaboration with data insights platform Life Moments.
EY and IBM have announced a global, multi-year alliance designed to help organisations accelerate digital transformation, including leveraging the hybrid cloud capabilities of Red Hat OpenShift, as well as IBM Watson, blockchain, 5G and edge technologies.
British Patient Capital has committed $65 million to back the latest SV Health Investors’ fund to support scientific breakthroughs into BioTech companies developing treatments for poorly treated diseases. The $2.5 billion government-backed programme, which is part of the British Business Bank, has made the commitment to SV’s Impact Medicine Fund (IMF) to increase its exposure to life sciences and health technology, building on a commitment to the Dementia Discovery Fund in 2018.
Digital Reasoning and Google Cloud have signed a strategic partnership aimed at bringing financial services solutions to the cloud.The AI solutions firm has partnered Google’s cloud service to help banks and financial institutions leverage the scale, reliability and performance of the cloud.
Twitter has revealed that 130 accounts were targeted in a cyber attack this week in which the profiles of prominent users including Barack Obama, Elon Musk and Kim Kardashian were hijacked with demands for Bitcoin payments. The attack, which took place on Wednesday, is being investigated by the FBI as a cryptocurrency fraud after accounts including Kanye West, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and investor Warren Buffet were compromised. Corporate accounts for Uber and Apple were also targeted.
Digital twinning firm Microshare has partnered Rackspace Technology for multicloud Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Microshare, which specialises in digital twinning tools for processes such as contact tracing, predictive cleaning, occupant wellness and sustainability, has entered into the global strategic alliance with Rackspace Technology to globally leverage solutions including Clean = Safe IoT abilities.
IBM and Verizon are partnering for 5G and edge computing solutions as part of efforts to develop innovation for ‘industry 4.0’. The computing giant has partnered with the US telecoms firm to help industrial enterprises to use edge computing to accelerate access to near real-time, improve productivity and reduce costs.
The government has published proposals for a new law aimed at protecting millions of IoT and smart devices from cyber criminals. The proposals, drawn up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and supported by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), detail the government’s plans to raise the security standard for all consumer smart products sold in the UK.
Apple will not have to pay $15 billion dollars in back taxes in Ireland after the EU’s second highest court rejected an EU commission order aimed at cracking down on alleged sweetheart tax deals. The ruling by the EU general court annuls an order made four years ago by the EU commission which said Apple had benefited from illegal state aid following two tax rulings in the Irish courts which, the Commission claimed, had artificially reduced its tax bill.
The UK government has banned UK telecommunications companies from buying new Huawei 5G equipment and has said Huawei equipment must be removed from networks by 2027. In a landmark decision, Oliver Dowden, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport said the move would delay the rollout of high speed 5G networks by one year.
Nearly a third (31 per cent) of Generation Z expects the internet to be able to predict what they need and alert them before they need it, while developments in AI and biometrics are set to make keyboards obsolete, according to new research. A survey of 1,528 consumers aged 14-59 in the UK, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, and Ireland by The Center for Generational Kinetics and WP Engine, found that Generation Z, born between 1996-2015 have grown up as an internet-dependent generation with 60 per cent unable to go for more than four hours without access to the internet without feeling uncomfortable.
More than 300 electronic devices have been lost from government departments since 2018, sparking fears that confidential data could be at risk. A total of 316 devices have gone missing or been reported lost since 2018 by government departments including the Prime Minister’s Office, the Privy Council, the Equalities headquarters and the offices of the leaders of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, according to a Freedom of Information (FoI) request submitted by the Parliament Street think tank.
Drone delivery service provider Skyports has collaborated with Vodafone and Deloitte to transport medical supplies and samples for the NHS in Scotland using drones. The live flights will take place later this year and will use mobile connectivity and space-based technology.
ETF Partners has closed its third Environmental Technologies Fund at £167 million, aiming to grow the most innovative companies in the UK and Europe. Since its launch 14 years ago, the London-based firm has backed high-impact, high-potential companies in digitally-led sustainability.
The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) have opened a joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of Clearview AI - focusing on the company’s use of ‘scraped’ data and biometrics of individuals. However, in line with the the ICO’s Communicating our Regulatory and Enforcement Activity Policy and OAIC’s Privacy Regulatory Action Policy, no further comment will be made while the investigation is ongoing.
Nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of organisations experienced a public cloud security incident in the last year – including ransomware and other malware (50 per cent), exposed data (29 per cent), compromised accounts (25 per cent) and crypto-jacking (17 per cent). The latest State of Cloud Security annual survey from Sophos revealed that running multi-cloud environments are twice as likely to suffer a cloud security incident than those running a single cloud.
NAEA Propertymark has partnered with scale-up programme REACH UK to help its members navigate through the world of technology by selecting the best startups and launching them into the marketplace. REACH's PropTech programme was created by Second Century Ventures, an active venture capital fund in the global real estate technology space.
The chancellor’s Summer Statement has been called a “missed opportunity” to support the UK’s tech sector through the Coronavirus recession. Rishi Sunak signalled the country’s move to phase two of the economic recovery, with a specific focus on protecting employment and boosting job creation, while phase three will concentrate on rebuilding the economy more comprehensively and is likely to come during the full autumn budget statement.
The development of new data analytics use cases has spiked in response to COVID-19, according to new research from Qlik, which showed 84 per cent of NHS Trusts are using data analytics to support patient care and operations during the crisis. The business intelligence platform submitted a series of Freedom of Information requests to NHS Trusts during the last few months, finding that 55 per cent applied analytics to track positive infections of patients during the pandemic, while 22 per cent used analytics to identify potential staff exposure to the virus and to inform testing.
IT teams require better visibility into their networks due to the Coronavirus disruption and rise of remote working, with 73 per cent of security professionals demanding it in order to enhance cyber security efforts and speed remediation. This is one of the findings from VIAVI Solutions' 13th annual State of the Network global study of enterprise networking and security challenges.
UK cyber security startups are on track to break the funding record set in 2019, with £521 million invested in the sector amid the COVID-19 downturn. Research compiled by the London Office For Rapid Cyber Security Advancement (LORCA) found that the £496 million of investment pouring into the UK’s cyber security startups is set to top the 2019 record in just six months.
The United States is considering banning Chinese social media apps including TikTok, according to secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Speaking to Fox News yesterday, he said that US authorities were "taking this very seriously" when asked about the potential for taking measures against apps like TikTok.
British Gas has ordered 1,000 e-vans from Vauxhall as part of the largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK. The Centrica-owned utilities giant, which has the third largest commercial fleet of vehicles in the country, has committed to a fully electrified fleet by 2030.
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) has announced the 17 scale-ups selected to join its fifth cohort of cyber innovators. After consulting with industry, security professionals, policymakers and a cross-spectrum of sectors, LORCA announced an open call in March for companies with solutions to challenges presented by a connected society, including supply chain security, digital identity and the digital risk associated with an increasingly connected world to apply.
Technology and manufacturing businesses can now apply for funding to develop innovative digital technologies that have the potential to transform supply chains. Through funding from the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, led by Innovate UK, business-led consortia can apply for funding for projects up to £1.5 million.
Celestia UK, specialists in antenna systems used for tracking satellites, has announced that Heriot-Watt University's Research Park will be its permanent base in Scotland after a successful five month residency at the university's Global Research Innovation and Discovery (GRID) facility. Establishing the business at the Research Park will enable the company to embark on its next development phase, which includes setting up new lab and assembly facilities, as well as providing it with a larger base to innovate satellite-on-the-move user terminals and gateway systems.
Clifford Chance Applied Solutions has launched a digital tool providing businesses with legal guidance on data protection issues and assisting in complying with both General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and local data protection regulations. The Cross-Border Publisher Data Protection tool covers a growing list of jurisdictions for businesses, with more to be added on demand.
OneWeb has entered into an acquisition agreement with a consortium led by the government - through the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - and Bharti Global in connection with its court-supervised sale process. The bid is designed to capitalise the company sufficiently as a going concern to complete the deployment of the OneWeb communications satellite system.
The Go-Ahead Group, one of the UK’s largest transport companies, is partnering with Microsoft and Power BI to unify its data to improve the passenger experience. The group operates bus and rail services across the UK, Norway, Germany, Singapore and Ireland. The partnership will see it use Azure’s Data Factory, Data Lake and Databricks to store and analyse data from across its operations.
The Ordnance Survey (OS) has launched a platform giving access to its geospatial data. The OS Data Hub will give users free access to OS MasterMap data up to a point, with up to £1,000 per month of free access other datasets, through a series of new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), alongside unlimited free access to OS OpenData products.
The Co-operative Bank is launching a free fraud awareness webinar to help small businesses protect themselves from fraud. The information session will feature members of its fraud and cyber security team, as well as experts from Greater Manchester Police and the Federation of Small Business (FSB).
Young people from across the country will be invited to share their views on key issues with the government using a new digital platform. The 'Involved' Instagram page aims to engage people aged 13 to 25 around decisions made at the heart of government, by asking questions through the app’s polling and stories functions.
A review of academic accreditation of computer science degree courses has been launched by the British Computer Society (BCS), The Chartered Institute for IT, to ensure that graduates have the skills needed to drive economic recovery and growth across the UK. The study will involve extensive consultation with the higher education sector, including the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC), the Institute of Coding, leading tech companies and government departments including Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Education.
Sheffield’s five Labour MPs have written to the prime minister and health secretary to seek support for building a world class Centre for Child Health Technology (CCHT) on Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. The CCHT already has the backing of companies including IBM, Canon Medical, Philips, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System.
A majority of respondents to the Biometrics Institute’s annual Industry Survey said they believed COVID-19 would change the way biometrics were used and implemented. The association polled 326 industry professionals across the world during May, finding that 60 per cent agreed that the Coronavirus marked a pivotal moment for biometrics, with technology suppliers most convinced (65 per cent) that this would be the case.
British Patient Capital, a subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has made a €57 million cornerstone commitment to Kennet’s fifth fund as it announces its €223 million close today. Kennet specialises in investing in established, high-growth technology companies which are founder-owned and ‘bootstrapped’ – built without significant external capital.
Dun & Bradstreet has raised $1.7 billion in an initial public offering (IPO), after it sold more stock than expected above its indicated price range. The offering of 78.3 million shares of stock at a price of $22.00 per share, was above previous plans to sell 65.75 million shares for between $19 and $21 per share.
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) had appointed Capgemini as its strategic technology partner in a five-year deal worth £40 million. The deal forms part of the organisation’s long-term strategy, which includes commitments to simplify customer journeys and keep data safe.
New plans to cement the UK as the world’s leading research and science superpower have been set out by the government. The Research and Development Roadmap puts pursuing ground-breaking research, attracting global talent and cutting unnecessary red tape at the forefront of the UK’s long-term plan to ensure it is the best place in the world for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live, work and innovate.
New research has found that older age groups have doubled their holdings of Bitcoin every month since February, signalling growing adoption of cryptocurrency during the COVID-19 lockdown. Data compiled by in-house analysts at Mode Banking, a Bitcoin banking app, found that Baby Boomers (those aged between 56 and 76 years-old) and Generation X (41 to 55 years-old) have turned to the digital asset classes for returns as interest rates remained at historic lows during the partial shutdown of the UK economy to battle the spread of Coronavirus.
O-City, the smart city division of BPC, has joined Visa’s ready for Transit Program for its project which aims to integrate contactless payments into mass transit systems. The company has worked on open-loop systems for automated fare collection in more than 100 cities worldwide, and processes 30 million transactions per month.
The chancellor is expanding the £500 million Future Fund for UK startups hit by the Coronavirus to ensure firms which shifted their headquarters abroad can still access the scheme. It will now benefit companies that are seen as British in all but name, having moved their parent company to seek investment in the US or take advantage of accelerator programmes like Y Combinator.
As privacy concerns grow over contact-tracing technology, a new monitoring system funded under the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative will launch on 10 July that allows users with strong Coronavirus symptoms to take full ownership of their personal data while participating in national track and trace schemes. The EOSC Secretariat - an initiative that has approved €1.23 million in emergency funding for 32 projects to specifically tackle the COVID-19 pandemic - is supporting the new app that will improve contact tracing while simultaneously maintaining privacy.
Autonomous breach protection company Cynet has completed a Series B funding round worth $18 million, lead by Telekom Innovation Pool, Deutsche Telekom’s strategic investment fund advised by DTCP. Existing investors Norwest Venture Partners and Ibex Investors also participated in the round.
The government is investing £80 million into green technologies aimed at cutting carbon emissions from the UK’s industry and homes. The money, announced by energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng, will be invested in a range of programmes, including pioneering heat network trials and a programme to reduce the cost of retrofitting homes with the latest energy efficient technologies.
The UK government’s investment in OneWeb has been described as “nonsensical” by experts, who say the company makes the wrong type of satellite. The 20 per cent stake was intended to mitigate the UK’s loss of access to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system after Brexit.
IHS Markit has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud infrastructure provider and is moving the majority of its data processing infrastructure, corporate platforms and end user applications out of its data centres to AWS to accelerate innovation and improve resiliency. Under the new agreement, the company will migrate hundreds of additional applications over the next three years.
Amazon has signed an agreement to acquire Zoox, a California-based company working to design autonomous ride-hailing vehicles. Zoox chief executive Aicha Evans and chief technology officer Jesse Levinson will continue to lead the company as a standalone business.
Three in five (61 per cent) of Brits have concerns about artificial intelligence (AI) systems being able to function without human assistance, according to new research. Fountech.ai commissioned Opinium to survey 2,000 UK adults about their views on the future impact of AI on society, finding that 44 per cent still do not properly understand how it works.
Huawei has received approval to build a £1 billion research facility in Cambridge. The Chinese telecoms giant acquired 500 acres of land in Cambridge’s ‘Silicon Fen’ in 2018 and submitted plans to build an optoelectronics research and development manufacturing centre, which were yesterday approved by South Cambridgeshire District Council.
Honeywell has claimed that its team of scientists, engineers and technicians have built the highest performing quantum computer available. With a quantum volume of 64, the machine is twice as powerful as the next alternative in the industry.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a public censure to Redcentric for committing market abuse between 9 November 2015 and 7 November 2016. The IT service provider issued unaudited interim results and audited final year results which materially misstated its net debt position and overstated its true asset position in circumstances where it knew, or ought to have known that the information was false and misleading.
UK venture capital (VC) firms have £8.4 billion in reserves, according to new analysis which suggests that it could be used to provide crucial funding for innovative companies as they emerge from the Coronavirus crisis. Data from the British Business Bank’s Small Business Equity Tracker found that VCs are currently holding a record amount of capital yet to be invested.
DHL has launched a new warehouse robotics platform as part of a partnership with artificial intelligence-backed fulfilment provider Blue Yonder. The new platform, built on Microsoft Azure, will integrate warehouse robotic systems into existing platforms at some of the 2,000 operational sites in the DHL Supply Chain.
Two years after its entry into law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been an overall success, even if there are a number of areas for future improvement. This is the conclusion of a report from the European Commission, which argued that increasing global convergence around principles that are shared by the GDPR offers new opportunities to facilitate safe data flows.
Verizon has joined forces with UK-based technology innovation centre Digital Catapult to launch an immersive accelerator programme to develop innovative 5G solutions for enterprises. The programme will enable a select number of retail and brand partners to work directly with startups and technology innovators to explore how 5G-enabled solutions can solve their real-world business challenges.
The Mayor of London is teaming up with Microsoft to support the growth of the city’s leading scale-up companies.The collaboration with Microsoft will enable the 17th cohort of companies selected for the London & Partners Mayor’s International Business Programme to tap into the technology giant’s expertise to help them grow their operations.
Amazon has pledged $2 billion worth of support for the development of sustainable technologies and services that will enable it and other companies to meet The Climate Pledge - a commitment to be net zero carbon by 2040. This dedicated venture investment program will back companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a zero carbon economy.
New research has revealed that most UK citizens (81 per cent) were aware of efforts to track COVID-19 through smartphone data collection, but 84 per cent were worried that their contact tracing data will be used by organisations for purposes unrelated to COVID-19. Identity provider Okta surveyed 12,000 online consumers globally, including 2,218 in the UK, finding that advertising was cited as the top purpose, with over three-quarters (79 per cent) worried about their data being used by organisations to serve personalised ads.
Accountants must upgrade their skills in financial forecasting and accounting specific software if they are to be of value in the future, according to a new study. A survey of 1,000 accounting and finance professionals in the UK by accounting automation software specialist Caseware, found that while the majority 56 per cent of accountants said they are currently carrying out tasks manually that could be automated, only 43 per cent believe this will continue beyond 2020.
New research has revealed that 87 per cent of companies are planning to accelerate their cloud migration in a post-Coronavirus world. A survey of 500 global IT decision makers based in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand by infrastructure monitoring firm LogicMonitor, found that nearly three quarters (74 per cent) of respondents believe that, within the next five years, up to 95 per cent of all workloads will be in the cloud.
Apple has announced that it is moving from Intel’s x86 desktop microchips to its own processors based on the ARM designs used in the iPhone and iPad. At its World Wide Developers Conference, held virtually for the first time due to the Coronavirus, the company said the transition would take two years.
ZeroAvia has conducted the first ever electric-powered flight yesterday of a commercial-scale aircraft carried out in the UK. The test flight is a milestone both for the UK’s net zero and green aviation ambitions, and for ZeroAvia's journey to demonstrating long-distance zero emission flights in large aircraft.
Innovate UK is opening a competition letting businesses apply for a share of £15 million to support the development of zero emission vehicle technologies and the associated supply chain. A statement from the government-backed body - part of UK Research and Innovation - said it is seeking to put green technologies at the heart of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that zero emission vehicle technologies are a key part of the UK’s efforts to meet its carbon reduction targets.
The government has committed more than £70 million to businesses working to make the UK a world-leader in quantum computing technology. To coincide with a celebration of the UK’s record in developing quantum technology last week, science minister Amanda Solloway announced 38 new UK projects that will benefit from £70 million investment in the Quantum Technologies Challenge, led by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The All-Party Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blockchain has published the report from its evidence session in April on the post-pandemic role of the distributed ledger technology (DLT), stating it can play a significant role in supporting health services in the recovery from COVID-19. The report stated that in order to bounce back from the economic downturn and pressures on public services, the country needs radical innovation in data infrastructure, as opposed to fixing technologically redundant systems.
Weak protections around sensitive data mean that 14 per cent of workers have accessed confidential information at work that they were not authorised to see in the last five years, according to new analysis. A Consumer Intelligence survey of 1,000 people for DSA Connect, an IT asset and data disposal company, found that technology provided by employers had enabled seven per cent of respondents to see the salaries of their managers and colleagues.
New research from Lenovo has revealed that organisations are placing business and shareholder goals above employee needs when adopting new technologies. The survey of 1,000 IT managers across the UK, Netherlands, France, Germany at the start of May found that just six per cent consider users as their top priority when making technology investments, with 47 per cent reporting that users struggled to embrace new software.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) fought off one of the largest ever distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, according to the tech giant’s first quarter threat report. The attack, which took place in February, registered traffic of 2.3 Tbps to its online cloud - which provides critical infrastructure to some of the world’s largest websites and applications. The previous record set for an attack of this nature was 1.7 Tbps in 2018.
Andrew Tyrie has resigned from the chairman of Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), hinting at his dissatisfaction with the limits of the regulator to combat market dominance of digital giants such as Facebook and Google. Lord Tyrie, a former Conservative MP and chairman of the Treasury Select Committee from 2010 to 2017, said that he was standing down from the UK’s competition watchdog three years before his term was due to finish in order to make the case “more forcefully” for a crackdown on market abuse by multi-national companies in favour of consumer rights.
The EU has again raised the prospect of imposing its own tax on tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Amazon after the US pulled out of negotiations for a global online services tax. The US withdrew from negotiations organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday after its delegation warned that “no progress” had been made on agreeing a worldwide approach to tax reform for tech giants, Reuters reported.
The University of Exeter and defence vehicle manufacturer Supacat are developing an off-road electric autonomous vehicle. Following the government’s ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035, the project has designed the next generation of ‘green’ defence and off-road transport.
Amazon UK country manager Doug Gurr is leaving the company to take up a new position as director of the Natural History Museum. He first joined the e-commerce giant in 2011, having previously worked at Asda, and was promoted to his current position in April 2016, after leading the China arm for two years.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released an investigation report into the use of mobile phone extraction (MPE) by police forces when conducting criminal investigations in England and Wales. When concerns arose about the potential for excessive processing of personal data extracted from mobile phones, the ICO launched an investigation to understand the privacy and data protection risks.
Payfone has raised $100 million to acquire strategic assets, strengthen its machine learning capabilities and drive growth the UK and Europe. The investment was led by funds advised by Apax Digital, the growth equity team of Apax Partners.
The UK government is changing its Coronavirus contact tracing app to a model based on technology provided by Apple and Google. The previous centralised design carried out the contact-matches on a remote server, while the decentralised Apple/Google model carries the process out on the mobile, making it more difficult for the authorities or hackers to de-anonymise the records and use them for other means.
Eco homes developer Etopia is partnering with Samsung to collaborate on concepts for the ‘homes of the future’. Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Etopia will assist Samsung in assessing and testing it technology in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) houses, while Etopia will install the South Korean electronics giant’s appliances and heat pumps in its developments.
Hoxton Ventures announced the final close today of Hoxton Ventures II, an early stage European venture capital fund building on the firm’s record of finding and investing in tech unicorns like Babylon Health, Darktrace and Deliveroo. Hoxton’s strategy of finding European companies that can scale globally into large, category-defining leaders in newly forming industries has led it to becoming one of Europe’s top-performing early stage venture capital firms.
BT, NSSLGlobal and Viasat UK have announced an alliance to deliver critical defence satellite communications (SATCOM) services, supporting the modernisation of the UK’s defence and space sectors. The alliance has come together to respond to major UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) programmes, including bidding for the Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) component of Skynet 6, a MoD SATCOM programme that is expected to be awarded in 2022.
Open Banking provider Nuapay is partnering with payments startup Felloh! to reduce the cost of payments processing for charities and social enterprises. The collaboration aims to transfer £1 billion in reduced payment processing costs to donations for charities and social enterprises.
The Department for Transport (DfT) is backing a project to install biometric entry corridors for the Eurostar to enable contactless and socially-distanced travel. The project, which will use technology from iProov, will enable Eurostar passengers to pass through a facial biometric corridor to enable contactless journeys. It is planned to be in live operation by March 2021.
Mastercard is launching a global payments tokenisation service for Amazon customers.The payments giant is rolling out the service, which makes a secure digital record of stored card credentials to Amazon customers in 12 countries, including the UK, US, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey, Mexico and United Arab Emirates.
The Geospatial Commission has laid out its plan to develop a national location data framework to support future technologies by 2025. The plans form part of the recently published UK Geospatial Strategy, along with the National Underground Asset Register (NUAR) and the development of harmonised and machine readable licences by next year.
The Department for Transport, in partnership with Innovate UK, has awarded 25 pioneering projects a share of £9.4 million in the 2020 First of a Kind competition, which encourages innovation in the rail industry. Inventors came forward with a host of ambitious projects to transform rail travel, including low-energy concrete slabs that automatically heat up in freezing conditions to help prevent passengers from slipping on icy platforms, and the Seatfrog Train Swap app, which will allow passengers to quickly and remotely update their seat reservation to another service.
The European Commission (EC) has opened an antitrust investigation to assess whether Apple's conduct in connection with Apple Pay violates EU competition rules. The investigation concerns Apple's terms, conditions and other measures for integrating Apple Pay in merchant apps and websites on iPhones and iPads, Apple's limitation of access to the Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality for ‘tap and go’ on iPhones for payments in stores, and alleged refusals of access to Apple Pay.
The number of global 5G subscriptions is set to top 190 million by the end of 2020 and 2.8 billion by the end of 2025, according to new research from Ericsson. The Swedish telecoms giant’s global mobility report found that while 5G subscription growth in some markets has slowed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was outweighed by other markets where it is accelerating.
The number of businesses using asset tracking solutions will reach 90 million this year, and exceed 114 million by 2025 – representing a growth of 27 per cent over the next five years. Market analysis from Juniper Research explained that asset tracking solutions enable enterprises to track cargo from dispatch to final destination; allowing increased transparency and more accurate delivery date estimations.
NFU Mutual will be including personal cyber cover as standard for new bespoke home insurance customers. The move is aimed at strengthening the company's position in the high net worth market, with NFU Mutual Bespoke offering a tailored approach to home insurance designed for those properties that have high-value contents such as fine art, jewellery and collections.
The NHS has struck a deal with Microsoft aiming to connect as million as 1.2 million staff across NHS organisations. The agreement between NHSX, NHS Digital and Microsoft will deploy Microsoft 365 software in a bid to save the health service in England hundreds of millions of pounds.
New research has revealed that 70 per cent of IT security professionals think governments will not be able to protect election infrastructure from cyber attacks. A survey of 485 IT security professionals attending the virtual RSA conference this year, by machine identity protection company Venafi, found that the profession remains largely sceptical as to whether the authorities can adequately defend election infrastructure against domestic and international cyber attacks.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is considering changing regulations to open up other different of infrastructure for broadband networks. In a call for evidence on the Review of Access to Infrastructure Regulations - open until 4 September - the government has proposed measures which would make it easier for network operators to run high speed broadband cables through the electricity, gas, water and sewer networks.
Mark Hipperson, the co-founder of Starling Bank, has launched cryptocurrency platform Ziglu following a seed funding round of £5.25 million. The app lets customers to quickly and competitively exchange fiat currency for cryptocurrencies - including Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash - and monitor their balances in read time.
Biometric authentication technology provider iProov has partnered with RegTech specialists NorthRow. The move is aimed at expanding iProov's partner network and extending its services into the property, professional services and FinTech sectors.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has revealed an initiative bringing data science and user-centred design disciplines together in a GOV.UK Data Labs service. In an official blog, senior product manager Ganesh Senthi explained that it has been set up to help the public sector make better use of anonymised data in how services are provided through the GOV.UK website.
COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the shift towards digital transformation, according to a new study of technological changes wrought by the pandemic. Research conducted by Telstra among more than 120 business leaders across Asia Pacific in Europe and the US found that 93 per cent have changed their IT priorities either incrementally, significantly, or dramatically as a result.
Amazon has announced a one-year moratorium on police use of its artificial intelligence-driven facial recognition, following a growing backlash around its potential for racial bias in the wake of recent protest. When it was first released in 2016, the Rekognition software was criticised by advocacy groups which said the technology could have a disproportionately negative effect on non-white people.
The Libra Association has appointed Sterling Daines, a managing director and global head of financial crime compliance at Credit Suisse, as its new chief compliance officer. The Geneva-based independent body of payments, technology and financial firms tasked with independent oversight of Facebook’s Libra digital currency project, hired Daines following months of debate amongst governments, policy makers and central banks over the potential impact of a global digital currency.
Annual revenue of integrated fitness clothing will rise from approximately $1 billion in 2020 to $11 billion in 2025, according to Juniper Research. This rapid growth, boosted by higher pricing, will see smart clothing become the largest fitness wearable sector by revenue. Meanwhile, falling prices for traditional consumer wearables will see these products overtaken, posting a revenue in 2025 of $5.3 billion; almost half that of clothing.
The international trade secretary Liz Truss has announced a new international trade strategy for the UK tech industry, including a package of interventions to increase UK tech exports and attract international investment into the sector. With a number of digital tech sub-sectors seeing increased demand as a result of Coronavirus - including EdTech, MedTech, FinTech and cyber security - the strategy aims to open up more export opportunities across these and other technology areas.
Tech Nation has launched a Net Zero growth programme aimed at accelerating the growth of startups focused on reducing carbon emissions. It is designed to support tech companies that are building a greener, cleaner, and more sustainable future, helping the UK reach its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The Scottish Government has declared a ‘cloud first’ policy for its public sector. Reflecting the Government Digital Service (GDS) in Whitehall, Scotland’s Digital Directorate published guidance prioritising public cloud should as the default platform for user services.
Zegami, the Oxford University data visualisation spin-out, has joined an international team of medical researchers to try and find the cause of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The startup believes the project could lead to the discovery of the root cause of the condition and could help in the development of the first ever medical test for ME/CFS, new treatments, or even to find a cure.
NHS 24 has partnered with Microsoft to launch a chatbot called Ave to give the public access to information and support about Coronavirus. The bot, which was launched on the NHS Inform website, is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, and has responded to more than 40,000 queries in its first 30 days.
While awareness around gender diversity in the cyber security industry has improved, there is still work to be done to make a significant practical difference, according to a new report from CREST. The not-for-profit body that represents the technical security industry took polls at a recent gender diversity workshop, finding that only 14 per cent of attendees argued that not enough work has been done to lessen the gender gap, while 86 per cent believed that while progress has been made, it is not nearly enough.
Alibaba Cloud is aiming to recruit 5,000 technology staff worldwide from now until the end of the financial year, in areas including network, database, servers, chips and artificial intelligence. This commitment follows the announcement in April that the cloud computing giant would invest additional RMB200 billion ($28 billion) in the next three years to build the next-generation data centres.
The University of Aberdeen’s clinical research imaging facility has chosen BridgeHead Software’s Independent Clinical Archive (ICA), HealthStore, to collect, store and protect its clinical research data. Researchers in the university’s Biomedical Imaging Centre will be able to effectively manage medical images that drive understanding of the causes, mechanisms and consequences of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and Alzheimer's disease ensuring better prevention, diagnostics and treatment.
IBM is to 'sunset' its general purpose facial recognition and analysis software products due to concerns around potential racial bias in the context of addressing responsible use of technology by law enforcement. Chief executive Arvind Krishna sent a letter to the US Congress outlining detailed policy proposals to advance racial equality.
Innovate UK is offering to £800,000 from the Plastics Research and Innovation Fund to invest in business projects that seek to better understand the behaviour of customers and use that to create innovative design concepts. A statement from the offshoot of the government’s UK Research and Innovation department explained that the world produces around 350 million tonnes of plastic every year, with Europe recycling about 40 per cent of its plastic waste.
The levels of cyber security confidence amongst European organisations is growing, according to a new survey, with 68 per cent seeing themselves as vulnerable - down from 86 per cent in 2018 - despite 52 per cent having experience a breach or failed a compliance audit in the previous year. A new data threat report by Thales found that a fifth of organisations intend to reduce spending on data security in the coming year, despite the rising threat from COVID-19, with remote working significantly increasing risk to sensitive data.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has reached a milestone in its migration of core legacy applications which will see an improvement in services for 18 million UK citizens. Working with IT services organisation Advanced and its application modernisation practice, it has re-platformed the Job Seeker’s Allowance Payment System (JSAPS) – the largest and most complex service of the DWP’s application legacy modernisation programme.
New research has revealed that 86 per cent of organisations said their biggest IT challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic was moving to mass remote working, and their biggest security concern was maintaining VPN capacity for staff. Check Point Software Technologies surveyed over 270 IT and security professionals globally, finding that 62 per cent of respondents said their main concern during initial lockdowns was maintaining secure remote access and VPN capacity for staff, followed by preventing social engineering attacks (47 per cent) and securing staff endpoints and home networks (52 per cent).
Despite costing hundreds of pounds more than their standard counterparts, smart appliances could be rendered obsolete after as little as two years as manufacturers stop providing vital software updates, according to a Which? investigation. The consumer organisation calculated that, on average, customers pay £855 more for a smart fridge-freezer than a standard one, £259 more for a smart dishwasher and £190 more for a smart tumble dryer.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence has published a report calling for stronger rules around the use of data in artificial intelligence (AI) healthcare technology. Following a recent hearing on AI's role in disease control and the experience of countries that have used it in fighting the pandemic, the document came to two major conclusions - firstly that there is a need for regulations on the responsible use of public data, along with a cross-border infrastructure for sharing it.
On World Environment Day, five British businesses have committed to transition to electric transport. The companies are joining international non-profit The Climate Group’s global electric vehicles initiative EV100. Through this commitment, they will be switching their fleets to electric by 2030, cutting down on transport greenhouse gas emissions.
The European cloud computing platform Gaia-X has been officially established, with the creation of a legal entity in Belgium. Set up to address Europe’s dependence on American or Chinese cloud providers, the joint venture is set for full launch next year, as a non-profit group of 22 French and German companies - including Orange, Siemens, SAP, Atos, Scaleway and Deutsche Telekom.
New research has revealed that while 68 per cent of UK businesses found the Coronavirus lockdown transition to remote working easy, 32 per cent found it difficult or very difficult. The pandemic has caused a fundamental shift for businesses: travel restrictions and mandated social distancing have meant - in a short space of time - huge swathes of the UK economy have restructured to completely different ways of working.
Foodservice wholesaler Brakes has partnered with e-commerce agency KPS to digitally transform its operations during the COVID-19 lockdown. The project opened up its business-to-business (B2B) food delivery site to the public with the launch of a new direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce offer, giving UK households an alternative to visiting the supermarket or relying on online grocery delivery slots.
NHS England and Improvement is aiming to create a unified data access layer across its range of platforms. Work has begun the on the alpha phase and it is looking for delivery assistance for the programme to consolidate processes and technology around a common platform.
Even though companies say they are committed to improving software testing, they are not following through by investing in it - and DevOps pipelines are suffering as a result. That’s the conclusion of a new survey from Diffblue among 300 developers and engineering managers in the UK and US.
Crowdfunded venture investment platform OurCrowd has launched a Pandemic Innovation Fund with plans to raise $100 million for investment in urgent technological solutions for the medical, business, educational and social needs triggered by global pandemics and other health emergencies.
More than a quarter (26 per cent) of British people feel more vulnerable to online hackers than ever as a result of COVID-19, according to new research. A survey of 1,000 UK consumers by biometric authentication firm iProov has found that despite greater awareness of the the risk of cyber breach as criminals seek to exploit the pandemic, many are using cyber security habits that could compromise the safety of their data and online accounts.
Total global spend on digital twins technology will reach $12.7 billion by 2021, an increase of 17 per cent from $10.8 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. Digital twins are a digital representation of physical assets that utilise Internet of Things (IoT) data, enabling use cases such as predictive maintenance when combined with artificial intelligence.
TrueLayer has been appointed to the government’s Crown Commercial Service’s (CCS) payment acceptance framework for payments initiation. The agreement means the company’s Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can provide public sector organisations with its Payment Initiation Service (PIS).
Temporall, a UK-based startup founded by a former Google global director, has announced a £1 million seed funding round led by venture capital firm Luminous Ventures. The artificial intelligence-based analytics platform is designed to give key performance insights to leadership teams.
Dimension, a mixed reality (MR) technology company, has partnered with Microsoft to create new interactive digital experiences. The London and Newcastle-based company, which has developed interactive digital experiences with Madonna, Michael Bublé and tennis player Andy Murray has become a Microsoft mixed reality partner, meaning its content can be experienced via mobile phones, tablets, laptops and headsets such as Microsoft HoloLens.
Tech Nation has announced Stephen Kelly as its new chair, succeeding Eileen Burbidge, who has served since 2015. He has had a long career in the tech industry, starting at Oracle in 1988 as an executive of the European management team. After nine years there, he joined Californian enterprise software startup Chordiant, becoming chief executive in 2001.
Cisco has announced its intent to acquire privately held cloud intelligence platform ThousandEyes. A statement explained that by bringing together Cisco’s strength in network and application performance with ThousandEyes’ visibility into the internet, customers will now have an end-to-end view into the digital delivery of applications and services, allowing them to pinpoint deficiencies and improve network and application performance across enterprise and cloud networks.
The UK has joined the global COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) consortium. Science minister Amanda Solloway announced the plan at a virtual meeting of G7 science and technology ministers, explaining that it will give UK researchers and scientists access to the world’s fastest supercomputers.
Cloud storage company Wasabi has raised $30 million in funding to fuel further expansion.
The Boston-based company, which specialises in ‘hot cloud storage’ said the round brings total funding since it was founded in 2015 to $110m.
Digital Global Systems (DGS) and telent have agreed a three-year contract to install the CLEARSKY Drone Threat Management system at Bristol Airport, marking the first UK deployment of the system. The system was developed by DGS in response to the rising threat of unauthorised drone usage at critical infrastructure sites, including airports.
Card issuing platform Marqeta has raised an additional $150 million in new capital from an unnamed institutional investor, valuing the company at $4.3 billion. This latest financing follows its $260 million equity financing in May 2019, which was led by Coatue and included participation from Vitruvian Partners. Marqeta is also backed by Visa, Goldman Sachs, 83North, Granite Ventures and ICONIQ Capital.
More than two thirds of organisations (67 per cent) have started a legacy system modernisation project but failed to complete it, according to Advanced. The IT services provider’s 2020 Global Application Modernisation Business Barometer Report was carried out online by Coleman Parkes throughout March and April, with a sample comprised of 400 people working for large enterprises in Europe and the US with a minimum annual turnover of $1 billion. Of these, 100 people worked for organisations in the UK.
Microsoft and Workday have announced a strategic partnership prioritising enterprise planning in the cloud. Workday customers will also be able to run its Adaptive Planning software on the Microsoft’s Azure cloud and Microsoft will adopt Adaptive Planning for its global finance teams for planning, budgeting and forecasting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated manufacturers’ shift to digital transformation, with 70 per cent of organisations saying the crisis has focussed on the need for more digital procurement. A Vanson Bourne survey of 200 procurement, supply chain and finance professionals on behalf of smart procurement firm Ivalua, found that organisations believe that greater digitalisation (84 per cent) and better digital skills (83 per cent) will enable them to more effectively mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the business.
Cradlepoint is speeding up its expansion into Europe with senior hires, investment in new teams and new product offerings. The 5G wireless network edge solutions provider stated that it is aiming to win more customers across northern, central and southern Europe this year.
The computer code behind the scientific modelling of epidemics like COVID-19 should meet independent professional standards to ensure public trust, according to the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT. The lack of widely-accepted software development standards in scientific research has allowed for the ‘politicised’ undermining of confidence in computational modelling, including in high-profile models informing Coronavirus policy, the institute argued.
Facebook has rebranded its Calibra digital wallet - which will be used to store Libra digital currency - to Novi. The social media giant said that the name for financial subsidiary Novi Financial had been inspired by the Latin words 'novus' for 'new' and 'via' for 'way'.
Thriva has secured a £4 million extension to its Series A funding round from venture capital firm Target Global. This takes the London-based HealthTech startup's total funding to £11 million, following on from its initial £6 million fundraise last year, which included Guinness Asset Management and Pembroke VCT.
COVID-19 is not expected to significantly delay 5G deployments, according to a new report from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks. The percentage of mobile service providers stating their companies were 'moving rapidly toward commercial deployment' has increased from 26 per cent in a survey announced in early 2019 to 45 per cent in the new survey.
Nearly half (48 per cent) of the UK public do not trust the NHSX Coronavirus contact tracing app to keep their information safe from hackers, according to new research. A Censuswide study of 1,000 UK citizens on behalf of cyber security firm Anomali found that the app, which is set to be rolled out to users from next week to support an easing of lockdown restrictions, is the focus of concerns over data handling and the risk of cyber criminals accessing sensitive information.
Education technology business MyEd has won a share of a £40 million tech innovation fund from the UK government. The Birmingham-based education technology business, led by chief executive Upkar Pardesi, former dean of Birmingham City University Business School, works with educational institutions and local authorities to digitally transform admissions and home learning.
Local authorities are at increased risk due to the lack of a complete cyber security perspective, according to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). A new report from its Local Digital Collaboration Unit (LDCU) explained the findings of a pre-discovery project that it launched in March, following stakeholder interviews and analysis of 163 councils’ responses to a survey on ransomware.
The number of instant messaging users will reach 4.3 billion in 2020, rising from 3.9 billion in 2019, according to Juniper Research. The market analysis predicted growth of nine per cent year-on-year, largely driven by an increased need for remote communication during the COVID-19 crisis.
To help individuals and companies build trust and preserve the fundamental values of blockchain technology, the World Economic Forum’s Global Blockchain Council developed the Presidio Principles. Co-designed at the World Economic Forum’s offices in the Presidio of San Francisco, the 16 principles aim to protect users and preserve the values of the technology so that all can benefit.
Microsoft has introduced a number of new cloud computing services across its UK Azure regions to improve data security and enable innovation through the use of robots, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies. The company has released 10 new services for its cloud platform, including some that utilise cyber security technology to help protect systems as the cyber crime threat rises during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Miles, a pay-by-mile car insurance provider, has raised £15 million in Series B funding, led by CommerzVentures. The London-based startup, which aims to provide flexible cover to low mileage drivers - classified as those who drive less than 7,000 miles a year - using a plug-in device called a miles tracker.
Couchbase has completed a $105 million all-equity Series G round of fundraising. The round was led by GPI Capital and also included existing investors Accel, Sorenson Capital, North Bridge Venture Partners, Glynn Capital, Adams Street Partners and Mayfield.
Nearly a third (30 per cent) of workers have fallen victim to phishing emails since the start of lockdown, according to new research. A survey of 491 employees and senior leaders working in UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for software and applications review business Capterra, found that while SMEs have moved quickly to transition to home working during the Coronavirus lockdown, cyber security processes have been less efficient.
The co-founder of online fashion retailer Boohoo has partnered with Avacta to develop a 10-minute home saliva test for Coronavirus. The antigen test will look similar to a pregnancy test, but will use a saliva sample rather than urine.
Almost three quarters (73 per cent) of UK businesses expect COVID-19 to bring about a new wave of workplace and industry automation, with financial services firms leading the way. A study of 500 UK business leaders, commissioned by Internet of Things (IoT) provider Pod Group, found that many respondents expect automation technology to replace a considerable proportion of their labour force over the next 10 years, with the financial services sector the most advanced in levels of automation.
Plans to create a UK LawTech research and development (R&D) environment - the Lawtech Sandbox - have been announced today by LawtechUK, a government-backed initiative between Tech Nation, the Lawtech Delivery Panel and the Ministry of Justice. The sandbox is one of four initial programmes LawtechUK has announced in the publication of its vision to help the legal sector harness technologies that improve or replace traditional methods of delivering legal services and systems.
Executives at Facebook, Google and Twitter have been recalled to re-appear before a committee of MPs who claim they failed to provide clear answers over fake news related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Following an online hearing last month, Julian Knight, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee (DCMS) criticised social media executives for a “lack of clarity and openness” in their responses over the ‘infodemic’ of false narratives - such as conspiracy theories around 5G broadband or claims of fake Twitter accounts posing as those of NHS staff.
More than 700 Zoom licences have been purchased by UK government departments during the COVID-19 outbreak, despite official warnings from the National Cyber Security Centre about the potential for hacking and data breach of the video conferencing software. Figures obtained by the Parliament Street think tank under Freedom of Information legislation found that a total of 731 Zoom licences have been ordered since the start of the outbreak, with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) purchasing 550 accounts, the Cabinet Office 150, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 15.
Blink, an app to connect frontline workers to their organisations, has raised £8.2 million funding as it prepares to launch today. The app has been developed over the course of 15 months in partnership with organisations including NHS, Stagecoach and Domino’s - whose workers are considered frontline workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
Business secretary Alok Sharma has announced that the government is doubling investment in the Fast Start Competition with an additional £20 million. The competition aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the Coronavirus crisis, while supporting the UK’s next generation of tech startups.
Staff at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are using Microsoft’s HoloLens mixed-reality headsets to assist them in treating COVID-19 patients safely. The HoloLens and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist capabilities allow frontline healthcare teams at the trust to see everything the doctor treating patients can see, while remaining at a safe distance.
NHS Scotland has started testing its contact tracing software, with a two-week pilot across health boards in Fife, Lanarkshire and the Highlands. If these are successful, the plan is to roll-out around the country by the end of the month.
New research from Refinitiv has found that despite greater regulation and stronger enforcement action, many organisations are struggling to gain visibility over third-party risks. The fourth third-party risk survey found that on average, 43 per cent of third parties do not receive due diligence checks, an increase of six per cent compared to the responses found in the 2016 survey.
EasyJet has admitted that a highly sophisticated cyber attack has affected around nine million customers. The airline explained that email addresses and travel details had been stolen and that 2,208 customers had also had their credit card details accessed. It has informed the Information Commissioner's Office and is continuing to investigate the breach.
Over 60 per cent of consumers have stopped buying from brands that ‘stalk’ them online by using their data, according to new research. A survey of 8,000 consumers in the UK, France, India and the USA by Arlington Research on behalf of data analytics solution provider Truata also found over three quarters (77 per cent) believed that data held digitally about them should be their own property, not an asset owned by a company.
New research has revealed that a significant proportion of the population are not prepared to download the NHS Coronavirus contact tracing app – with half of respondents knowing at least one person who does not have the necessary technology. Cyber security firm Anomali commissioned Censuswide to interview 1,000 people across the UK, finding that almost a third (29 per cent) would refuse to download the app, with a further 27 per cent on the fence.
Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report has revealed that financial gain remains the key driver for cyber crime, with 86 per cent of breaches investigated being financially-driven. The vast majority of breaches continue to be caused by external actors - 70 per cent - with organised crime accounting for 55 per cent of these.
PA consulting and Hydroxyl Technologies are on the hunt for commercial partners to help them manufacture a decontamination device capable of neutralising Coronaviruses and other pathogens. The two companies have developed Airora Professional, a patented decontamination technology based on hydroxyl radicals that actively combats airborne and surface virus and bacterial infections, including Coronaviruses, Influenza, Norovirus, e-Coli and MRSA.
Organisations that put data at the centre of their strategy realise a differentiated competitive advantage by mitigating cost and risk, growing revenue and improving the customer experience. This is according to a survey of more than 900 global business analysts commissioned by data intelligence firm Collibra and carried out by Forrester Consulting.
The government has announced that organisations can apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop ways to support safe operations of novel modes of air transportation – minimising the environmental footprint and improving connectivity. Flying taxis, drones delivering medical supplies, small electric aircraft, vertical take-off and landing vehicles and autonomous aircraft are some of the innovations that Innovate UK hopes could transform aviation and broader transportation in the future.
Legal & General (L&G) is set to deploy £6 million of grant funding to HealthTech startups developing innovations in the healthy ageing market. The insurer was selected by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to distribute the grant funding to early stage companies, small businesses and social enterprises, alongside equity investment from L&G as part of the Healthy Ageing Investment Accelerator.
Progress in transforming digital services in the NHS has been slower than expected, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). It deemed recent investment in digital transformation "inadequate", adding that it is uncertain whether current funding will be sufficient to meet the government’s ambitions.
The UK’s energy network administrator has been hit by a cyber attack which compromised internal IT infrastructure. Elexon, which is the administrator for the UK electricity market, was alerted to the attack on Thursday afternoon, stating that its internal systems had been targeted, but the central data systems used to run the network remained unaffected and were continuing to work as normal.
Coronavirus contact tracing apps must only be used during the pandemic and will need to be automatically de-activated once the crisis is over, according to the EU justice commissioner. Reuters reported that Didier Reynders spoke yesterday in an attempt to allay concerns over state surveillance.
Artificial intelligence (AI) video streaming company iSIZE Technologies has raised £1.3 million in total funding after its first seed round. The London-based startup, which uses deep tech to cut the data used in streaming video, received backing in the round from Silicon Valley angel and institutional investors including Patrick Pichette, partner at Inovia capital.
New research has revealed that 80 per cent of consumers think payments technology is now key to their purchasing decisions. A OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK consumers for FinTech startup Modularbank found that just 22 per cent of respondents did not require anything more in the payments process from online merchants when it came to choosing which retailers, telecoms and utilities companies to use.
Rolls-Royce’s Power Systems business unit has partnered with digital solutions provider Iotics to drive development of digital twins for its in-field assets. It will use the technology to tap into more than 200 data sources and broker interactions in order to create digital twins and receive real-time event data across customer, supplier and partner boundaries.
The mining sector is in the midst of a digital revolution, with 93 per cent of businesses currently trialling Internet of Things (IoT) enabled projects, with two thirds of these having already deployed at least one IoT-based project. This is according to a survey commissioned by Inmarsat and carried out by Vanson Bourne among 200 senior staff working for mining companies with at least 500 employees.
New research has revealed that almost half (43 per cent) of surveyed IT decision-makers said that their organisation has been reported to the Information Commissioners' Office since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. Apricon, a manufacturer of hardware-encrypted USB drives, commissioned Censuswide to interview 100 UK CIOs, heads of IT, IT directors and senior IT managers from enterprise organisations within the financial services, IT, manufacturing, business and professional services sectors.
More than a quarter (28 per cent) of UK businesses have automated key functions, with a third (34 per cent) planning to start Robotic Process Automation (RPA) programmes in the coming year, according to new research. A survey of 400 senior directors at organisations in the UK, France and Germany by digital intelligence company ABBYY found that 64 per cent of businesses had already used process mining technologies, which extract data from an IT system to create an events log of processes and workflow in order to help a company become more efficient.
Payment technology firm flatfair has launched a new online portal, Resolve by flatfair, to let landlords agree on a payment plan for any rent arrears accrued due to COVID-19 with their tenants. Residential landlords of all sizes will be adversely impacted by rental shortfalls. Resolve aims to give these landlords a tool to assist them in obtaining evidence of hardship and provide date stamped correspondence.
New research has revealed that while 82 per cent of people think their organisations need to focus on increasing the humanity of customer interactions, only 41 per cent view the way their organisation is using automation as helpful. Appian commissioned IDG to survey 1,200 employees across large organisations in the US and Europe, finding that 58 per cent of UK respondents thought the automation technologies used by their organisation were only 'somewhat effective' in providing all the data and context needed for a full picture of customers.
Payment technology firm flatfair has launched a new online portal, Resolve by flatfair, to let landlords agree on a payment plan for any rent arrears accrued due to COVID-19 with their tenants. Residential landlords of all sizes will be adversely impacted by rental shortfalls. Resolve aims to give these landlords a tool to assist them in obtaining evidence of hardship and provide date stamped correspondence.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has reported a significant rise in the number of people signing up to use the GOV.UK Verify digital identity service. However, the claim follows reports that it was told not to take on any more central government services and that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has begun working on its alternative service.
The government is preparing to replace the Coronavirus contact tracing app it is currently trialling on the Isle of Wight, communities secretary Robert Jenrick confirmed yesterday. The Financial Times reported on Friday that the NHS had begun developing a second app, which will use technology provided by Google and Apple, after concerns were raised about the initial app’s centralised system.
Video conferencing app Zoom has acquired secure messaging and file-sharing service Keybase for an undisclosed sum. The deal will accelerate Zoom’s plan to build end-to-end encryption that can reach current scalability.
Nearly half (46 per cent) of businesses globally have experienced a cyber security scare since shifting to remote working during the COVID-19 lockdown. A Censuswide survey of 1,000 decision makers from businesses in the UK, US, France and Germany, for cloud security provider Barracuda Networks, found that a similar amount (49 per cent) also said they were expecting to see a data breach or cyber security incident within the next month due to staff members working remotely.
The owners of Virgin Media and O2 have confirmed plans for a £31 billion merger to challenge BT and Sky in the UK. Virgin owner Liberty Global and O2 owner Telefonica have announced a 50/50 joint venture, which would have 46 million customers and around £11 billion in revenue.
The Libra Association has appointed HSBC chief legal officer Stuart Levey as its first chief executive. Prior to joining HSBC, he served as the first under secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence during the Bush and Obama administrations, helping to set US and international policy to combat illicit finance.
HM Revenue and Customs has asked Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to remove 292 scam web addresses exploiting the Coronavirus outbreak since the beginning of the lockdown on 23 March. The data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by Griffin Law, revealed that of the 292 sites removed, 237 were proactively identified and requested for removal by HMRC independently, with the remaining 55 flagged by members of the public.
The EU Horizon2020 SecondHands consortium has completed its robotic platform, ARMAR-6. Launched in 2015, the mission was to develop a collaborative robot, or 'cobot' assistant to make industrial environments safer by proactively offering useful support and assistance to humans in maintenance tasks.
Ofcom has confirmed that O2 has submitted a last-minute challenge to the planned 5G spectrum auction, potentially creating a significant delay to the UK roll-out. The telecoms regulator said the firm raised concerns as part of the consultation process, relating to a technical point in the way the auction is to be organised, according to the Financial Times.
Governments, non-profits and private sector firms across finance, healthcare, enterprise software and more, have teamed up with Linux Foundation to enhance universal security and privacy protocols in the digital era. The Trust over IP (ToIP) Foundation is being developed with global, pan-industry support from organisations with sector-specific expertise.
The Coronavirus contact tracing app is set be piloted on the Isle of Wight this week, despite continued concerns around its centralised setup. The new app will alert users if they have been close to someone with the COVID-19 virus, with Health secretary Matt Hancock stating that the government is looking to recruit an “army” of human contact tracers to establish how and where the disease is spreading.
As the impact of COVID-19 continues to force tech companies to hold their spending, new research from talent.io has revealed that 38 per cent of European firms are freezing most or all of their tech recruitment. In London alone, there has been a 57 per cent drop in the number of companies creating new, permanent tech job listings.
Tim Bray, a vice president at Amazon Web Services, has quit the company “in dismay” over its firing of employee activists who criticised Coronavirus working conditions. In a blog post, the man perhaps most famous for markup language XML, said that firing strike organisers Emily Cunningham and Maren Costa in April was “designed to create a climate of fear”.
Coadjute has appointed Royal Bank of Scotland director of innovation for home buying and ownership Dan Salmons as its new chief executive. Following successful customer trials last year, the UK PropTech startup has brought in new leadership to accelerate, launch and scale its network.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software company UiPath has partnered with Deloitte to help deliver its Intelligent Document Processing (DIDP) plans. The on-premise or cloud-based automation accelerator is aimed at delivering a capability which captures documents before extracting, classifying and verifying data for processing.