Displaying items by tag: Data
Security researcher Victor Gevers has uncovered a database of 1.8 million women in China who have their names, addresses, marital status, education levels, and phone numbers listed however the most troubling part of this database is the fact that women of a certain age group were also categorized as “breed ready”.
Gevers has said that anyone with an IP address has access to this database. This comes after his discovery of the Chinese database that leaked 300 million private messages last week.
“We don’t know who is behind this database and what the intention was… that is the part that worries us the most,” said Gevers. Most of the women in the database were located in Beijing.
Gevers reported the database on Twitter and had it closed down by 4am ET on Monday.
Some of the women are linked to their Facebook profiles and as Facebook is banned in China, they must have accessed it through the use of a VPN.
“In China, they have a shortage of women. So an organization started to build a database to start registering over 1.8 million women with all kinds of details like phone numbers, addresses, education, location, ID number, marital status, and a “BreedReady” status?” he tweeted.
Also, around 90 per cent of the women on that list were listed as single and were between the ages of 15 and 95. The “BreedReady” women were categorized, the youngest status was given to 18 year olds and the oldest with the status was 39.
The purpose of this database still remains uncertain however, many internet users said that it may have been the Chinese government’s effort to track the fertility of Chinese women as China’s birth rate has hit an all-time low.
China’s National Statistics Bureau found that only 15 million children were born in 2018 which was 2 million less than the previous year.
The House of Lords has called for a new central digital super-regulator to be created in order to inspect the different bodies protecting the internet and to replace the ‘clearly failing’ system of self regulation in place.
The Lords’ communications committee report has recommended a new Digital Authority. The report warns that the contribution of several regulators for the digital realm can be more problematic than helpful as it creates overlaps and gaps.
The report also states that large tech companies have failed to tackle cybersecurity issues and Ofcom should, in the future, expand their services to involve implementing a duty of care on those companies.
Lord Gilbert of Panteg, Chair of the committee, stated: “The government should not just be responding to news headlines but looking ahead so that the services that constitute the digital world can be held accountable to an agreed set of principles.”
He continued: “Self-regulation by online platforms is clearly failing and the current regulatory framework is out of date. The evidence we heard made a compelling and urgent case for a new approach to regulation. Without intervention, the largest tech companies are likely to gain ever more control of technologies which extract personal data and make decisions affecting people’s lives.”
The Lords said that the new Digital Authority should be guided by 10 guiding principles pertaining to online regulation. Some of these basic principles include: transparency, parity, recognition of childhood, accountability, privacy and human rights.
Last month, a Digital Culture, Media and Sport committee held Facebook responsible for being run by “digital gangsters” and as a result, recommending that tech and social media companies could regulate themselves independently under a ‘code of ethics’ which could be overseen by Ofcom.
The report by the Lords echoed this sentiment. It stated that self-regulation from internet behemoths from the likes of Google and Facebook were “clearly failing”.
Lord Panteg wrote: “Policy makers across different sectors have not responded adequately to changes in the digital world.”
He added: "The Digital Authority should be empowered to instruct regulators to address specific problems or areas. In cases where this is not possible because problems are not within the remit of any regulator, the Digital Authority should advise the Government and Parliament that new or strengthened legal powers are needed.”
The report recommends many changes to already existing regulations whether the Digital Authority is created or not. An example of these proposed changes is the public interest test for mergers and acquisitions which would protect peoples’ data from being bought and sold with no prior consent from the individual.
Additionally, the report recognizes the power which this new Digital Authority would hold and justified it by stating: “This is necessary because of the magnitude of urgent social and political problems caused by regulatory fragmentation in the digital world. These problems are less likely to become more complex as technology develops.”
Internet giants such as Google, Amazon and Facebook were not held in high regard amongst the Lords, especially in the report.
It concluded, “Major platforms have failed to invest in their moderation systems, leaving moderators overstretched and inadequately trained. Online platforms should make community standards clearer through a new classification framework akin to that of the British Board of Film Classification.”
New York regulators are investigating Facebook’s gathering of intimate data about consumers’ menstrual cycles and body weight through smartphone applications.
Facebook has confirmed that New York’s Department of Financial Services set them a letter about the data sharing issue.
The New York based regulator asked the social media giant to provide a list of all the companies that were involved in sending them the data over the past three years.
According to the source, requests to provide information on agreements with Facebook were sent to a number of application developers.
A Wall Street Journal report from February 22 showed that after testing over 70 smartphone apps, approximately 11 were disclosing ‘highly sensitive’ information to Facebook to use for target ads. These ads would be able to reach users who are not Facebook members.
The intimate data that was collected by the apps showed personal information with regards to body weight, height, ovulation cycles, heart rate, pregnancy status and home shopping.
It was found that around 6 of the 15 most popular health and fitness apps shared personal information with Facebook.
A Facebook spokesperson stated:
"It's common for developers to share information with a wide range of platforms for advertising and analytics.
"We require the other app developers to be clear with their users about the information they are sharing with us, and we prohibit app developers from sending us sensitive data. We also take steps to detect and remove data that should not be shared with us."
The investigation comes at the peak of the debate over online privacy and at a time when Facebook is still attempting to regain the trust of the masses following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
According to the Journal, the ‘highly sensitive information’ is sent to Facebook immediately after it is entered into the app.
Facebook is able to collect data through the Software Development Kit (SDK), which is a set of programs used to create apps and it often includes a set of open software tools.
These apps have used Facebook’s SDK to build their software in exchange for data which Facebook uses for advertising purposes.
A Facebook spokesperson has said that the data transmission does violate the company’s business agreement and that Facebook has taken measures to stop the apps from disclosing such personal information.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for extra security to be applied to Chinese companies following alleged security concerns that have been raised regarding the practices of telecommunications behemoth Huawei.
Ericsson has launched a new Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based managed services offering for communications service providers – the Ericsson Operations Engine. The solution is an end-to-end managed services operating model that, through Artificial Intelligence, automation, and the power of data, reimagines network and IT operations, network design and optimization, and applications development and maintenance.
The Ericsson Operations Engine directly and proactively addresses service providers’ managed services complexity challenges as the industry moves to the reality of 5G and IoT.
The Ericsson Operations Engine has three building blocks:
- Service-centric business model based on business outcomes: Using AI, automation and data insights, the Ericsson Operations Engine addresses targeted business outcomes for service providers such as enhanced customer experience, revenue growth and efficiency.
- End-to-end capabilities: delivering on business outcomes through AI-based design, planning and optimization, data-driven operations, dynamic deployment, applications development, and collaborative innovation.
- Components: Best-in-class tools and processes that leverage data, AI and automation as well as expertise and investments in the service provider domain.
Peter Laurin, Senior Vice President, Head of Managed Services, Ericsson, said, “Networks are quickly becoming significantly more complex to operate as we introduce IoT and 5G at scale, and virtualize core networks, while aiming to enhance user experience at the same time. The Ericsson Operations Engine enables us to create sustainable differentiation for our managed services customers as it evolves operations from being network-centric to user experience-centric. It fundamentally changes our way of operating networks from reactive to proactive, leveraging data, automation and artificial intelligence.”
Curtis Price, Program Vice President, Infrastructure Services, IDC, commented: “Managed services will play a significant role in the service providers transformation initiatives taking place worldwide. Nearly 65 percent of service providers indicate that managed services will be key in addressing their main operational concerns around customer satisfaction – improving customer experience is the number one factor that will influence service providers use of managed services – revenue growth and cost efficiency. It's also clear that advanced technologies like AI, automation and analytics represent the underlying pillars for supporting and enabling operational transformation through managed services partnerships.”
The Ericsson Operations Engine, as well as the latest trends and future of managed services, will be showcased by Ericsson at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
The European Union and Japan finalized common rules to protect personal information, and launched what they called the “world's largest areas of safe data flows”. Firms can transfer data now that the executive European Commission finds that Japanese law offers “a comparable level of protection of personal data,” the commission said.
“This adequacy decision creates the world's largest area of safe data flows,” EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova said, referring to an area of more than 600 million people. “Europeans' data will benefit from high privacy standards when their data is transferred to Japan,” the Czech commissioner said. “Our companies will also benefit from a privileged access to a 127 million consumers' market,” she added.
Jourova said the arrangement "will serve as an example for future partnerships" on data flows and set global standards.
The two sides cleared the final hurdle by agreeing on supplementary rules. These cover the protection of sensitive data, the exercise of individual rights and the conditions under which EU data can be further transferred from Japan to another third country.
Japan's independent data protection authority (PPC) and courts can enforce these rules covering Japanese firms that import data from EU.
Tokyo gave Brussels assurances that any use of personal data for law enforcement and national security purposes would be “limited to what is necessary and proportionate.” Access by public authorities for these reasons would be “subject to independent oversight and effective redress mechanisms,” the EU executive said.
The two sides agreed to a mechanism to investigate and resolve complaints from Europeans over data access that Japan's independent data protection authority will run and supervise. The decision complements the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, which takes effect in February to become the world's biggest trade deal.
France's data watchdog (CNIL) announced a fine of 50 million euros ($57 million) for US search giant Google, using the EU's strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the first time.
Google was handed the record fine from the CNIL regulator for failing to provide transparent and easily accessible information on its data consent policies, a statement said. The CNIL said Google made it too difficult for users to understand and manage preferences on how their personal information is used, in particular with regards to targeted advertising.
“People expect high standards of transparency and control from us. We're deeply committed to meeting those expectations and the consent requirements of the GDPR,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We're studying the decision to determine our next steps.”
The ruling follows complaints lodged by two advocacy groups last May, shortly after the landmark GDPR directive came into effect. One was filed on behalf of some 10,000 signatories by France's Quadrature du Net group, while the other was by None Of Your Business, created by the Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems.
Schrems had accused Google of securing “forced consent” through the use of pop-up boxes online or on its apps which imply that its services will not be available unless people accept its conditions of use.
“Also, the information provided is not sufficiently clear for the user to understand the legal basis for targeted advertising is consent, and not Google's legitimate business interests,” the CNIL said.
Fifteen Democratic senators have proposed a new bill for protecting online information.
The Data Care Act creates new rules around how companies handle the data of customers. Data collectors would be required to ‘reasonably secure’ information and to ‘not use individual identifying data in ways that harm users’. It requires data collectors to give adequate notice to consumers about breaches of sensitive information.
If data collectors share or sell data with a third party, it would give the FTC the authority to fine companies that act deceptively.
It is just one of many proposals that members of Congress have put forward to regulate the tech industry. Earlier this year, Sen. Ron Wyden proposed a bill that would send executives who mishandle data to prison.
Privacy activists have welcomed the bill, believing online personal data should be handled in the same regard as bank or medical records. EFF legislative analyst India McKinney said in a statement that the organization will “look forward to working with the Senator to improve his bill and to advance information fiduciary protections that will meet the needs of Internet users and adequately safeguard consumer data privacy as a part of comprehensive privacy legislation.”
The bill comes after Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified before a committee earlier this week. He was questioned on data privacy during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday.
Beleaguered social media behemoth Facebook has been subjected to further scrutiny over its data sharing policies following a report by the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ has claimed that Facebook offered deeper access to user records in a series of customized data sharing deals.
According to the report in the New York-based publication the Silicon Valley based social networking firm struck agreements, known internally as whitelists with a small group of companies which allowed access to users’ data which included connections, phone numbers and a metric that measures the closeness of a user with other users in its network.
When quizzed about these agreements and whitelists by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook acknowledged the deals which included agreements with enterprises such as the Royal Bank of Canada and Japanese car manufacturer Nissan, among others.
It was further alleged that the access was offered to companies which advertise on the social network or were valuable for other reasons, the newspaper said. In addition to this, it was further disclosed that Facebook continued to offer such access for periods lasting weeks and months after declaring it had cut off access to third party developers in 2015.
Company officials told WSJ Facebook struck the deals to improve user experience, test new features and allow certain partners to wind down existing data sharing projects. The latest revelation is the latest in a string of publicly damaging setbacks for the company, which faced fierce criticism in recent months over its data sharing activities.
Last week, Facebook’s data sharing practices with 60 device makers, including China-headquartered vendors, was flagged by a US politician. The company is also attempting to deal with the fallout of revelations in March that it shared data of 87 million users with Cambridge Analytica. It was also announced last week that Instagram had overtaken Facebook amongst teenagers and young adults.
Nokia and Vodafone Qatar are modernizing Vodafone Qatar's core network using Nokia virtualized applications to meet growing high-quality voice and data demands of customers living in and visiting Qatar.
The modernization of the network will provide increased capacity, scalability, flexibility and performance in the delivery of services such as high-definition Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to Vodafone Qatar's more than 1.4 million mobile subscribers.
Nokia began deployment in November 2017, leveraging its hardware, NFV applications and global services expertise. The first test call was completed in March 2018 and Nokia will complete the deployment in 2019. As part of the agreement, Nokia will provide care services for five years and managed services for 20 months.
Ramy Boctor, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Qatar, said: "We are working with Nokia to deploy virtualized core network capabilities that will enable us to provide world-class services. Our aim is to deliver superior customer services leveraging this 'Telco over Cloud core' network."
Deon Geyser, head of South Africa and Vodafone (SAV) Market Unit at Nokia, said: "We are pleased to continue a long-standing relationship working with Vodafone Qatar on this Telco over cloud core modernization project. With a history of proven deployments in the field, we are able to leverage our breadth of cloud core capabilities and services expertise to deliver a network that will deliver new flexibilities in the delivery of services such as VoLTE."