The fact that Human rights group Liberty has won the right for a judicial review into the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 could mean a legal challenge in the high court as soon as next year. The Investigatory Powers Act The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (also known as the ‘Snooper’s Charter’) became law in the UK November 2016. It was designed to extend the reach of state surveillance and requires web and phone companies (by law) to store everyone’s web browsing histories for 12 months and to give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to that data. The [...]
On 3rd December, Skype announced that it was celebrating United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities by launching its new call captioning with live captions and subtitles feature. Inclusivity & Accessibility Skype says that this latest feature, which uses AI-driven captions, is part of its on-going work to make Skype more inclusive and make Skype calls more accessible to all. How Does It Work? The new live captions and subtitles feature works on a call-by-call basis through the in-call screen or can be set to activate by default under Settings > Calling > Call Subtitles > then toggle ‘Show [...]
Google’s Voice Access App (for Android 5 or later) lets you navigate your entire phone just by using your voice and Google’s voice assistant. If you’d like to make controlling your smartphone an easy, hands-free experience here’s how: - Install the Google app and the Voice Access app (see Google Play). - Set up ‘OK Google’ detection so that the service can be invoked from any screen on your phone. - Follow these simple steps to turn on voice access: - https://support.google.com/accessibility/android/answer/6151848 - For a list of commands, go to https://bit.ly/command463 or open the app and select 'show all commands'
A report by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has shown that as 42% of consumers have received communications from businesses they had not given permission to contact them (since GDPR came into force), this could be a key reason why consumer trust in businesses is still at a low level. Not Much Difference The CIM report shows that only 24% of respondents believe that businesses treat people’s personal data in an honest and transparent way. This is only slightly higher than the 18% who believed the same thing when GDPR took effect 6 months ago. Young More Trusting The [...]
Ride-hailing (and now bike and scooter-hiring) service Uber has been handed a £385,000 fine by the ICO for data protection failings during a cyber-attack back in 2016. What Happened? The original incident took place in October and November 2016 when hackers accessed a private GitHub coding site that was being used by Uber software engineers. Using the login details obtained via the GitHub, the attackers were able to go to the Amazon Web Services account that handled the company’s computing tasks and access an archive of rider and driver information. The result was the compromising (and theft) of data relating to [...]
Google has begun the global rollout of its new ‘hashtags’ feature in Google Maps, which allows users to add hashtags to the end of the reviews they write, thereby helping others to find local attractions and businesses. How It Works When using Google Maps e.g. to find places to eat or local attractions, if a Google Maps user then chooses to write a review afterwards, they are given the opportunity to add up to five hashtags to the end of the review (to keep the text easy to read). The hashtags need to be specific to be useful e.g. #love [...]
A report by OpenSignal has highlighted how the fact that smartphone users in 33 countries get faster average download speeds using a mobile network than Wi-Fi means that mobile operators and smartphone makers need to ensure that consumers’ smartphones aren’t simply pushed onto a Wi-Fi network, only to receive a worse experience than the mobile network. Assumption Wrong The report, by Ian Fogg of OpenSignal, highlights the fact that the long-held industry assumption that Wi-Fi is better than mobile networks in almost every way appears to be wrong in today’s environment. For example, the report showed that in 33 countries, [...]
After losing 74% of its value so far this year, Bitcoin’s value, and that of other crypto-currencies have continued to fall this month as a sell-off takes place in what some see as the natural course for the market, and as another opportunity to buy crypto-currencies at a low price. What’s Been Happening? According to currency commentators, the massive 12% fall in the Bitcoin crypto-currency on Monday, follows a nose-dive that’s been part of downward trajectory for the crypto-currency which recently hit a 14-month low. Many in-the-know believe that the possible reasons for the longer-term fall and the sharp 12% [...]
The Windows 10 phone app means that you can get instant access to your Android phone's photos and texts on your computer. Here’s how to get it: - Make sure you have the latest version of Windows 10. - Go to this page to launch the app: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/phones - Follow the steps to link your Android phone.
A new investigation by Metric Labs of the top free VPN (Virtual Private Network) apps in Apple's App Store and Google Play has revealed that more than half are run by companies with Chinese ownership. What’s A VPN? A ‘Virtual Private Network’ (VPN) is generally used to keep internet activity private, evade censorship / maintain net neutrality and use public Wi-Fi securely e.g. avoid threats such as man-in-the-middle attacks. A VPN achieves this by diverting a user’s traffic via a remote server in order to replace their IP address while offering the user a secure, encrypted connection (like a secure [...]