Tag: protection

EU brings in tough data control guidelines

European flagNew EU data protection rules which aim to give citizens back control of their personal data and create a high, uniform level of data protection across the EU was given the final nod by MEPs.

The reform also sets minimum standards on use of data for policing and judicial purposes.

The reform will replace the current data protection directive, dating back to 1995 when the internet was still a baby.

Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens, DE), who steered the legislation through Parliament said that the general data protection regulation makes a high, uniform level of data protection throughout the EU a reality.

“This is a great success for the European Parliament and a fierce European ‘yes’ to strong consumer rights and competition in the digital age. Citizens will be able to decide for themselves which personal information they want to share”, said
“The regulation will also create clarity for businesses by establishing a single law across the EU. The new law creates confidence, legal certainty and fairer competition”, he added.
The new rules include provisions on:

  • a right to be forgotten.
  • “clear and affirmative consent” to the processing of private data by the person concerned.
  • a right to transfer your data to another service provider.
  • the right to know when your data has been hacked.
  • ensuring that privacy policies are explained in clear and understandable language.
  • stronger enforcement and fines up to 4 per cent of firms’ total worldwide annual turnover, as a deterrent to breaking the rules.

New rules on data transfers to ensure smoother police cooperation

The data protection package also includes a directive on data transfers for policing and judicial purposes. It will apply to data transfers across borders within the EU as well as, for the first time, setting minimum standards for data processing for policing purposes within each member state.

The new rules aim to protect individuals, whether victims, criminals or witnesses, by setting out clear rights and limitations on data transfers for the purpose of prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, including safeguarding against and preventing threats to public security, while at the same time facilitating smoother and more effective cooperation among law enforcement authorities.

Parliament’s lead MEP on the directive Marju Lauristin said that the main problem concerning terrorist attacks and other transnational crimes is that member states’ law enforcement authorities are reluctant to exchange valuable information.

“By setting European standards for information exchange between law enforcement authorities, the data protection directive will become a powerful and useful tool which will help authorities transfer personal data easily and efficiently, at the same time respecting the fundamental right to privacy”, she concluded.

The regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the EU Official Journal. Its provisions will be directly applicable in all member states two years after this date.

Member states will have two years to transpose the provisions of the directive into national law.

Of coure it does not apply to the UK and Ireland’s special status regarding justice and home affairs legislation, the directive’s provisions will only apply in these countries to a limited extent.

Denmark will be able to decide within six months after the final adoption of the directive whether it wants to implement it in its national law.

ZTE pays Microsoft protection money

China’s ZTE is paying Microsoft a royalty for devices it makes using Google Android and Chrome operating systems to make sure that it is not patent trolled out of business.

The company is the latest hardware manufacture to hatch a deal with Vole to avoid being sued.

Google and its Motorola phone maker unit is one of the few outfits which have refused to pay the Vole toll. Reaching agreement with ZTE means Microsoft now has patent deals in place with three of the five leading Android phone makers.

According to ReutersMicrosoft is receiving cash from Samsung. LG and HTC. It has yet to strike a deal with Huawei but last week managed to get Hon Hai, the parent of Foxconn, to sign up.

Vole claims it has Android patent deals with about 20 device makers, and 60 percent of Android phones sold worldwide are covered by a Microsoft patent license.

At this rate it will probably make more out of Android than it will out of Windows Mobile software and will be laughing all the way to the bank even if its own software fails to attract any attention. 

Huawei hits out at US trade protection

The Chinese tech giant Huawei is claiming that the latest US clamp down on its products in the Land of the Fee is nothing to do with security and everything to do with illegal trade protection.

The US has been claiming that the Huawei is a security risk because its chairman was briefly a member of the Chinese army. It also claims that Chinese hardware has backdoors which lets the China see the secret ingredients in McDonald’s special sauce and other US cultural treasures.

Huawei revealed details of its 2012 performance. According to the Wall Street Journal, it does not have to, but it did so to show transparency and allay any security concerns about its operations.

Huawei chief financial officer Cathy Meng expressed frustration about US security complaints. She said Americans pay about twice what Europeans do for third- and fourth-generation mobile phone services because of trade protection.

She said that these interfere with free competition, which will harm end users and consumers.

Outside the US, Huawei has grown rapidly in developing countries and is increasing sales in Europe. As a result, last year’s profit rose 33 percent over 2011 to $2.48 billion on sales of $35.36 billion, according to Meng.

Huawei is privately held and has been releasing more financial details in recent years in an effort to ease US concerns about the outfit.

The results conference was the first of its kind for Huawei and part of its commitment to transparency, Meng said.

Huawei was founded as Ren Zhengfei in 1987. He was a former Chinese military engineer, although he does not appear to have been in the army particularly long.

Concerns have spread to Australia, which has always believed what the US tells it and Huawei was barred from bidding to work on the National Broadband Network.

Huawei issued a pledge last year not to co-operate with spying.

It pointed out that it serves 45 of the world’s 50 biggest telecoms carriers and spends a fortune on R&D.

Last year, only one third of sales came from its native China market, according to Meng.

Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for 35 percent of sales, while 17 percent of sales were in other Asia-Pacific markets and 15 percent from the Americas. 

Brits show off handset protection

MI5’s habit of losing laptops chock full of Top Secrets appears to have spawned a mini industry in loss prevention. Two out of the 20 companies picked by the UK’s Trade&Industry department to represent Britain @ the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona offer protection against phone/laptop loss.

Techeye’s favourite out of the two TenBu and I-migo was definitely I-migo.

Saban Demirbasa, md with I-migo, seems to have thought through the whole experience of handset (and laptop) loss. He’s hoping to have the I-migo Bluetooth device in retail stores around June-July 2010. Expect to pay around £19.99 for it.

Basically you ‘pair’ this device with your mobile phone or laptop via Bluetooth and when your prized possession gets out of range, then an alarm goes off. Nothing very new about that.

But the i-migo is actually a memory stick as well as an alarm. It has about 8Mb of memory and automatically stores all of your telephone numbers and text messages.

So if you actually use the handset, you can get yourself up and running again P.D.Q. The best bit is that it requires absolutely no software on the handset itself.

Basically, it uses the standard Phone Address Book Profile (PABP) to query the handset and download all the data. Most modern handsets support that profile.

Better still, the dongle can be charged through its microUSB port. If you use a PC to recharge the device, then, at the same time you have the option of downloading all the saved data to your computer. So you can lose both your handset and your dongle and still be safe.   

Demirbasa reckons he’ll also have a full multimedia version of the device available for Xmas 2010, offering 16 GB for around £39. Then you can store all your photos on it, too.

The I-migo supports the SyncML protocol so it will be able to store your emails, too – especially if you’re running SyncML compatible email software like Synchronica‘s.

In contrast with the I-migo, TenBu’s Nio protection device is actually shipping for £39.95. Again it uses Bluetooth to pair with a handset but this time a (Java) software client is required for the handset.

The advantage here is that if Nio and handset are parted, both the Nio and the handset trigger alarms. If you mislay the handset, you can trigger it to go off in order to locate it.

The advantage to the Nio is that it also contains a motion sensor. So if you attach the Nio to a laptop carrying case, if somebody picks it up to steal it, then the alarm goes off.

The Nio has even been used as a man-overboard device attached to a jacket. When the sailor moves out of range, the captain’s handset sounds an alarm.

So, if you can’t wait for an I-migo, the Nio is for you.