A company owned by Google has been given access to the healthcare data of up to 1.6 million patients from three hospitals run by a major London NHS trust.
DeepMind, the tech giant’s company most famous for its innovative use of artificial intelligence, is being provided with the patient information as part of an agreement with the Royal Free NHS trust, Chase Farm and Royal Free hospitals. It includes information about people who are HIV-positive as well as details of drug overdoses, abortions and patient data. DeepMind announced that it was developing a software in partnership with NHS hospitals to alert staff to patients at risk of deterioration and death through kidney failure.Read more
British immigration officials have been hacking into the phones of refugees, including those of rape and torture victims, for the past three years.
Since 2013 officers have been given powers that allow them to engage in “property interference, including interference with equipment” through an amendment to the Police Act 1997. This grants them the legal power to install listening devices in homes, cars or detention centres - and the permission to hack into phones or computers. In a statement, the Home Office said the bill was “strengthening safeguards and oversight”.Read more
MasterCard will bring facial recognition payment services dubbed “selfie pay” to the UK as part of a range of new services designed to improve identity verification for mobile phone payments.
British users will be able to scan fingerprints or snap selfies to validate their identities, in a system designed to let them complete an online purchase without the need for pin codes, passwords or confirmation codes. The picture is mapped against a stored image on file, allowing use of mobile payments. Mobile phone groups such as Samsung are expected to use Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to reveal more details of their payment platforms.Read more
Britain's Information Commissioner’s Office is sounding the alarm on some of the most recent but privacy-intrusive techniques used by retailers to track their customers.
After participating in a meeting of the International Working Group on Data Protection and Telecommunications, ICO's staff decided it was time to inform users of modern-day tracking habits and also urge retailers to take the proper measures needed to safeguard user privacy. For quite some time now, it has been known that Wi-Fi signals from modern smart devices allow a third-party to track the gadgets' movements. Tracking shoppers via their smartphones is not a theory anymore.Read more
A protocol designed and promoted by the British government for encrypting voice calls has a by-design weakness built into it that could allow for mass surveillance, according to a University College London researcher.
Steven Murdoch analyzed a protocol developed by CESG, which is part of the spy agency GCHQ. The protocol calls for a master decryption key to be held by a service provider. "The existence of a master private key that can decrypt all calls past and present without detection, on a computer permanently available, creates a huge security risk, and an irresistible target for attackers," Murdoch wrote.Read more
Attackers behind the Dridex Trojan have narrowed their sights on banks based in the United Kingdom frequented by high-value business accounts, researchers claim. When a new version of the Trojan was released two weeks ago, it was promptly followed by a series of infection campaigns that focused on UK users.
Limor Kessem, a cybersecurity evangelist at IBM’s X-Force, who published a blog entry about the Trojan’s latest whereabouts, claims the latest chain of infections is leveraging the Andromeda botnet. The Trojan’s operators targeted two banks in the U.K. to start, but within a few days, was targeting 13 banks.Read more
GCHQ has admitted for the first time in court that it engages in computer hacking. The admission came after internet companies and privacy campaigners brought complaints about the agency’s “extremely intrusive” activities to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.
The case has been brought by seven internet service providers and Privacy International, a charity, against the Government Communications Headquarters and the Foreign Office for hacking in the UK and abroad. GCHQ had refused to confirm or deny whether it had Computer and Network Exploitation capabilities — the ability to carry out computer hacking.Read more
New surveillance powers given to internet companies as part of the government’s Investigatory Powers Bill could have “very dire consequences,” the chief executive of tech giant Apple has warned.
Tim Cook told the new legal obligation for companies to help security services bypass encryption would hurt “the good people,” rather than stopping those with nefarious intentions. He added that communications companies need to have secure encryption services to protect their customers. “You can just look around and see all the data breaches that are going on. These things are becoming more frequent,” Cook told the paper.Read more
New spying powers to be granted to intelligence agencies are intended to keep the internet from being used for crime – but could fundamentally change the life of normal people using technology too.
Theresa May has just outlined sweeping new powers that are intended to combat paedophiles and terrorists online. But those powers include a requirement that internet companies keep information on their customers. Here are five ways that the new legislation will affect you. Authorities will have access to everything your phone or computer does. Theresa May has said that this information is really just “the modern equivalent of an itemised phone bill”.Read more
Police are to get the power to view the web browsing history of everyone in the country. Home Secretary Theresa May will announce the plans when she introduces the Government's new surveillance bill in the House of Commons.
The new powers for the police will form part of the new bill. It would make it a legal requirement for communications companies to retain all the web browsing history of customers for 12 months in case the spy agencies or police need to access them. Police would be able to access specific web addresses visited by customers.Read more