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Tories will struggle to turn desire to regulate internet into policy | Jim Waterson

Matt Hancock wants to rein in internet excess – just don’t ask him how it will work in reality

Towards the end of the Conservatives’ 2017 general election manifesto was a largely overlooked chapter setting out the party’s stance on the future of the internet.

“Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet,” it said. “We disagree.”

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Autonomous car innovations: from jam busters to cures for queasiness

Last week it was revealed that Apple operates 55 driverless cars. What else is coming down the self-driving road?An Oxford University startup, Oxbotica, proposes to solve the problem of liability in a collision involving autonomous vehicles by allowing…

UK government plans new legislation to tame internet’s ‘wild west’

New laws will make Britain ‘safest place in the world’ to be online, culture secretary says

New laws will be introduced to tackle the internet’s “wild west” that will make Britain the “safest place in the world” to be online, the culture secretary has said.

Social media companies have already taken some positive steps to protect users, but the performance of the industry overall has been mixed, according to Matt Hancock.

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Tech firms can’t keep our data forever: we need a Digital Expiry Date

Requiring companies to erase our information quarterly would offer us greater freedom online – without destroying profit margins

It’s taken a long time, but people have finally discovered how much information companies like Google and Facebook have on them. We cannot keep sacrificing our privacy and dignity to continue using the internet. However, at the same time, new digital innovations that millions love and enjoy require our data. So what are we to do?

The biggest issue with the software industry’s data collection is the span of time for which it hoards information. The industry simply does not believe in a delete button. For instance, Google has records of all my locations for the last six years, and Facebook has my deleted messages from nearly 10 years ago.

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NHS warns patients they could lose text alerts as GDPR deluge continues

Health service joins UK firms in rushing to comply with new data protection rules

The National Health Service is texting patients to warn they could lose alerts about hospital and doctor appointments, joining the deluge of more than 1bn “GDPR” messages currently hitting personal inboxes to meet an EU deadline this week.

GDPR, which stands for General Data Protection Regulation, has been described as the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet, and comes into force on Friday May 25. It gives all EU citizens the right to know what data is stored on them and to have it deleted, plus protect them from privacy and data breaches. If companies fail to comply, they can be hit with fines of up to €20m (£17.5m) or 4% of global turnover.

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The new Yanny/Laurel: do you hear brainstorm or green needle? – video

After Yanny and Laurel, a new audio illusion is dividing the internet. This time, it was taken from a 2014 YouTube review of a children’s toy. The toy is saying ‘brainstorm’, but many people are saying they can also hear ‘green needle’, depending on which word they concentrate on before hearing the sound. What do you hear?

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Publish all Vote Leave’s data, campaign chief challenges Facebook

Dominic Cummings says move would prove campaign did not use data gathered improperly by Cambridge Analytica

The chief strategist of Vote Leave has called on Facebook to publish all the data it holds on his Brexit campaign group, challenging the social network to adopt a policy of radical transparency on the impact of targeted online adverts during the EU referendum.

Dominic Cummings said he “wouldn’t mind if Facebook wanted to take ALL of Vote Leave’s Facebook data” and put “the whole lot on its website available for download by anybody”.

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The crypto-future is female: bitcoin innovators push for inclusion

At the world’s largest blockchain conference, female leaders in the industry sought to shake off bitcoin’s boyish image

“Satoshi is female” was one of the more pervasive slogans at Consensus 2018, the world’s largest blockchain conference that saw thousands of crypto-believers descend on midtown New York for a packed, three-day meet-and-greet last week.

Satoshi refers to Satoshi Nakamoto, the still mysterious creator of Bitcoin who has never been identified but who, nonetheless, is credited as the founding father of cryptocurrency, or a digital form of money, and blockchain, a public and uneditable system for recording transactions. Both developments are hailed by their evangelists as potentially revolutionary technological tools.

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Revealed: Storyful uses tool to monitor what reporters watch

News Corp subsidiary’s news verification plugin also used to monitor users’ social media browsing

Software developed by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to help journalists verify content on social media is also being used to monitor the videos and images viewed by reporters who use the tool.

The technology was built by Storyful, an agency that finds, verifies and licenses newsworthy or viral social media content on behalf of media organisations, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and ABC News in the US, and News Corp’s own publications and the public broadcaster the ABC in Australia.

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How can I stop an unexpected Windows 10 update?

Celia’s working day was almost ruined after she was caught out by an enforced update. Can she stop it happening again?

Yesterday, I intended to take my laptop to visit a client, but when I was about to set off, yup, I couldn’t turn it off without allowing Microsoft to do its upgrades. We all know how long that takes, and I had a train to catch, so I ended up having to wing the whole presentation.

The infuriating thing is that I knew there was an upgrade around, so I had checked the power settings that morning to see if one was waiting to be installed. There was no update at 9am. Somehow Microsoft snuck it in without my noticing.

It’s easy to be caught out by Windows updates, and I once left the house carrying an open laptop, confident that the update would finish long before the battery ran down.

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