Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice
  1. BA fined record £20m for customer data breach

    Personal details of more than 400,000 customers accessed by hackers in 2018

    A £183m fine levied on British Airways for a data breachhas been reduced to £20m after investigators took into account the airline’s financial plight and the circumstances of the cyber-attack.

    The £20m fine is nonetheless the biggest ever issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), following the 2018 incident in which more than 400,000 customers’ personal details were compromised by hackers.

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  2. Give up Google, don't hit 'accept all': how to fight for your privacy

    In Privacy Is Power, professor Carissa Véliz has made a shocking survey of how much intimate data we are surrendering. But she has a plan to fight back

    “If you’re reading this book, you probably already know your personal data is being collected, stored and analysed,” Carissa Véliz begins, in Privacy Is Power. Her challenge, as a writer and a privacy advocate, is to shake us out of our complacency; to persuade us to see this not as a necessary sacrifice in the digital age, but an intolerable invasion. From the mounting dread I felt while reading Privacy Is Power, I’d say she was successful.

    From the moment you wake up and first check your phone, to the marketers that infer your mood from your music choices, to the smart speaker that shares your private conversations, or the television that listens in on them (from the terms and conditions of a Samsung smart TV: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured”), there is nowhere to hide – or even just be – in this hyper-connected hellscape. Corporations can track you both by your face and your digital footprint, your medical records may be handed over to Big Tech, and advertisers may learn of your break-up before you do. In her book, Véliz, a professor at the Institute for Ethics in AI at Oxford University, often veers into the second person, cleverly underscoring her point: it’s impossible not to picture yourself blindly navigating this horror, then you remember - you already are.

    Think twice before sharing. Before you post something, think how it might be used against you.

    In Japan last year, a man sexually assaulted a pop star, claiming he had found her by analysing reflections in her eyes in photos she had posted online

    Related:Government admits breaking privacy law with NHS test and trace

    Privacy Is Power: Why and How You Should Take Back Control of Your Data, by Carissa Véliz is published by Bantam Press. To order a copy, go to guardianbookshop.com.

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  3. Your data is not destined for China, assures TikTok’s UK boss

    The controversial app’s users are ignoring geopolitical battle over its digital security, says Richard Waterworth

    TikTok’s UK chief has strenuously denied the video-sharing app, which Donald Trump has threatened to ban, shares data with China.

    Richard Waterworth told the Observer that the UK and European arm of TikTok was growing quickly, despite the “turbulent” geopolitical battle in which the Chinese-born app has found itself.

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  4. MPs criticise privacy watchdog over NHS test-and-trace data

    UK information commissioner ‘must ensure government uses public’s data safely and legally’

    A cross-party group of more than 20 MPs has accused the UK’s privacy watchdog of failing to hold the government to account for its failures in the NHS coronavirus test-and-trace programme.

    The MPs have urged Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, to demand that the government change the programme after it admitted failing to conduct a legally required impact assessment of its privacy implications.

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  5. Bank of England paid £3m in 'golden goodbyes' over 15 months

    Rise in settlements in 2019 included those paid to departing tech security staff shortly before major breach

    The Bank of England paid departing staff almost £3m in “golden goodbyes” over 15 months, at the same time as an exodus of workers from its information security team.

    Settlement payments to former staff surged to £2.3m in 2019, according to data provided to the Guardian under freedom of information laws. The Bank confirmed that former information security staff received some of the payments.

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