Recently Browsing 0 members
- No registered users viewing this page.
Meta throws its support behind anti-revenge porn initiative
by Paul Hill
Meta has announced that it’s joining 50 non-government organisations today to support the launch of UK Revenge Porn Helpline’s StopNCII.org which is aimed at stemming the flow of the non-consensual sharing of intimate images on the internet. Through StopNCII.org, users can assign hashes to their images (which never leave the device) and then these hashes are shared with partners, such as Facebook, to flag identical images that may have been uploaded to online platforms so that they can be removed.
While StopNCII.org is operated by a UK-based organisation, Meta stresses that the service is available to anyone over the age of 18 no matter where in the world they reside. To begin the process, head to the StopNCII.org website, open a new case, and answer a series of questions about the content. From there, the website can generate a unique hash for the picture concerned and send it out to partners who can then delete any pictures with a matching hash.
Sophie Mortimer, Revenge Porn Helpline Manager, SWGfL, said:
The new website uses technology that was initially developed by Facebook and Instagram’s NCII pilot which began in 2018. While Meta has been proactive in helping victims, there was a need for a cross-industry response and with StopNCII.org, different companies can take coordinated actions. To learn more head over to StopNCII.org.
Ofcom says recent changes to mobile and broadband services are saving people millions
by Paul Hill
The UK’s digital regulator, Ofcom, has announced that changes it introduced last year to mobile and broadband to protect customers are helping people to save millions of pounds. Last year, the regulator introduced new rules that alerted customers that they were nearing the end of a contract and helped protect vulnerable customers from out-of-contract charges; now, these alterations seem to be paying off.
Ofcom found that 62% of broadband customers who were coming to the end of their contract signed a new deal with their current provider or switched to a new one when their existing deal ended, this is up from 47% of customers in 2019. The increase is likely due to the fact that customers are made aware of their contract status so they can take action, whereas, in the past, it might have slipped by without them noticing.
Ofcom also found that broadband customers who were out of contract fell from 40% in 2019 to 35% in 2020. Being out of contract can mean paying £5.10 more per month so the prompts about the contract coming to an end are useful for those who want to save that bit of money each month.
As for vulnerable broadband customers, Ofcom revealed that those out-of-contract pay £2.30 per month more than the average which is still a reduction from 2019 when the figure stood at £4.40 per month.
Finally, Ofcom said that it had noticed an increase in the number of mobile customers that took action to secure a new deal. The figure rose from 70% in 2019 to 76% in 2020. This could have to do with the action Ofcom took in late 2020 to ban networks from selling locked phones, making it easier to switch.
UK's CMA says Facebook has too much influence in social media and must sell Giphy
by Paul Hill
The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority has directed Facebook to sell Giphy over concerns that the acquisition would reduce competition among social media platforms. It said that Meta’s Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram account for 73% of user time on social media in the UK and the purchase of Giphy could limit other platforms’ access to Giphy GIFs and ultimately drive more traffic to Meta-owned platforms.
While it’s possible that Facebook wouldn’t restrict access to Giphy GIFs, the CMA worries that it could change the terms of service so that other platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, and Snapchat would be forced to hand over more user data for access to Giphy GIFs. Another aspect that the CMA pointed out is that Giphy was just getting into the ad space in the United States and could have done the same in the UK but won’t have the opportunity to do so if Meta buys it. Meta is already a dominant player in the ad space and this move looks like it’s trying to limit competition.
Stuart McIntosh, Chair of the independent inquiry group carrying out the investigation said:
The CMA’s announcement said that the competition concerns can only be addressed if Meta sells Giphy to an approved buyer in its entirety. It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook responds to this going forward as it disagrees with the CMA’s line of argument.
World's first 3D-printed prosthetic eye given to a Moorfields patient
by Moshe Jacobs
The first person in the world to be supplied solely with a 3D-printed prosthetic eye is a Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust patient located in the United Kingdom. A 3D printed prosthetic eye, acting as a true biomimicry device, provides some advantages over traditional acrylic prosthetic. It acts to provide a more accurate representation with real depth and a clearer definition to the pupil.
When compared to the process of making a traditional acrylic eye prosthetic, the 3D printed method uses scans of the eye as opposed to invasive molding techniques utilizing the empty eye socket. Due to the difficulty involved in the traditional acrylic prosthetic process, general anesthetics for children may be required. However, the non-invasive measures of the 3D printing method avoid the necessity of utilizing anesthetics.
Another significant advantage of utilizing the 3D printing method is the efficiency and speed in the production process. Whereas the traditional acrylic prosthetic eyes can take approximately six weeks to finish due to the need to hand-paint them, the 3D printed prosthetic eyes takes only two to three weeks for an ocularist to finish, polish, and fit the prosthetic.
3D printed prosthetics are making a large impact in people's lives in many parts of the body. It is exciting to see where the process may lead next in helping to positively improve individuals day-to-day lives.
By Kaarthic Vydya
The UK's new bill targets security lapses in phones, smart TVs, and IoT devices
by Kaarthic Vydya
The UK has introduced a new law for Parliament review and approve to bring drastic security improvements in all consumer devices from phones, smart TVs, IoT devices, appliances, and more. The bill intends to set security standards for manufacturers and mandate all security lapses to be investigated, fixed, and reported to customers and the government.
Julia Lopez MP, the UK Digital infrastructure minister, said
One of the critical problems that this law is trying to solve is default admin passwords set by manufacturers that are freely available on the internet. The European Union and the U.S. are tackling similar issues regarding the security of consumer devices to improve security.
A government statement said:
The law aims to make manufacturers comply with standards established by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. It also seeks to update the Telecommunications Infrastructure Code on the installation of cellular towers and the benefits landowners will receive.
Source: UK Parliament Publications via The Register