Commission issues guidance on transatlantic data transfers

European Commission,  Friday, November 6, 2015

Commission issues guidance on transatlantic data transfers and urges the swift establishment of a new framework following the ruling in the Schrems case. The European Commission has been working since January 2014 to make data transfers safer for European citizens on the basis of 13 recommendations. Following the Court ruling the Commission has stepped up negotiations with the US on a renewed and safe framework on transfer of personal data. The objective of the Commission is to conclude these discussions within three months.

Members Call for Swift Resolution to Safe Harbor Negotiations

Energy and Commerce Committee,  Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade and the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology today held a joint hearing to review the status of United States and European Union safe harbor negotiations. The safe harbor agreement that allowed for data to be transferred between the U.S. and E.U. was recently nullified by the European Court of Justice. With over 4,000 American businesses, including those in technology, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, and retail, relying on the agreement, members reviewed the uncertainty generated by the court’s decision and discussed the administration’s work to finalize a new framework with their European counterparts.

Controversial CISA bill sails through Senate despite strong tech opposition

Martyn Williams, PC World,  Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The U.S. Senate approved a controversial cybersecurity bill on Tuesday, despite opposition from major tech companies and privacy advocates who fear it will lead to more of citizens' private information going to the U.S. government. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) (S.754) passed by 74 to 21 votes after a day of debate. It needed 60 votes to pass.

Microsoft, Taser Enter Police Body Camera Partnership

Neal Ungerleider, Fast Company,  Monday, October 26, 2015

Microsoft is making some big moves to corner the lucrative police camera cloud storage industry. Today, the company announced a partnership with their chief rival in the space, Taser, to create new cloud services for law enforcement The new cloud services are mainly designed for creating an integrated system for retrieving and viewing police body camera footage and other evidence online.

Microsoft cuts deals in China with government organizations and companies

John Ribeiro, CIO,  Thursday, September 24, 2015

Microsoft announced three new tie-ups in China on the same day that the country's President Xi Jinping and a delegation visited its campus at Redmond, Washington. The seven deals with Chinese companies and government institutions will likely give Microsoft greater access to the country's large market. Other companies like Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard have also announced ties with Chinese companies, a market that has been proving complex for U.S. companies because of the strong backing of the government for local players.

One chart that explains Alphabet, Google's new parent company

Rob Price, Business Insider,  Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Google has announced a massive organisational overhaul: The search giant will now be controlled by Alphabet, a newly created parent company. Meanwhile, many of Google's projects less related to its core internet business — including its investment and human-longevity research arms — are being spun out into separate companies under the Alphabet umbrella, each with its own CEO.

Google tries to demystify privacy controls with new approach

Michael Liedtke, Washington Post,  Monday, June 1, 2015

Google is making its privacy controls easier to find and understand in an attempt to make the more than 1 billion users of its digital services more comfortable about the personal information that they give the Internet’s most powerful company. The simpler approach debuting Monday features a redesigned “My Account” hub where all of Google’s key privacy controls can be found. Accountholders can also undergo a check-up that will break down which of the company’s various services are gathering information about them.

Google Commits $20 Million to Fund Tech for People With Disabilities

NBC News,  Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Google has launched an initiative to support emerging technologies that help people with disabilities live more independently. The Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities program announced Tuesday will award up to $20 million in grants to nonprofits that work on assistive technologies. The grants will be funneled through Google's charitable arm, Google.org.

Appeals Court Rules NSA Phone Program Not Authorized by Patriot Act

Devlin Barrett and Damian Paletta, Wall Street Journal ,  Thursday, May 7, 2015

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of millions of Americans’ phone records isn’t authorized by the Patriot Act, as the Bush and Obama administrations have long maintained. The NSA has used the Patriot Act to justify collecting records of nearly every call made in the U.S. and entering them into a database to search for possible contacts among terrorism suspects.

Google launches a service for storing big data

Joab Jackson, Computerworld,  Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Google has introduced a service for storing large amounts of data online, potentially enabling organizations to execute big data analysis as a cloud service. The offering, called Google Cloud Bigtable, "is based on technology that Google has been running internally for many years, so it is not a brand new thing," said Tom Kershaw, who is Google's director of product management for the Google Cloud Platform.