Category Archives: Computer

Digital Economy Bill: Codes of Practice

Codes of Practice to accompany data access measures in the Digital Economy Bill.

Changing technology provides the opportunity to deliver better public services. That is why through the Digital Economy Bill, government is improving services to benefit citizens, reduce fraud and debt, and deliver world class research and statistics.

The Digital Economy Bill contains a host of measures that will support the digital transformation of government, ensuring the delivery of better public services through world leading research and statistics. For example, it will allow the Government to identify those in fuel poverty and provide financial support to those most in need. It will also clamp down hard on benefit fraud.

To ensure that departments, local authorities and the wider public sector understand what safeguards are in place and need to be followed, the Government has published four codes of practice to give clarity and transparency over how the powers in the Bill will operate. They cover:

  • A code of practice on Public Service Delivery, Fraud and Debt;
  • A code of practice for civil registration officials;
  • A code of practice and accreditation criteria for access to data for research purposes; and
  • A statement of principles and procedures and code of practice for changes to data systems.

The proposals in the Bill have been widely consulted on for over two years, working with a range of civil society and public sector representatives.




Chris Skidmore MP, Minister for the Constitution, said:

New and emerging technology provides us with a great opportunity to provide public services more effectively and efficiently. The measures in the Digital Economy Bill will support people to access services they need, transforming the relationship between people and the government.

The measures are a highly positive step towards helping the most vulnerable in society on a range of measures, including the warm home discount and helping with managing debts.

These codes of practice will ensure departments, local authorities and the wider public sector understand their obligations to use the powers responsibly.

Notes:

The codes of practice are drawn from, and should be read in accordance with, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) code of practice on data sharing, which provides the framework for how the Data Protection Act applies.

Story via gov.uk

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CMA Secures Better Cloud Storage Deals

Cloud storage users can expect fairer deals from 4 companies which are improving their terms and conditions, following action taken by the CMA.

BT, Dropbox, Google and Mozy have worked with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to ensure that cloud storage users are made aware of changes to the service they are offered and can decide what to do in response. Each company has given commitments to make individual improvements to address concerns in one or more of the following areas:

  • guaranteeing adequate notice is given before any significant adverse changes are made to the price, service or contract
  • ensuring customers are given clearer information about how they can cancel if they don’t want to accept proposed changes, and when and how they can get refunds
  • limiting the circumstances in which companies can suspend or cancel the service
  • increasing transparency and giving notice before companies automatically renew fixed-term contracts

Nisha Arora, CMA Senior Director for Consumer Enforcement, said:

People increasingly rely on cloud storage as a safe and convenient place to keep family photos, music and important documents, so it is vital that they are treated fairly and are not hit by unexpected changes to price or storage levels.

We are pleased that these 4 companies have followed the 3 others which agreed commitments earlier this year to improve their terms and conditions, providing a better service for their customers. We want to ensure that companies treat their customers fairly and comply with consumer law; those that don’t, are at risk of enforcement action.

Cloud storage is a system for storing data such as music, films and photographs on remote servers. In a report published in May 2016, the CMAfound that around 3 in 10 British adults use cloud storage in a personal capacity. The majority currently benefit from free services that come with their devices such as smartphones and tablets and consumers are generally satisfied with their services. However, in its initial review, the CMA also found some contract terms and practices which could breach consumer law.

Following that review, the CMA has been working with companies in the cloud storage sector to improve their terms and practices, and has secured improvements from 7 companies.

The CMA is still working with other companies in the cloud storage sector to improve compliance with consumer law and ensure a better service for users.

The CMA has also published an open letter to businesses advising them of their obligations, as well as a short video and a 60-second summary for consumers on choosing the right service.

In October the CMA launched a new campaign, consisting of simple videos and guides, to help businesses understand how to avoid including unfair terms and conditions in their contracts with consumers.




About the CMA

The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law.

Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage

Youngsters More Likely To Be Scam Victims When On Line

Youngsters More Likely To Be Scam Victims When On Line

Microsoft has just published a report that shows that young people are more likely to fall victim to online scams than pensioners because they are more trusting while using the internet, new research has revealed.

While those aged 18 to 34 often believe they more experienced with technology than older people, this also means they can be lured into a false sense of security, with scammers tricking them into clicking links in emails and pop-up windows that allow access to devices and expose personal information.

Around 13% of 18 to 24-year-olds across the world have lost money to online and telephone scams over the past year, rising to one-in-five people in the 25 to 34 age group, according to Microsoft’s study, which looked at 12,000 people in 12 countries and was released as part of Cyber Security Awareness Month. This compares with just 3% of people aged over 65.

Fraudsters are increasingly using so-called “tech support scams” to extract money from victims, which falsely warn people that their computer or device has a problem that needs to be fixed. Internet users then download software, visit a scam website, give the fraudsters remote access to their device or provide credit card information or another form of payment.

However, British internet users are much more security conscious than most countries. While 69% of people in this country experienced a tech support scam over the past year, just 2% of them lost money.

In India, 80% of people had come into contact with a tech scam, with 22% of those losing money. The US was almost as bad, with 79% of people reporting they had come across a scam, and 21% of them saying they were out of pocket as a result.

Germany emerged as the best country for tackling cyber scams, with 49% of people reporting that they had never been contacted by a fraudster via telephone or online.
Read more at http://news.microsoft.com/en-gb/2016/10/17/scams/#m3Mejh0Zub2IO4f5.99

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