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Are data breaches inevitable?

Why are CFOs not prioritising data protection? What will the UK's Snooper's Charter 2 mean for data privacy? Why has Twitter given the FBI access to the data they took away from the CIA?

How is personal data from some Android phones being sent to China? Why are some NHS trusts not spending ANY money to protect patient data? Would you exchange your dashboard data for free access to a crash prevention app? 🤔

A carefully curated summary of the top data-related news from the week:


The largest data breach in Britain (to date!) was reported by mobile network Three. Six MILLION people's personal information has reportedly been compromised - and yet Three could only face fines up to £500,000. 🙅🙅 Are data breaches now inevitable? Should companies be concentrating on preparing contingency plans for when they are hit, rather than wondering whether they will be targeted?

John Kennedy highlights the culture change needed in board rooms to focus on prioritising and investing in data protection - 30% of CFOs have the final say on IT spend - yet two thirds are oblivious to the upcoming GDPR changes. 😳 Data breaches reportedly cost global businesses $2 trillion every year - a price which is predicted to rise to $90 trillion by 2030 if current trends continue.. 🤔

The Investigatory Powers Bill or 'Snooper's Charter 2' has passed through the UK's House of Lords: in summary this legislation "forces internet companies to keep records on their users for up to a year, and allows the Government to force companies to hack into or break things they've sold so they can be spied on". Read here what this means for your data privacy. 🕵

Data sharing

The FBI hired Dataminr, a Twitter-linked analytics firm, to provide an "advanced alerting tool" on over 200 users - after Twitter revoked the same access for the CIA in May, and more recently closed the Twitter "firehose" to Geofeedia.. Surely this new contract also violates Twitter's Developer Agreement? 🤔

A secret backdoor was discovered in some Android phones which shares data (texts, contact lists, call logs and location data) with a server in China. The code comes pre-installed, is not disclosed to users and supposedly runs on more than 700 million phones, cars and other smart devices. 😱 This raises SERIOUS data privacy questions - even though it is currently unclear whether it is for "secretive data mining for advertising purposes or as a Chinese government effort to collect intelligence".


An investigation revealed that seven of the UK's NHS trusts spent NOTHING on cybersecurity in 2015. This not only puts over two million people's sensitive data at risk, it also makes VITAL equipment and systems vulnerable to hackers - as was seen a couple of weeks ago when a virus infected the systems of three hospitals. 🏥

The NHS has begun introducing the new My inHeathCare app - in an attempt to transform healthcare in the UK. Patients submit quantitative data (such as glucose levels) - which can be used to diagnose and give a course of action without a doctors appointment. Good idea, but there has been little information regarding how the NHS plans to protect this personal data. 💉📲


Samy Kamkar has released PoisonTap: a $5 USB device which installs web backdoors on locked computers. 👀

A Buzzfeed investigation visualises the true extent of fake news on Facebook around the US election. People NEED to stop using Facebook as their main source of news. 💀

Would you exchange your dashboard data for access to a crash prevention app? Start-up Nexar has developed an app which enables users to: "use their smartphone as a dashcam to capture and save encounters on the road" - but at the cost of your anonymised data being sold on. 🚗🚗

On a positive last note, Microsoft has pledged to power a data centre entirely by renewable wind power 💨 - with the vision to run 50% of their operations using renewable energy by 2018. 🌏

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