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Microsoft pushes privacy debate

It seems no big tech company has been willing to get behind the privacy debate we all need to have. Apple has paid lip-service saying its closed ecosystem is secure and private, but that does nothing to spur the industry as a whole on. I guess tech giants are afraid of opening Pandora’s box.

It is blog Microsoft has called on the US government to implement GDPR – “A ground-breaking privacy framework that empowers residents of the EU to control their personal information so they can use digital technologies to engage freely and safely with each other and with the world.”

It says people, not tech giants, need to have control over their data, “Around the world, there is a growing expectation that everyone should benefit from digital technology without losing control of their personal information. This is why Microsoft was the first tech company to provide the data control rights at the heart of GDPR to our customers around the globe, not just in Europe.”

ITy Bytes 26 May MS

It continues, “No matter how much work companies like Microsoft do to help organisations secure sensitive data and empower individuals to manage their own data, preserving a strong right to privacy will always fundamentally be a matter of law that falls to governments. Now, it’s Congress’s turn to adopt a new framework that reflects the changing understanding of the right to privacy in the United States and around the world. Like GDPR, this framework should uphold the fundamental right to privacy through rules that give people control over their data and require greater accountability and transparency in how companies use the personal information they collect.”

Good on you Microsoft.

US Senate prohibits Robocalls – Will Australia follow suit?

My wife was inundated by SMS and robocalls at the last Federal Election, and despite blocking them, the calls continued.

The US Senate has voted 97-1 for the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act to criminalise illegal robocalling and improve coordination between agencies policing robocalls. It would also require phone companies to use a new technology protocol called SHAKEN/STIR, which would validate that calls are originating from where they claim to be coming from and would allow for faster tracing of illegal calls to find out who’s responsible for them.

The US issue is not only political – nearly 50% of those calls were from scammers. And a huge proportion of numbers were scraped from scam mobile phone apps to harvest contacts and spoof the caller’s number.

Senator Thune said the bill “puts a bullseye on the scam artists and criminals (and by definition political candidates) who are making it difficult for many Americans to answer the phone with any bit of confidence about who’s on the other end of the line.”

ITy Bytes 26 May robocalls

They ignore all do not call registers and don’t care about the time of the call. Sounds familiar – United Australia Party we are looking at you.

JBL PartyBox 300, boom, boom, shake the room

JBL has released the JBL PartyBox 300 that has JBL Signature sound (good), impressive bass (from 45Hz), five speakers and Bluetooth, RCA L/R, USB, 3.5mm and Mic/Guitar/Karaoke inputs. You can output sound via two RCA L/R terminals.

You can connect two via BT for stereo and run off mains power, 12V DC or the 18hr 10,000mAh hour battery. It has Meter, Pulse and Party mode lighting.

Overall size is 690 x 310 x 320mm x 15.84kg. Cost is $599.95 from major retailers or online here.