Facebook privacy officer Erin Egan said international regulatory discussions did not give enough credit to the US. PhotographIllustration: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Google, Microsoft and Facebook say they cannot tailor service to suit each country

Data privacy: many of the technology tools we use today are showing themselves to be insufficient for protecting our information

The very concept of ‘big data’ would seem to oppose one of fair information practices

Austrian data activist Max Schrems’s lawsuit against Facebook, whose European headquarters is in Dublin, has seen suggestions made that the Irish Data Protection Commissioner may be deliberately underfunded. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Ireland’s policy has come under scrutiny but it is no worse than most other EU states

Cyber security: RSA’s Amit Yoran told a conference in San Francisco that a major problem was that the industry “has adopted a defensive mindset. We’re simply building taller castle walls and digging deeper moats.”

2015 will be the year of the ‘super mega breach’ warns president of security firm RSA

David Smith:  “There’s no doubt it’s a good time to be bought and make an exit. Corporations have cash and it’s easier to acquire technology than to do blue-sky thinking.”

FirstCapital’s boss in Silicon Valley says Irish firms should think big about funding

Apple’s Tim Cook: “While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now.” Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Few top-level executives such as Tim Cook of Apple go public

 Whistleblower Edward Snowden: disclosures of large scale, secretive state surveillance.   Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Lawyer Elizabeth Knight is fighting for user protection but fears new European laws won’t go far enough

 National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed government snooping. However, the information gathered by companies means citizen information can be made available to the government anyway, without secretly harvesting it.  Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Companies have valuable information on citizens that government is happy to access

Curious crowds: HANAhaus, a cafe created by German technology giant SAP, has just opened in the tech hub of Palo Alto. It is located in the city’s much-loved 1927 Varsity Theatre

SAP’s HANAhaus cafe aims to marry world-class coffee and food with creative places to work and think

The Apple Watch. You can get an Apple Watch for a snip starting at “just” $349

The main idea of the Apple Watch is that it will perform a double act with your iPhone

Austrian law student   Max Schrems: the case heard on Tuesday originates in an action brought by him against the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, in which he asserted the commission should have taken more substantial action when he filed a complaint over Facebook’s handling of his data. Photograph:   Dieter Nagl/AFP/Getty Images

European Court of Justice hearing on data privacy could have profound implications

Investment in European technology companies reached a four-year high in 2014

Growth in Europe surpassed the US in terms of funding, with some $5.7 billion invested in 855 deals

Phil Gilbert (centre), general manager IBM Design, at an IBM Design studio gathering

Phil Gilbert has creative and innovative vision for the computing giant

Tom Wheeler, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission, announces the preservation of net neutrality. Photograph: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

The decision of the FCC to preserve net neutrality will benefit internet innovation

The IBM facility at Damastown , near Clonee, in Co. Meath. The new The Irish design centre will collaboratively create software for Big Data, cloud, mobile, social and cognitive computing solutions

New centre to create software, services and digital products

A drone nearly collided with a jet at Heathrow airport last December: many drone operators – both recreational and commercial – are ignorant of regulations or deliberately flout them.  Photograph: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Rules in Ireland and the US have been slow to catch up with the fast-moving technology

As the EU prepares its new regulations, indications are that data protection challenges will be handled by the data protection commissioner in the country in which a multinational has its EU headquarters. For many  big  tech companies, that country is already Ireland. Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP/Getty

But a US legal case could throw the entire cloud-computing sector into chaos

By making the internet more useful and usable through better identification and classification of its content society will benefit in many ways

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics aims to give Irish research groups a global reach, says one of its founding directors Prof S(...)

Ever since the dotcom boom the development template for internet companies has been to get big fast, build an audience, get those eyeballs, and then work to monetise them. Photograph: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty

Some enterprises are only just realising that social media needs to make money too

Without Edward Snowden’s leaks few knew grotesque violations of the everyday personal privacy of entire national populations were the norm

UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal rules collection of personal communications data by GCHQ and the US’s National Security Agency (...)

Minister for Data Protection Dara Murphy: “There’s a chance to cluster and have a best in class global data analytical centre of excellence on the island”

Minister must ensure tech firms keep doing business here while also protecting privacy

UPC: I discovered that I couldn’t just change my UPC package online (unless I wanted to upgrade it). I would have to cancel it by letter or email, wait 30 days, then contact the company again to change my package

Contractual trickiness seems designed to benefit business but not facilitate the consumer

Eyeing up data: Microsoft believes about 3,000 Irish SMEs are still running Windows Server 2003, inset below left, and will face increased security risks as a result from this summer

Many SMEs may need to upgrade to avoid security risks as a result of outdated servers

IBM  denies the number of layoffs will be anywhere near those suggested in the “Forbes” report. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Shares rose considerably on the rumours of massive job cuts

 Charles Spence, head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University – “We’re also working with apps that match music to what you’re eating – your ice cream, your wine, your tea.”

An Oxford neuroscientist and cutting-edge gastronomists such as Heston Blumental are experimenting with ways for technology to en(...)

British prime minister David Cameron suggested that all digital encryption in Britain be maimed by supplying back doors for security organisations. Photograph: Bloomberg

Karlin Lillington: David Cameron’s and Barack Obama’s attempts to expand the power of security agencies isn’t anything new

The Hit Team will assist people who have suffered from an online infringement

A computer screenshot shows the US Central Command Twitter feed after it was apparently hacked by people claiming to be Islamic State sympathisers

People would expect a defence organisation to be an exemplar of meticulous cybersecurity, writes Karlin Lillington

Anthony Elonis repeatedly posted on Facebook about about killing his ex-wife and gunning down kindergarten children. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Anthony Elonis case widely seen as first formal test of online freedom of speech

Edward Snowden’s  leaks made citizens, businesses and governments aware of the scope of what was possible in large-scale surveillance and secret data access. Photograph: Reuters

NSA leaks started a chain of events which has made privacy a tangible issue for citizens

Microsoft is appealing a court order to hand over emails held on an Irish server. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

State granted extra time for rare filing by sovereign of Amicus brief

For about the outlay for a decent laptop, you can get a piece of kit that will automatically find planets, constellations, galaxies and other interstellar ports of call

A list of items that I consider the perfect combination of being both useful and fun to use

Amazon warehouse: Luxembourg’s 3 per cent VAT for ebooks has caused vendors such as Amazon and iTunes to base operations in the country, enabling them to undercut competitors selling goods from within other member states. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

New EU legislation governing tax on internet sales will come into effect on January 1st

Many aspects of the dormant piece of surveillance legislation  Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald quietly signed into law two weeks ago are alarming.  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Recent provision for in-camera courts on wiretapping may violate European law

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald: signed statutory instrument into law, which took effect on Monday, on November 26th. Photograph: Daragh McSweeney/Provision

Companies that object to order could be brought before private ‘in camera’ court

Don Tapscott: “ I think there is a crisis of legitimacy about democratic institutions.” Photograph: Ana Grillo

Landmark author argues that digital disruption undermines the traditional approach to social supports

There had long been rumours of a Government Communications Headquarters-run surveillance network called Echelon, that was tapping into phone and now, internet traffic

Britain has notoriously lax legislation around data protection and surveillance

A US court order to Microsoft to produce emails held in the company’s big European Data Centre in Ireland has profound implications

Emails in a cloud claimed to hover over Ireland have triggered a legal wrangle with many implications

The part of Obama’s plan of greatest interest to Silicon Valley is the overhaul of the H1B work visa programme and the potential for an entrepreneur’s visa. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg

The new order in the US opens up various possibilities for business owners

Study commissioned by Microsoft as it prepares to challenge US order for handover of Irish-held data

Emmet Savage and John Tyrrell of Rubicoin aim to offer a jargon-free investing experience. Photograph: Tony Kinlan

Rubicoin is for people who want to invest but without the jargon and paperwork

The Uber app: The car-sharing service got caught in a row with journalists after a senior executive Emil Michael  suggested the firm would hire people in particular to dig up dirt on PandoDaily editor Sarah Lacy.

Time for testosterone-fuelled Silicon Valley ‘Jobs Narrative’ to be disrupted

Fighting talk: Stewart Baker, former general counsel of the US’s National Security Agency, pulls no punches when talking about whistleblower Edward Snowden and the journalists who worked with him. Photograph: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Guardian News and Media

Stewart Baker is forthright and aggressive in his defence of data-gathering

While consumers are gradually reducing their use of email as a communications medium with friends and family, consumer usage of email is actually still growing

Electronic onslaught does not persuade about occasional predictions of death of email

Most frustrating is the low representation of women as speakers

Karlin Lillington: “The summit has about doubled in size each year, with a matching expansion of what is on offer”

Is Dunnhumby’s fine-tuned data analysis the way of the retail future, or will it be resisted?

A proton-proton collision at the Cern particle collider. John Bell had a stellar physics career at the physics research centre and laboratory in Geneva, where he was officially focused on particle physics. Photograph: AP Photo/Cern

Opinion: time to give John Bell the recognition he deserves

President  Obama launched the last July 4th holiday at the office of technology start-up hub 1776. Photograph: Martin H Simon-Pool/Getty Images

People were surprised when 1776 based in Washington but now it seems logical

Mark Zuckerberg:  one of the most generous of American donors when generosity is measured not solely by amounts donated, but as the proportion of total wealth of an individual or company. Photograph: Norbert von der Groeben/Reuters

Charitable donation structure in Ireland needs an overhaul

Adam Tanner, author of What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data – Lifeblood of Big Business – and the End of Privacy as We Know It

The agents of the Stasi in the old East Germany pale by comparison with today’s data broker companies

Ben Wizner: detects a greater political sophistication and awareness in Silicon Valley. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Ben Wizner on the future of online data and mass surveillance

Firm says service will make complex analytics tools available to and useable by anyone

Larry Ellison: he is now Oracle’s chief technology officer, reporting to two chief executives, but he’s also executive chairman, putting him back at the top of the executive pile. photograph: david paul morris/bloomberg

Larry Ellison has shed his chief executive role at Oracle but he hasn’t let go of the profile or the power

The Sparc M7 moves calculating activity down to chip level, boosting speed and security

Some EU countries may require that citizen and business data remain within their borders.  Photograph: Getty Images

Of key concern is, who can get at your data?

Oracle Ireland regional directorsays no huge rush to the cloud in Ireland

Firms should take opportunity to leapfrog competitors, says Oracle executive

This week’s OpenWorld annual conference heard about the importance of digital leadership

Authors of new book on how businesses use technology say an inflection point has arrived

Modern, highly automated factories are already saturated with things that could be networked – sensors, controllers, switches, machines – but which, for the most part, aren’t. Photograph: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

Networking companies are focusing on the creation of systems for the neglected manufacturing sector

PayPal and eBay flags fly in front of the company’s headquarters in San Jose, California. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Opinion: online payments platform has firm customer base on which to build

Mark Hurd, co-chief executive officer of Oracle Corp, speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2014 conference in San Francisco, California Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Technology company announces new products and strategies at annual user event in US

Billionaire Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle, gestures as he speaks during the Oracle OpenWorld 2014 conference in San Francisco, California yesterday. Oracle said its cloud service will match rival Amazon.com’s pricing as it competes to help companies operate databases and software over the internet rather than at their own data centres. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Move will address German concerns about potential surveillance of its business and citizen data

“The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do”

Journalists knew Ellison was practically a guarantee of lively copy

Bruce Schneier: “So much surveillance is piggy-backed on corporate servers. I think it’s funny when someone like [Google chairman] Eric Schmidt is complaining about government surveillance.”

Bruce Schneier believes governments, driven by fear, are going the wrong way about tackling terrorism

Never have the issues of data protection and personal privacy had such high profile

Helen Dixon takes on new role at a pivotal time for data protection and personal privacy

Samsung’s  Galaxy Note Edge smartphone. Photograph: EPA/Joerg Carstensen

Opinion: pea-brained owners of devices create rude and relentless distraction

Visitors try out a virtual reality suit at the event and entertainment area at the 2014 Gamescom gaming trade fair in Cologne, Germany. Virtual reality looks set to be the next big-concept leap in computing. Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)

Ken Perlin, who gave us special effects we take for granted today, looks at what will be ‘normal’ next

 Apple CEO Tim Cook  talks with  Bono  and members  of U2 during Apple’s launch event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino, California. Photograph: Monica Davey/EPA

The idea of an audience of journalists and analysts giving a standing ovation at a product launch is, frankly, alarming. The job (...)

Ireland is to finally get postcodes next year but their illogical format is causing controversy

Rob Lowe: his sex tape damaged his reputation, despite the lack of the world wide web, Twitter and blogs in the late 1980s. Photograph: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Doha Film Institute

Come on, famous people. Simply keeping your clothes on solves the problem

Police in London and San Francisco reported significant drops in iPhone robberies six months after the Find My iPhone feature was introduced in iOS 7. Photograph: Reuters

The state of California passed the first law in the US making the feature mandatory on all smartphones sold from July 2015

John and Sally McKenna launching their long-running Bridgestone review guides, 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland and 100 Best Places to Stay in Ireland. They have also launched apps for their guides. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The publishers of restaurant guides say adapting from print to digital offers as many opportunities as challenges

“Wanting to detox back to any pre-the-latest tech era all seems a bit pointless.” Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Why do we need to go retro in this era of technology?

A consultant came in to see the woman. They had a candid discussion on her end-stage heart disease, which I overheard and could now match with her full name

Medical information is considered sensitive personal data – except in examination rooms

Stephen Brobst: “I want to know every click and every search that led up to that purchase. . . interactions are orders of magnitude larger than the transactions. . . the interactions give you the behaviour.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Even Barack Obama goes to this supremely qualified big data expert for advice

Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland made international headlines. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

Apple's profits might bypass tax coffers of the US and UK, but it doesn’t mean the money is gone

The original complaint, taken by Austrian law student Max Schrems (above) against Irish Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes (below), argues that the DPC took the wrong decision in refusing to investigate whether Schrems’s Facebook data was given adequate protection

Max Schrems’s case against the Irish Data Protection Commissioner is likely to have profound implications

A generation has grown up never having had the pleasure of a crystal clear line.

Blaming technology - skype, iPods and more - for sliding down the quality slope

A year of revelations from Edward Snowden about the secretive mass data-gathering activities of the UK’s secretive spy agency GCHQ hang as a grotesque background to the UK proposals

Privacy advocates Digital Rights Ireland succeeded in challenging Irish data retention laws

The Intel jingle and artefacts of the firm’s evolution make for a compelling display

The UK Ordnance Survey offer custom maps centred on a postcode, place or grid reference number. Photograph: Francis Bradley

Using mobile data abroad is due to fall by 2016 but I won’t give up on my paper maps

Thee Irish-Silicon Valley relationship has changed - the balance has shifted.

Founders of tomorrow’s big names are talking up Ireland

A 2012 study by University of California, Berkeley researchers revealed 87 per cent of their survey group didn’t know about ‘DNT’ settings.

Selecting ‘do not track’ means little when there is no legal requirement to observe these settings

In Yosemite,  drones have been used to film climbers scaling its sheer granite rockfaces. Photograph: Getty Images

Some 84 million acres are now off limits to remote-controlled aircraft

Dan Marom, author of The Crowdfunding Revolution, at Open Innovation 2.0 in Dublin last week.  Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Funding from the bottom up, via crowdfunding, means many expert eyes can perform due diligence on a company, says Dan Marom

Aer Lingus’s wifi is limited to flights between Ireland and the US on its Airbus A330 aircraft, though the airline says it is coming to European flights too.

The price is a bit steep, the service can be patchy but nothing kills time like the web

Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi speaks during the recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, a showcase for upcoming updates to Apple hardware and software. photograph: justin sullivan/getty images

The big three mobile players, Apple, Google and Nokia/Microsoft want to lure users and app developers into locked-down worlds wher(...)

The Vodafone report goes far beyond just supplying numbers. First off, it makes for insightful reading on the tensions, conundrums and compliance issues global companies face when they are the regular target of surveillance requests from government agencies.  Photograph: Getty Images

The Department of Justice has released figures suggesting about 10,000 requests are made to all operators for retained data

Prof Dan Breznitz has studied innovation growth economies such as Taiwan, Israel and China. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Students who opted for a course which focused on Ireland as real-world case study are here to present their findings

Google last week released its new application process by which Europeans may request that links relating to them be removed from its search engine. Photograph: Reuters

ECJ ruling means Europeans may request to have links relating to them removed

 Cisco CEO John Chambers delivers the keynote address during the Cisco Live! conference recently. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Cisco chairman John Chambers does not expect many of today’s biggest tech firms to survive

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron: quick back-paddled on the EU membership referendum he proposed and promised by 2017. Photograph: Reuters

After last week’s elections multinationals are likely to find Ireland increasingly more attractive in a key area: access to the Eu(...)

The April decision by the ECJ to throw out Europe’s 2006 Data Retention Directive as well as the more recent ruling that Google is a data controller subject to national data protection laws in Europe which also can be forced to remove limited types of content on request, indicated the EU will prioritise personal privacy over certain business or government security arguments

If policy differences on data protection and net neutrality are not resolved, it’ll leave Ireland and Britain in a mess

The New York Times and the Washington Post reported the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote as potentially achieving a diametrically opposed result on net neutrality.

The US regulator is effectively diluting true net neutrality

 Billy Hawkes: The Data Protection Commissioner flagged problems in his report that the Government would do well to address with a seriousness and responsibility it has not shown to date.

Presence of so many established computing, technology and internet companies increases need for action

Of greatest significance in the Google ruling is a tacit recognition that EU citizens already have a “right to be forgotten”

Taken with last month’s ruling, this is a serious setback for internet companies

People hold masks of Edward Snowden at the NETmundial conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photograph: Nacho Doce/Reuters

Growing censorship, the threat of data controls and unequal access pose serious challenges to web

The Twitter symbol is displayed at the post where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange last   November. Shares of Twitter Inc sank 18 percent to a new low in frenzied trading on May 6th wiping out more than $4 billion of its market value. Photograph: Reuters

Karlin Lillington believes we’ll have to wait and see if a business model does eventually emerge for online services

Ukrainian Interior Ministry members, blocked by pro-Russian activists, gather outside the regional government headquarters in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, this week. Photograph: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Events in Ukraine dominate discussions as delegates gather for fourth annual Freedom Online conference

Accused US government whistle-blower Edward Snowden is seen on a screen as he speaks via video conference with members of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly during a hearing on “mass surveillance” at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in April. Photograph: Reuters

Karlin Lillington argues nations must recognise they cannot continue to call Edward Snowden a traitor and refuse him a safe return(...)

Governments have suffered blow to credibility following Snowden revelations, conference told

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