Apple chief executive Tim Cook speaking at The Philosophical Society at Trinity College Dublin in 2015. File photograph: Eric Luke

Net Results: Tech giant is major employer but it has benefitted plenty from 40 years in Ireland

A view of  a public services card. File  photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Net Results: Department’s legal challenge to enforcement order on the card is crass

US whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks to European officials by video during a parliamentary hearing on improving the protection of whistleblowers, at the Council of Europe in 2014. File photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: Tech companies now face greater legal and regulatory opposition

The ECJ case arose from a complaint against Facebook made by Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Maximilian Schrems to the Irish Data Protection Commission.

Analysis: Companies on either side of Atlantic will find little comfort in ECJ opinion

One large German study indicates that city planners there are not yet thinking extensively about the changed transport landscape that driverless cars will bring.

Do we really need four new lanes blasting through quiet villages or city centres?

With the acquisition of the Treasury Building, Google, alongside other Silicon Docks companies, needs to do more than passively benefit from nearby city centre luxury apartment developments that few other workers can afford. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Challenges mount for tech giant as buying Treasury Building pushes staff count to 10,000

An entire population can be profiled from just 2 per cent of a nation’s DNA. Photograph: Getty

Net Results: When will Government listen to the numerous experts alarmed at situation?

Google may have hit its Cambridge Analytica moment with the shock exposure of Project Nightingale by an internal whistleblower. Photograph: Ben Quinton/New York Times

Google is at the head of ‘surveillance capital’, harvesting our data and monetising it

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Photograph: Eric Thayer/The New York Times

Net Results: An Oireachtas committee heard that the current social media model should be banned

Last year’s Late Late Toy Show. RTÉ guarantees Irish children hear Irish voices on programming designed for them. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Public service broadcaster requires income stability to do the job we need it to do

 Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee  in Washington.  Twitter is to stop accepting political advertising globally on its platform. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Online advertising ‘an almost completely unregulated environment’ with no transparency

  Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg needs to stop disguising a defence of revenue streams as a defence of democracy rather than the serious threat to it that Facebook is. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Zuckerberg has been starring in his own special theatre of the absurd

Rick Osterloh, senior vice-president of devices and services at Google, discusses the new Google Pixel Buds ear pods during a Google launch event  in New York City. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Company’s smart devices chief says we should tell visitors about gadgets in our houses

Multinationals worry about these optics. Photograph: iStock

Net Results: Multinationals worry about perception of petty vengeance over public services card

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai at St Patrick’s Girls National School, Cambridge Road, Ringsend, Dublin, recently. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Last month’s $170 million fine was a paltry sum for a company the size of Google

Discarded camping equipment at an Electric Picnic campsite on the Monday after this year’s festival. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Net Results: The Galway Jazz Festival is hoping to become a blueprint for other major events

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager: her re-appointment this week will rattle Silicon Valley. Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Net Results: EU has issued fines now US public’s anti-tech mood spurs official action

Public Service Card: in recent years the project has bloated into a cross-department identification card

Ireland has been here before, and it seems the State took nothing from the lesson

I loved the range of discussion on writing, comics, film, theatre, illustration and performance at WorldCon.

Science fiction convention in Dublin zapped visitors with lively and intense intelligence

Public Services Card: Pascal Donohoe and Regina Doherty had preliminary copies of the damning Data Protection Commission report a year ago.

Net Results: Apart from data abuse, card cost €60m but detected just €2m in welfare fraud

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan  passing through the new electronic gates for passport control in Dublin Airport. Photograph: Alan Betson

Net Results: The common defence that scans are optional is disingenuous

Makeshift memorial for the victims of the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas: law enforcement doesn’t necessarily wish to have platforms or social media sites excluding all offensive content or users. Photograph: Larry W Smith

Net Results: We are wrong to make internet corporations society’s de facto censors

Public Services Card: the public has been given no indication of how their data is stored and protected

Net Results: A report on this discriminatory card needs to be made public

The gig economy ‘effectively removes all the liabilities of a company and shifts them on to the public sector’. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty

Net Results: A theological perspective at a recent conference was surprisingly illuminating

A family watches as US astronaut Neil Armstrong sets his foot on the moon July 20th, 1969. Photograph:  STR / AFP/Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: Watching this historic moment as child was wondrous and inspiring

Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems. The case before the Court of Justice of the European Union focuses on data transfer template agreements, known as standard contractual clauses (SCCs). Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Net Results: US has made wrong assumptions about European data protection laws

Construction in the Grand Canal Basin of Dublin Docklands. File photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Net Results: We need to talk about the kind of city we want before more tech firms arrive

 Remotely controlled robots: How will life change as AIs take over human labour?   Photograph: Reuters/Issei Kato/File Photo

At the Kultursumposium in Weimar, many fascinating questions were explored about robots and their impact on human relationships

Libra promises huge financial gain for Facebook at a time when future revenue growth has appeared uncertain. Photograph: EPA/Julien de Rosa

Net Results: Cryptocurrency is strongest argument yet for enforcing antitrust laws

Close to two decades later, we are facing a mess that never had to be. Photograph: Michael Smith/Getty

Net Results: State ultimately failed to fund the excellent proposals of Mary O’Rourke

Nest users on Twitter  revealed homeowners couldn’t unlock a property for guests, or turn on air conditioning. Also down were G Suite services, such as Google calendars, docs, and Gmail. YouTube, Instagram and other services were also cut. Photograph: Getty Images (

Thermostats, air conditioning, baby monitors and door locks all disabled

Pegasus spyware can be uploaded via WhatsApp  hack and can spy on calls and chats, and remotely control the device’s microphone and camera. Photograph: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/File

Net Results: Developer of Pegasus spyware says its clients are governments and state agencies

The number of offerings from Amazon itself, plus its massive cohort of third party sellers, is mind-boggling. Photograph: PA

Net Results: Consumers are being duped and the practice is helping Amazon’s bottom line

Appetite for disruption: ‘The language has become more violent/martial over time.’ Photograph: iStock

Net Results: The term has taken on an ever more aggressive meaning for monopolistic firms

The front page of a Sri Lankan newspaper, showing coverage of the Easter Sunday blasts. Photograph: by Ishara S. Kodikara / AFP

Net Results: Terrorism is no excuse for shutting down social media

European  competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Brussels in July 2018. Photograph:  Getty Images

Data interoperability and portability could level the digital playing field for smaller firms

Private DNA research, especially on national populations, remains highly controversial

Private Irish genome research company GMI wants to gather DNA from 400,000 Irish people

Big Bird speaks during an Apple launch event at the Steve Jobs Theatre in the Apple Park in California, the US. Photograph: Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Karlin Lillington: Tech firm’s new ventures show the relentless overreach of the Big Five

EU public sector sites are  unintentionally serving as platforms for online commercial surveillance, a new report states. File photograph: Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: Public sector sites are unintentionally allowing firms to track our data

Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook. Documents seen by the Observer reveal how she and others in Facebook lobbied then-taoiseach Enda Kenny and government representatives on GDPR, taxation policy and the pending appointment of a data protection commissioner. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Net Results: Irish politicians need to be above board in the face of huge lobbying power

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella has defended the controversial contracts. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Net Results: Firm has been an ethics leader in big tech, but has some soul-searching to do

Amazon will pay zero US tax this year on 2018 profits of $11.2 billion, according to a report by the US Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: Loopholes in legislation mean firms pay fraction of Trump’s 21% rate

Decision by Bundeskartellamt pairs privacy and antitrust legislation. If upheld, it will be far-reaching. Photograph: Epa/Sascha Steinbach

Net Results: Ruling would give power to users to opt out of invisible mega-harvest of data

Philipp Justus, vice-president of Google Central Europe, and Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google. Photograph: Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Zuboff: surveillance by private firms is a crisis as serious as climate change

The entire operating systems of the first Apple Macintosh computers were on floppy disks that you had to insert into the computers to enable them to do anything. Photograph: Kris Connor/ Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: Remember command lines, floppy disks and dial-up modems?

Senior vice-president of Samsung Electronics America Dave Das showcases the QLED 8K smart television during CES in Las Vegas. Photograph: David McNew/AFP/Getty Images

Net Results: There’s a reason why modern, feature-packed smart TVs are so cheap

Example of Public Services Card: Not ‘mandatory’ – but ‘necessary’

Illogical, confusing: PSC may serve the State’s data acquisition whims, but it fails the citizen

We are more cynical about tech company claims, less inclined to believe their excuses or tolerate their repeated apologies. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Net Results: The public is wising up to data gathering abuses, but that’s just the start

Tech companies’  products offer enticements, and many benefits but their potential encroachments and real costs go unrecognised (at best) or more despicably, are hidden (NB Google and Facebook). Photograph: Getty Images

While EU now has GDPR, little has changed in US on data privacy and data protection

Douglas Engelbart: Imagine being able to look at some bits of wood and wire, metal and silicon, at existing copper wire phone networks, at early video, and being able to conceptualise the foundations for the future of mass business and personal computing, and the connectivity of the internet

Net Results: Five decades after Douglas Englebart clicked the first mouse, it is still a gobsmacking thing of wonder

A sign at the entrance to the Facebook World Headquarters in Menlo Park. Photograph: iStock

Net Results: For many years Palo Alto natives relished being tech’s ground zero. No longer

DNA results could be used for denial of health insurance coverage, for example. Photograph: iStock

Net Results: The sale of DNA databases for private research is of huge ethical concern

Microsoft’s  Brad Smith: “It’s impossible to uphold the integrity or public confidence in a democracy if people don’t have confidence in the counts of the votes.” Photograph: Reuters

‘What we’re seeing is technology tools that some people . . . are turning into weapons’

In the dark? Facebook’s chief operating office Sheryl Sandberg. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Net Results: The State says it intends to regulate Facebook as needed. Sigh. Go on, try

We are currently at the stage of being flabbergasted by the easy manipulation of social media networks by bad actors. Eventually, they could be inside your head, not just your Facebook news feed. Photograph: iStock

Experts believe the start of mind and physical enhancements is a matter of years away

Worldwide web founder Tim Berners-Lee. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Reuters

Tim Berners-Lee may feel he created a monster, but there are grounds for optimism

Shahzad Ahmed of the anti-online censorship organisation Bytes For All: “Front Line Defenders have been on top not only to save many threatened lives, but also safeguarding critical human rights movements in Pakistan.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Net Results: UN award for Irish human rights group Front Line Defenders is well-deserved

Anyone who visits San Francisco inevitably remarks with some shock about the bayside city’s homeless problem. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: Billionaires are opposing taxation to help those they have displaced

Paul Allen   speaks  in New York, US, in April 2011. File photograph: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg

Karlin Lillington: Microsoft co-founder was part of the firm’s nerdish yin and yang

IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty in the Constitution Room at the Shelbourne Hotel, where the company  established its Irish business. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The head of IBM challenges people to judge her by her actions, which are many

Once your data is breached – even just a single login and password – it leaves you vulnerable in ways you might never imagine. Photograph: iStock

Karlin Lillington: Although I knew the specific threat was a bluff, I had wider worries

Photograph:   Lionel Bonaventure, Getty

Massive data breach made headlines but Facebook’s trade in user data is as scandalous

Individuals have the right to request delistings, but Google refuses more than they approve (56 per cent), according to Google’s published reports. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Net Results: Dispute has arisen over search engines linking to factually correct data

Karlin Lillington, who received her  Irish citizenship at the Citizenship ceremony held at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Karlin Lillington: At a time of global exclusions, what we heard was warm and embracing

Jack Dorsey, co-founder and chief executive officer of Twitter,  and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook: Lawmakers are upping pressure on technology companies over election meddling, alleged anti-conservative bias and antitrust questions. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Trump’s self-googling ego set for bruising with Bill to curb internet service providers

In 1939, David Packard and William Hewlett launched Hewlett-Packard out of a 12-by-18-foot garage on a leafy street in Palo Alto, California.  Photograph: Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images

Net Results: Not only are most tech company founders not young guys, but most successful tech companies are founded by the middle (...)

A report indicated that Google continues to collect revealing location-based data through users’ Android phones and via Google Maps on the iPhone. Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

Net Results: Alleged collection of location-based data needs to be investigated formally

Prof Jeffrey Ullman: “It’s not really a new phenomenon that people try to influence other people, and do that often by trying to know about them. It’s just become easier to do what people have been trying to do all along.”

Data science pioneer Jeffrey Ullman has ‘mixed feelings’ about industry regulation

Google’s activities will place the Irish office of the Data Protection Commissioner under international scrutiny. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

A GDPR experts says giant may be punished for opaque location tracking controls

A Google sign at the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference in Shanghai. Google is developing a censored Chinese version of its search engine. Photograph: Aly Song/Reuters

Hypocrisy of free speech claims exposed by pandering of Silicon Valley giants to Beijing

 Photograph:  AFP/Josh Edelson/Getty

Net Results: Why we shouldn’t buy the ‘co-ordinated inauthentic behaviour’ excuse

Twitter revealed a significant decline in user numbers – down a million from the previous quarter – and said it expected user numbers to fall further.  Photograph:  AFP/ Emmanuel Dunand/Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: Breathtaking share price drops cause both companies to lose about 19% of value in a single day

'We constantly forget that a younger generation now has known nothing but a life in which the virtual is not separate to real life, but IS real life.'

Net Results: Adults are way off mark if we think we can prescribe way forward for modern teenagers

Intel’s recently-departed chief executiveBrian Krzanich addressing CES 2018 in Las Vegas in January. His departure in June rocked the company. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Intel risks being left behind through lack of innovation

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg,  the company’s partnerships and  marketing vice president Dan Rose  and chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg: Channel 4’s “Dispatches” report  helped  explain why so much appalling content  is still featured and shared on the  site. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Bad week for internet overlords marked by undercover exposé and €4.3bn fine

A protester who wants chief executive Mark Zuckerberg to “Fix Facebook”. Photograph: François Lenoir/File photo/Reuters

Dispatches programme highlights how social media giant is failing to address concerns over hateful content

Aerial view of the site of the proposed Apple data centre at Athenry, Co Galway, that did not proceed

Why are the State and its investment agencies so eager to keep luring these large-scale, big energy, low employMent projects?

Some companies, such as Facebook say they will offer users internationally the same privacy controls they will give to EU citizens under GDPR. Photograph:  Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: US firms thought they might dodge greater consumer privacy obligations

Questions to Facebook Ireland from members of the Oireachtas joint committee on communications had a particular focus on the company’s political advertisement policies. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Net Results: Social media giant opaque on referendum advertising campaigns

‘This isn’t copyright reform. It’s copyright redefinition to benefit – surprise – corporations’

Net Results: Two draconian measures will lead to mass surveillance and curb content

Aerial view of Silicon Valley at dusk. Photograph: Getty Images

Net Results: That ECA report on living costs made headlines but it needs unpacking

The difference GDPR has made in the EU is that this kind of data sharing is now transparent (or is supposed to be). Photograph: iStock

New revelations about Huffington Post and Facebook data-sharing are jaw-dropping

Max Schrems: The default for a site should be for third-party data-gathering to be turned off – “Most of the companies still have everything on.” Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty

Karlin Lillington: Activist urges digital giants to facilitate online users’ right to privacy

 The late science journalist Mary Mulvihill, who helped to mould a whole generation of science and tech writers and editors. Photograph: Brian Dolan

Guiding touch of science journalist who died three years ago aged 55 can still be felt

There are claims two apps developed for the referendum No campaign may share details about Irish app users with a range of right-wing international groups. Photograph: Adam Peck/PA

Net Results: Firms must not break law on app permissions and data they gather

Mark Zuckerberg leaves after testifying at the European Union parliament in Brussels, on Tuesday. Photograph: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

Overall optics were of a stunned Facebook CEO facing a barrage of weighty questions

Microsoft founder Bill Gates: firm has put real corporate will, finance and muscle into issues and areas with long-term consequence, like privacy and social inclusion. Photograph: Rick Wilking

Net Results: While others secretively engage in data harvesting, Nadella changed Microsoft's corporate culture

Getting a big-name company such as Apple outside Dublin and Cork would have put a shiny gloss on Government strategy.Photograph: Collins Courts

Potential US investors will remember this for some time to come

But companies supposedly withdrawing from Europe could end up with EU data for any range of reasons, such as taking in data from US customers who happen to be passing through the EU, or from EU citizens travelling in the US and visiting their site or using their service.

All boats may rise to EU data laws, but it could take years of fines and court challenges

DNA molecule: DNA not only provides identifying detail about a person but reveals medical and genetic data. And not just about that individual, but about close and even distant relatives.  Photograph: Steven Hunt

Net Results: Should private DNA profiles be available to third parties for crime inquiries?

RSA security president Rohit Ghai said that GDPR was making data management and privacy a prominent issue all over the world, not just in the EU. Photograph: iStock

Net Results: General Data Protection Regulation the top topic at RSA conference

The tech conference circuit has suffered from a dearth of women speakers for years, and, as numerous scandals have shown recently, the industry hasn’t exactly proved itself to be women-friendly, either.

New security conference in San Francisco offered more diverse line-up of speakers

Donald Trump has made norms of unconventional modes of communication. Photograph: Getty

RSA conference hears of ‘ fundamental redesign of how we communicate as people’

OURSA was set up to run in a venue adjacent to the RSA conference after RSA controversially listed only a single women, Monica Lewinsky, in its initial lineup of keynote speakers.

OURSA, set up as alternative to RSA conference, says emerging technologies can be used for surveillance of users

In a keynote address  on the opening day of sessions at the RSA Conference (above) in San Francisco, Ms Nielsen said society has reached a tipping point where “digital security is converging with personal and physical security. The public is starting to realise how they are entwined.” Photograph: RSA Conference

Society at point where ‘digital security is converging with personal and physical security’

The storm isn’t passing for Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Photograph: Reuters

Ultimate decision could undermine business models at Google, Twitter and Apple

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg addresses US senators in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. Photograph: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Facebook chief responds to US legislators with mixture of half-truths and mistruths

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: his performance at the combined Senate Judiciary and Commerce committee hearing is unlikely to sway senators who want to regulate the global social media giant. Photograph:  Alex Wong/Getty Images

Facebook chief wisely abandons hoodie to face senators’ grilling, but sticks to his script

At the end of March, President Donald Trump signed into law the Cloud Act, which removed the ambiguity over whether a US court could demand data held extraterritorially. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Act gives US ‘nearly unchecked’ power over global digital privacy rights, say critics

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