In a decision that upheld the Belgian regulator’s right to pursue Facebook over the use of tracking cookies imposed on Belgians, the ECJ said national action fell within GDPR’s scope. File photography: Getty

Properly functioning one-stop shop is good policy – both for Big Tech and EU citizens

Irish Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon. File photograph: The Irish Times

Analysis: No multinational anywhere in the EU will be happy with the ECJ’s ruling

Fastly, which suffered an outage on Tuesday, manages 10 per cent of global website traffic. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Outage highlights that, in the cloud, power is concentrated in a few at the top – as is risk

Edward Snowden: Given his disclosures on the scale of US mass surveillance, utilising the sea of data sucked in by US-based multinational social media and technology giants, it is difficult to accept US arguments EU user data can be kept separate and given protections not afforded US citizens.  Photograph: Rafael Marchante/Reuters

Net Results: US security laws lax on surveillance and data gathering

It’s been three years this week since one of Europe’s most groundbreaking pieces of legislation, the GDPR, came into force. File photograph: Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: The data protection legislation remains groundbreaking despite issues

While government positions often struggle to match the pay for a comparable job in the private sector, coordinating national cybersecurity is a critically important role. Photograph: iStock

Ransomware attack has been increasingly likely since start of pandemic

high angle view asian chinese woman’s hand on mobile app covid 19 mobile app tracker on latest update and check in status during breakfast time

Tech solutions to complex issues can be adopted too quickly on scarce evidence

There’s evidence that perhaps Texit is, if not exactly all hat and no cattle, then of a smaller herd size than the slew of articles might have you think. Photograph:  Ezra C Shaw/Allsport

Whatever about ‘quality of life’, the state’s tax rates of just 1 per cent must be notable draw

The Twitter accounts of former US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

To Jillian York, the central conundrum of social media is how to address hate speech

As numerous General Data Protection Regulation experts have pointed out, this database seems far from compliant with Irish or EU data laws, on numerous points. File photograph: Getty

Party’s history of being well informed over privacy issues makes database saga baffling

Various EU member states have  indicated they might come up with domestic passports of some sort. Photograph: iStock

Karlin Lillington: Rights, security and formats all make documentation challenging

A worker collects an Amazon Prime customer order package:  Unions are one obvious and historically powerful way to unite and tackle large-scale worker grievances. Photograph: Thorsten Wagner/Bloomberg

Karlin Lillington: Dehumanising surveillance in tech sector is leading to group action

Janet Yellen, chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Net Results: Ireland’s attractiveness to US multinationals is built on far more than tax

Ann Riordan went on to hold many other leadership positions in Ireland when she stepped down from Microsoft in 2000. Photograph: Eric Luke

Net Results: Impact of Microsoft leader in shifting mindsets cannot be underestimated

Digital artist Beeple (aka Mike Winkelmann) and his collage “Everydays: the First 5,000 Days” sold for $69 million

Growing market for NFTs are a boon for digital artists, most of whom sell work for considerably less that $69m

You have to work harder cognitively during a video chat than you’d have to in real life, research indicates.

Karlin Lillington: New study suggests simple ways to help you get through virtual meetings

Both Amazon and Google say they take active steps to stop and prevent fake reviews. Photograph: iStock

Net Results: Investigation by Which? found millions of misleading reviews on Amazon and Google

Many years ago I interviewed a number of leading voice technology experts, and every one referenced Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey as inspirations. Photograph: Getty Images

The changes that replaced landlines with powerful pocket computers were neither obvious nor a foregone conclusion in the 1990s

Uber is offering a euro-fication of Prop 22: the company just launched a White Paper in Europe that’s basically Prop 22 for Europe. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Karlin Lillington: Having lost a protracted legal battle in the UK, Uber is now trying to lobby EU

Disinformation: So many of us who see ourselves as informed internet and social media users were  fast to tweet the AstraZeneca story or seriously consider doing so. Photograph: iStock

Confusion arose over claim in German media the AstraZeneca vaccine had very low efficacy in people over 65

Jake Angeli (C) with other supporters of former US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The Biden administration must grasp the nettle of malign misuse of tech

James Ball argues that “online power structures mirror almost exactly the offline power structures which preceded them”. File photograph: Getty Images

Book review: James Ball calls for urgently-needed regulatory and structural change

US and EU regulators should be blocking any such steps to further integrate Facebook’s three platforms. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images)

Regulators should block integration of Facebook’s three platforms pending decision on antitrust action

File image of workers standing outside the Google offices in Dublin after walking out as part of a global protest over workplace issues. File photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Karlin Lillington: Is an in-house union for Google the start of a wider rebalancing of power?

Big Tech has its hands full with antitrust investigations and complaints growing from activists and politicians. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure /AFP via Getty

Growing antitrust and regulatory moves will change how big platforms do business

Zoom is now so ubiquitous that, just like ‘to google’ and ‘to hoover’, it has been verbed into lower case. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty

The pain of my Zoom learning curve still inflicts sporadic, cruel stings on others

Net Results: EU regulators considering other mechanisms to route around Irish DPC

The Acts propose algorithm transparency (no more corporate ‘secret sauce’ algorithms taking, using and analysing personal data in invisible ways); and a phasing-out of targeted advertising. Photograph: Getty

The eradication of surveillance capitalism across Europe would be a great leap forward

Recently, both Google and Facebook have moved to fund initiatives to offer different forms of support to publishers. Last month, Google announced it would steer $1 billion towards publishers over three years, to pay for news offered in its new Google News Showcase. File photograph: Getty

Public frustration is growing, yet it’s still the main source of news for half of Irish people aged 18-44

Net Results: There is one question every consumer with a phone should ask themselves

State faces European court setback over use of mobile phone records in Graham Dwyer case. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Net Results: Government has known data retention framework is unlawful for years

Back doors create an exploitable access point to data on the devices and networks most organisations and individuals use. And they increase opportunities for spying and hacking.

EU set for data access exposing everyone to pernicious risk of information breaches

The pandemic has exposed just how vulnerable – yet critical to society – “gig economy” workers are.

Proposition 22 hits rights, health and dignity of many of workforce’s most vulnerable

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks on healthcare in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday. Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Net Results: The Democratic candidate has support of tech industry and its biggest critics

The US Department of Justice is suing search giant Google, in what is the biggest antitrust case in decades. Photograph: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

Net Results: US lawsuit is locking the barn door long after the data-guzzling horse has bolted

Bullying and threats: Amnesty International found that at least 41 per cent of women who had been abused online feared for their physical safety. Photograph: Getty

Net Results: The arts are offering marginalised activists a crucial way of finding a voice

The problem is much deeper than one-off grading scandals. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Net Results: Invisible code has a significant – and often negative – impact on all our lives

Organist Fergal Caulfield rehearsing on stage at NCH for a special performance of Faure’s Requiem dedicated to victims of Covid-19.  Photograph: Mark Stedman

Online innovation should benefit arts industry when Covid-19 pandemic recedes

Facebook needs to offer adequate data protection for European users, as required by GDPR. Photograph: Olivier Douliery/AFP

Tech giant’s threat to walk away from European market is a ridiculous tantrum

Ireland remains one of the few countries without a national public genomics programme. Image: iStock

Consent issue in Beaumont brain tissue study highlights need for national genomics programme

‘The tech industry has overwhelmingly supported many of those most sharply proposing its regulation and break-up.’  File photo. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

Anti-big tech rhetoric from the candidates hasn’t proven an obstacle to fundraising

What was the reasoning behind the downgrades? No one seemed able or willing to explain. Photograph: Getty Images

Unconscious bias a risk as coders are more often white, male and from higher income backgrounds

McGovern first turned his mind to larger environmental issues when activists in Ireland organised to oppose some data centres here. Photograph: iStock

Net Results: Web pioneer Gerry McGovern warns about digital’s burden on the planet

Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sundar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Apple are sworn in. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/ Pool/EPA

Chief executives fail in their one job during the video call on antitrust: damage limitation

Facebook was at the centre of both of Max Schrems’ Irish-originating complaints that have now produced decisive and far-reaching judgements from Europe’s highest court. Photograph: Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images

Schrems ruling: Subset of smaller groups in adtech industry may also be affected

‘Our data, which is grabbed in these obscured ways, traded for “free” services we get as hooked on as nicotine, has given companies such as Facebook and Google their vast valuations and extraordinary power.’

Karlin Lillington: ECJ ruling has essentially invalidated business model of digital giants

This decision poses a shattering challenge to the data-centric business models of many companies, from social media platforms to advertising giants, which make their money by exploiting users’ personal data.

Court in effect ruled that personal data is not, as US companies generally view it, an asset

‘What do those numbers that just popped up mean? Why does the scanty manual not explain?’ Photograph: iStock

Net Results: There’s nowhere to hide my ineptitude in world of Zoom conference calls

Privacy activist Max Schrems: Only the most myopic could argue the Trump administration has provided any ironclad assurances on protection for EU data. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Karlin Lillington: ECJ highly unlikely to accept US claim of adequate protection of data

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly launching the CovidTracker App in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

There is scant evidence that apps are effective, but mounting evidence masks are

Danger zone: most of us, even in older, less tech-flashy cars, have paired a mobile phone to our car using Bluetooth or a USB connection. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Karlin Lillington: New survey underlines risks in our increasingly connected world

 The Metropolitan Opera’s free nightly opera recording stream is overwhelming. File photograph: Richard Hubert Smith

Net Results: Online performances have been welcome but could undermine industry

Survey responses indicate a lack of awareness as to what is easily and routinely gathered by online companies. Photograph: iStock

EU-wide survey shows a varying degree of concern about sharing private information

Another GMI proposal modifies consent requirements to enable the creation of a potentially commercial DNA database from up to 6,000 Irish individuals with Alzheimer’s. Photograph: iStock

Net Results: There is a lack of transparency over consent for usage of brain tissue DNA

 Facebook’s   Mark Zuckerberg. Against Twitter’s modest gestures,  Facebook and Zuckerberg look increasingly immoral and thoughtless.  Photograph:  Getty Images

Net Results: How much longer do we let monolithic speech arbiters like Facebook and Twitter operate with little limitation?

The GDPR came into force on May 25th, 2018, providing a range of data safeguards and rights for individuals.

Only two years in, landmark EU regulation on data protection needs rebuilding to deliver on objectives

The HSE’s national coronavirus tracing app remains mysterious, even as we inch closer to the end of May or early June point, at which it is supposed to go on limited trial. Photograph: iStock

Approach to data disclosure will not reassure anyone that data ethics is being prioritised

‘Today’s home and work tech capabilities have begun to create a clear coronavirus divide.’ File photograph: Getty Images

Karlin Lillington: Our current use of tech is further eroding division between work and home

SpaceX founder Elon Musk:   suggested the lockdown was “fascist”. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski

Net Results: Those choosing Mammon over staff health are not those exposed

Only six national data protection authorities have more than 10 specialist tech investigation staff, and seven EU states have just one or two, according to the report from privacy-focused web browser company Brave

Key legal requirement of GDPR is that states supply resources needed to enforce this important piece of legislation

Australia announced this week that it will produce a regulatory framework requiring Facebook and Google to directly pay media companies more of the revenue the tech giants make monetising their content.  Photograph: Denis Charlet/AFP via Getty Images

Surveillance giants such as Google now control 60% of the global advertising market

A handy resource listing many corona-focused initiatives around the world is at https://civictech.guide/coronavirus/. Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg

Net Results: Web volunteerism and crowdsourced missions offer humanitarian outlets

German soldiers testing the use of a tracking app aiming to fight the spread of coronavirus. If put into use the app would track and record people’s interactions via Bluetooth for two weeks. Photograph: Ismael Akbar/Bundeswehr/AFP via Getty Images

Net Results: Far greater transparency and evidence required for public to hand over data

Government staff demonstrate Singapore’s contact-tracing smarthphone app. Photograph: Catherine Lai/AFP via Getty

Two types of very revealing data – location and health information – will be gathered

A screen relaying a Zoom video conference with UK prime minister Boris Johnson chairing a remote session with cabinet ministers while self-isolating. Photograph: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty

UK prime minister scores own-goal with proof of worryingly lax approach to security

Right now the majority of such data is gathered, owned and sold on by private companies, with minimal oversight. Photograph: Orlando Barria/EPA

Net Results: ‘Decisions made in haste are typically disastrous policymaking’

An American policeman wearing a flu mask in 1918 to protect himself from Spanish flu:  we are all looking for our own comforting Mixture. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty

Net Results: My great-grandparents and early 20th-century experience of ills and cures

The sprawl of Silicon Valley. Photograph: David McNew/Newsmakers

Net Results: Wider working from home would have obvious benefits for quality of life

‘We are in a fast-advancing global epidemic.’ File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Karlin Lillington: Insecurity of gig economy creates perfect storm for a Covid-19 epidemic

The Graham Dwyer challenge contends that metadata obtained by the Garda in the case was gathered unlawfully. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Karlin Lillington: State has never addressed data retention in a timely way, in 20 years

 Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg  in Brussels. Photograph: Reuters/Yves Herman/File Photo

Playing the free speech card, Zuckerberg wants his own idea of beneficial-to-Facebook ‘regulation’

When I investigated my  choices for a journey to San Francisco airport, app services like Uber were significantly more expensive  than my past costs for a shared shuttle. Photograph: Getty Images

The likes of Uber and Lyft have created major congestion headaches for airports

 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

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