Google sued for collecting personal data of school children – Benchmarking Change- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Thursday filed a lawsuit against Google, alleging that it acquired personal information from school children in the state violating their privacy rights.
Balderas alleged that the company used its suite of products such as Gmail, Calendar and Drives to collect information of students under 13 years of age, without parental consent.
He said the collection of personal data was in violation of the Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and New Mexico’s Unfair Practices Act.
Google did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
In 2018, Balderas filed a similar lawsuit against Google and few other tech companies alleging illegal data collection from mobile apps made for children. The companies have denied any wrongdoing, and the case awaits a decision by a federal judge.
In September last year, Google’s YouTube video service was asked to pay US$170 million to the Federal Trade Commission to settle allegations that it broke federal law by collecting personal information about children.
Social media companies have been facing regulatory scrutiny globally over their policies and data monitoring practices particularly for children.
Earlier this month, Facebook said it plans to add new tools and features for parental control in its messaging app for users under the age of 13.

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US agency that handles Trump’s secure communication suffered data breach – Benchmarking Change – Networking – Security – Telco/ISP- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The US defense agency responsible for secure White House communications said Social Security numbers and other personal data in its network may have been compromised, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday that was sent to people possibly affected.
The letter, dated Feb. 11, 2020, says that between May and July 2019, personal data may have been compromised “in a data breach” of a system hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency.
The agency provides direct telecommunications and IT support for President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, their staff, and the US Secret Service, according to its website.
It also provides direct support to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other senior members of the armed forces, and its field offices support US military commanders abroad.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The letter gave few further details. For example, it did not say what part of DISA’s network had been breached, nor identify which individuals may have had their data compromised.
The term data breach can have many meanings, from hackers penetrating a network to a supposedly secure server being accidentally exposed to the internet.
The agency’s letter said it had no evidence any personal data possibly taken was misused, but that it was required to notify individuals who may have had data taken.
Pentagon spokesman Chuck Prichard said individuals possibly affected were being offered “information about actions that can be taken to mitigate possible negative impacts” of the breach, as well as free credit monitoring.
DISA, headquartered at Fort Meade in Maryland, employs about 8,000 military and civilians, according to its website. Prichard did not say how many people could have been affected by the breach, saying only that DISA had investigated the incident “and taken appropriate measures to secure the network.”

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EU wants to build its digital ecosystem with clear rules around AI and data governance – Blog – 10 minute

The big picture: The EU wants to kick off a “generational project” that will reduce its dependence on companies outside the region for digital products. The proposals include several key areas that need improvement, but have yet to include any specific solutions, which will be subject for public debate throughout 2020.
The EU has revealed its new digital market policy, which is going to have wide-ranging implications for tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, as well as other companies that gather large amounts of user data to feed it to AIs.
The plan outlines how the bloc intends to catch up to the rest of the world by ensuring data protection for EU citizens, designing rules on how to deploy 5G and WiFi 6 infrastructure, and creating a level playing field for all the participants on the market.
Digital transformation is going much slower in the EU when compared to Asia and the US, so one of the proposals is to create what Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calls “a Europe fit for the Digital Age.”
This means the 27 member countries need to pool together their data sets to fast-track the development of intelligent services for consumers and help local companies compete with those in China and the US. For that to happen, the bloc will have to agree on a regulatory framework that covers data governance, reuse, portability, and sharing with law enforcement.

Artificial intelligence is slowly being infused into every industry thanks to advancements that make it easy to deploy on everything from data centers to low power devices. The EU wants to offer incentives to startups that use machine learning to tackle important areas like manufacturing, transportation, policing, healthcare, and achieving a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.
At the same time, the EU wants AI development to be done on its own terms, by balancing safety and innovation. The bloc also hopes to set an example with rules that put humans in charge of AIs used in high-risk applications like facial recognition, job recruitment, and policing, while requiring a certification for companies interested in providing AI-based services.
The European Commission sees GDPR as a major win in setting the tone for a global conversation on protecting user data. Now it wants to do the same with AI regulation, which is not impossible when you consider that some industry leaders like Elon Musk support that idea.
Ultimately, the EU faces a difficult road ahead as it tries to execute on its promise to give local companies an advantage, as well as a potential trade war with the US. The bloc has been fining American tech giants for antitrust violations, and is also exploring the idea of holding big social platforms legally responsible for user-generated content.
EU industry chief Thierry Breton said in a public statement that “the battle for industrial data starts now and Europe will be the main battlefield. Europe has the largest industrial base. The winners of today will not be the winners of tomorrow.”

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UK Google users could lose EU GDPR data protections | Technology – Blog – 10 minute

Google is to move the data and user accounts of its British users from the EU to the US, placing them outside the strong privacy protections offered by European regulators.
The shift, prompted by Britain’s exit from the EU, will leave the sensitive personal information of tens of millions not covered by Europe’s world-leading General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore with less protection and within easier reach of British law enforcement.
Google intends to require its British users to acknowledge new terms of service including the new jurisdiction, according to people familiar with the plans.
“Nothing about our services or our approach to privacy will change, including how we collect or process data, and how we respond to law enforcement demands for users’ information,” Google said in a statement. “The protections of the UK GDPR will still apply to these users.”
Ireland, where Google and other US tech companies have their European headquarters, is staying in the EU, which has one of the world’s most aggressive data protection rules, the GDPR.
It is understood that Google decided to move its British users out of Irish jurisdiction because it is unclear whether Britain will follow GDPR or adopt other rules that could affect the handling of user data.
If British Google users have their data kept in Ireland, it would be more difficult for British authorities to recover it in criminal investigations.
The recent Cloud Act in the US, however, is expected to make it easier for British authorities to obtain data from US companies. Britain and the US are also on track to negotiate a broader trade agreement.
Beyond that, the US has among the weakest privacy protections of any major economy, with no broad law despite years of advocacy by consumer protection groups.
Google has amassed one of the largest stores of information about people on the planet, using the data to tailor services and sell advertising.
Google could also have had British accounts answer to a British subsidiary, but has opted not to.
Lea Kissner, Google’s former lead for global privacy technology, said she would have been surprised if the company had kept British accounts controlled in an EU country with the UK no longer a member.
“There’s a bunch of noise about the UK government possibly trading away enough data protection to lose adequacy under GDPR, at which point having them in Google Ireland’s scope sounds super-messy,” Kissner said. “Never discount the desire of tech companies not be caught in between two different governments.”
Jim Killock, executive director of the digital rights organisation Open Rights Group, said: “Moving people’s personal information to the USA makes it easier for mass surveillance programmes to access it. There is nearly no privacy protection for non-US citizens.
“Google’s decision should worry everyone who think tech companies are too powerful and know too much about us. The UK must commit to European data protection standards, or we are likely to see our rights being swiftly undermined by ‘anything goes’ US privacy practices.”
The UK’s exit from the EU and its data protection regulations are likely to make the data-sharing agreements that cover transfer of user information from one part of a global business to another, or to other businesses, extremely complicated.
If the UK decides not to adopt rules that form equivalent data protections to that granted by GDPR, then extensive data-sharing agreements may be necessary. In coming months, other tech companies will have to make similar choices to Google.
Facebook, which has a similar setup to Google, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Web Werks launches Data Center in Delhi NCR- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Web Werks, a leader in Indian Data Centers and Cloud Services, announced the launch of its data center in the Delhi NCR region thus becoming a Tempemail player in India. Web Werks will be investing 200 crores in Delhi over the life of the project to build the data center apart from real estate costs. With a capable deployment of up to seventy thousand square feet in floor space, this data center located in the NCR region has a potential of 10 MW and will be capable of 1800 racks with further expansion possibilities.
The new standalone, well equipped, Tier III Uptime Certified data center will support strong demand from local and global enterprises including Government businesses, as well as cloud, carrier and content providers who are increasingly relying on data center colocation and interconnection services in the Tempemail Capital Region. All major Telecom Operators connect into the data center on resilient fiber rings providing a cross-connect for services including internet, MPLS, domestic & international terrestrial data circuits. The data center is equipped with a burstable Internet capacity aggregated from multiple ISP’s and offers OTTs, content hosts and e-commerce organizations a robust, fast and cost-effective infrastructure to service their end-users. This data center is built and designed by IBM and features state of the art Siemens and HID Security Systems making it highly secured along with a 24×7 NOC. It will also act as a disaster recovery zone for the existing Web Werks data centers based in Mumbai and Pune and vice versa.
Speaking at the launch, Mr. Nikhil Rathi, CEO, Web Werks data centers said, “The first phase of the Delhi data center has gone live and we are now expanding into the second phase to create a hyperscale location. With another hyperscale location also coming up in Mumbai, customers will have access to two hyperscale locations across two different availability zones. Web Werks has also already started its work on acquiring Uptime Tier III certifications for its data center in Noida which guarantees a 99.995% Uptime.”
The Delhi data center is a high-density, hyper-scale and artificial intelligence-powered data center built using innovative technologies and best practices for efficiency, high availability and six-layered security. Being Web Werks’s third data center in India, it will substantially create more than two hundred plus jobs in the capital region. The facility will benefit from Web Werks being SAP Certified and also Carbon Neutral contributing to Global Go-Green concepts.

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Xiaomi smart masks that collect real-time air data soon- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Chinese company Xiaomi has been granted a patent for smart masks that would come equipped with sensors and a chip to gather real-time data collection about the air you breathe. The sensor would record data such as total wearing time, pollution absorption, breathing volume and breath counts. The design consists a pollutant filter and a sensor that records how long a person has been wearing the mask.
According to a report on the Abacus website, the US Patent and Trademark Office has granted Xiaomi the patent for a “smart mask” design that was filed in June 2016. There is also a built-in battery that powers the standard air filter. The smart mask will also come with sensors like accelerometers and gyroscopes.
“The collected data will be stored on the mask using the storage module and can also be transferred to other devices, thanks to the connection module,” reports GizmoChina.
Xiaomi already sells generic masks to ward off air pollution.

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Google users in UK to lose EU data protection – Strategy- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Google is planning to move its British users’ accounts out of the control of European Union privacy regulators, placing them under US jurisdiction instead, sources said.
The shift, prompted by Britain’s exit from the EU, will leave the sensitive personal information of tens of millions with less protection and within easier reach of British law enforcement.
The change was described to Reuters by three people familiar with its plans. Google intends to require its British users to acknowledge new terms of service including the new jurisdiction.
Ireland, where Google and other US tech companies have their European headquarters, is staying in the EU, which has one of the world’s most aggressive data protection rules, the General Data Protection Regulation.
Google has decided to move its British users out of Irish jurisdiction because it is unclear whether Britain will follow GDPR or adopt other rules that could affect the handling of user data, the people said.
If British Google users have their data kept in Ireland, it would be more difficult for British authorities to recover it in criminal investigations.
The recent Cloud Act in the United States, however, is expected to make it easier for British authorities to obtain data from U.S. companies. Britain and the United States are also on track to negotiate a broader trade agreement.
Beyond that, the United States has among the weakest privacy protections of any major economy, with no broad law despite years of advocacy by consumer protection groups.
A Google spokesman declined to comment ahead of a public announcement.
An employee familiar with the planned move said that British privacy rules, which at least for now track GDPR, would continue to apply to that government’s requests for data from Google’s US headquarters.
Google has amassed one of the largest stores of information about people on the planet, using the data to tailor services and sell advertising.
Google could also have had British accounts answer to a British subsidiary, but has opted not to, the people said.
Lea Kissner, Google’s former lead for global privacy technology, said she would have been surprised if the company had kept British accounts controlled in an EU country with the United Kingdom no longer a member.
“There’s a bunch of noise about the UK government possibly trading away enough data protection to lose adequacy under GDPR, at which point having them in Google Ireland’s scope sounds super-messy,” Kissner said.
“Never discount the desire of tech companies not be caught in between two different governments.”
In coming months, other US tech companies will have to make similar choices, according to people involved in internal discussions elsewhere.
Facebook, which has a similar set-up to Google, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Top four technology trends that will shape the future of data centers- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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By Vimal Kaw, Associate Vice President, Products & Services, NTT Com – Netmagic
While the year 2019 was exciting, the years ahead promise to be even more exciting for the data center space.
Looking at the rapid technological developments, we believe the following technology trends will shape the future of data centers:
#1 Hyperscale Data CentersHyperscale refers to the capability of an IT system or architecture to scale exponentially and rapidly to respond to demand that is increasingly heavily. A report by Markets & Markets estimates the hyperscale data center market to grow from USD 25.08 billion in 2017 to USD 80.65 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 26.32%. Cisco estimates that by 2021, traffic within hyperscale data centers will quadruple, and hyperscale data centers will account for 55% of all data center traffic by 2021.
In the case of a hyperscale data center, enterprises can replace individual physical components compared to the traditional approach of replacing the entire server, which not only increases costs, but also increases the downtime. This approach also gives extreme flexibility in scaling at the physical level, as components can be added modularly. For example, in case a server fails, an application can be moved from one server to another server, without downtime. Hyperscale data centers are expected to change every aspect to the data center—fromthe way hardware components are sourced to the way they are designed.
# 2 Artificial IntelligenceEver since Google published research that it used AI in the data center to improve the power efficiency of its data center, many firms have followed suit to explore the transformational potential of AI. For example, in a span of just 18 months, Google used its AI powered Google DeepMind system to bring about a 40% reduction in the amount of energy required for cooling, which is equivalent to a 15% reduction in overall PUE overheads.
Hiring people with the right skill sets is a massive challenge in the digital era. Gartner, for instance, predicts that by 2020, 75% of organizations will experience visible business disruptions due to I&O skills gaps (an increase from less than 20% in 2016). AI can play a big role in automating many of the tasks that human agents do today. Similarly, AI can be used with great impact in a SOC in a data center. AI can complement current Security Incidents and Event Management (SIEM) systems, by analyzing incidents and inputs from multiple systems, and devising an appropriate incident response system. AI-based systems can improve the security operations centre monitoring and basic L1 jobs can be reduced. For example, when more than 10,000 events per second are logged, it becomes difficult for human beings to monitor these events. AI-based systems can help in identifying the malicious traffic from the false positives and help data center administrators handle cyber security threats more efficiently.
Researchers from MIT found that AI can help data center owners save millions by automating scheduling of data-processing operations across thousands of servers. The AI system developed by the researchers’ system completes jobs about 20-30% faster, and twice as fast during high traffic.
# 3 Edge Computing We live in a connected world, and every connected device produces data. As more devices get connected, it will increasingly become economically unviable to transfer data consistently to a centralized location. A Gartner study for example, forecasts that 14.2 billion connected things will be in use in 2019, and that this total will reach 25 billion by 2021, producing immense volume of data. A McKinsey study claims that 127 new IoT devices connect to the internet every second. The rise in the number of connected devices calls for building localized data centers or edge data centers to process local traffic.
Gartner defines Edge Computing as an approach that enables and optimizes extreme decentralization, placing nodes as close as possible to the sources of data and content. Unlike the traditional approach which adopts a centralized approach and sends every bit of data to the cloud,edge data centers keep the heaviest traffic and data close to end-user applications.In the future, expect more adoption of edge data centers as IoT devices grow exponentially.
Gartner, for instance, predicts that while currently around 10% of enterprise-generated data is created and processed outside a traditional centralized data center or cloud, by 2025, this figure will reach 75%. An IDC FutureScape report states that by 2022, 40% of enterprises will have doubled their IT asset spending in edge locations. IDC also believes that 45% of all data created by IoT devices will be stored, processed, analyzed, and acted upon close to or at the edge of a network by 2020.
# 4 Security at the chip levelWith attacks growing in scale and complexity against data centers, global firms such as Google are trying to embed security at the chip level. Called OpenTitan, the project is a collaborative open-source chip design project that is designed to build trustworthy chip designs for use in data centers and other components. Google believes that security at the chip level will help in ensuring that the hardware infrastructure and the software that runs on it remain in their intended, trustworthy state by verifying that the critical system components boot securely using authorized and verifiable code. This can ensure that a server or a device boots with the correct firmware and has not been infected by a low-level malware.
While there have been similar attempts in the past (Intel – Software Guard Extensions, Arm – TrustZone, AMD – Secure Encrypted Virtualization), Google’s initiative is the only one today that is not proprietary. By deciding to go the open source route, Google is hoping to build a foundation for building secure chips.

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This WordPress Plugin Exploit Can be Used to Delete All Your Data – Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Sourced from Digital Consulting.

A WordPress plugin, the ThemeGrill Importer, which has over 200,000 active installations and can be used to import ThemeGrill official themes, demo content, widgets and theme instantly with a click.
In version 1.3.4 and above, as well as versions 1.6.1 and below of ThemeGrill exists a security vulnerability that can allow any unauthenticated user to wipe entire databases of data to its default state after which they are automatically logged in as an administrator.
With hundreds of thousands of businesses using WordPress for their websites, any of them that use the plugin can be at risk of having their entire websites wiped, their data deleted and their admin rights stolen.
The only thing someone needs to wipe an entire database is that there must be an existing theme installed, activated and published by ThemeGrill itself. This issue has existed within WordPress for roughly 3 years, since version 1.3.4.
Within a WordPress blog, for example, that runs a theme from ThemeGrill, the exploit exists where the installed theme loads a file that places the command line “reset_wizard_actions” within its code – this is where the exploit exists.
My Broadband says via WebARX that the exploit does not require any suspicious-looking payload, in the form of malware or malicious code for example, and that it would not be blocked by any firewall by default.
The publisher for ThemeGrill has already added a patch that fixes the issue on 16 February, users who are running the versions with the exploit included are really recommended to install this patch, lest they lose everything.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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6 Practical, “Fast Action” Ways to Cut Data Center Costs- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

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Research data center cost-cutting and you’ll be blown away by the innovation. Many hyperscale providers are breaking ground in areas like liquid cooling, alternative energy integration, and the use of artificial intelligence for data center infrastructure management (DCIM) to eke out new levels of efficiency.
This is all very hopeful for the future of affordable, sustainable data centers and offers interesting things to consider when planning new construction. But most Indian data center operators have existing facilities in which they need to save money today, without major retrofitting.
Fortunately, there are turnkey options to make that happen. We’ve compiled six ideas that best combine ease and effectiveness.
Improve efficiency modularlyA full HVAC transition to liquid cooling and other major capital projects are often out of reach, but energy efficiency can be gradually enhanced through hardware acquisition by:

Incorporating efficiency gains within lifecycle planning. Determine when increased efficiency of newer hardware justifies the capital expenditure of an upgrade.

Setting energy efficiency targets. Be sure to review energy use statistics for idle and active state, as many products aren’t equally efficient at both ends of the spectrum.

Evaluating innovative products, such as those with server- or rack-level liquid cooling to take advantage of advances impractical to incorporate at facility-wide scale.
Review your data storageThe IoT-driven explosion in data volumes is just beginning. At the same time, the easy capacity gains in HDDs and flash storage is reaching an end. Yet most enterprises aren’t giving data lifecycle strategies adequate consideration. It’s time to reexamine what data the organization is keeping, for what reason, and for how long. “Purge whenever possible” is good policy—and it saves money on storage.

When rarely accessed data must be kept, for archival or regulatory purposes, consider cold storage, such as tape systems, to reduce the energy overhead associated with each byte.
Focus on support valueWith nearly any new hardware purchase, companies will usually add a support contract from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). It’s a fine plan to help ensure deployment success and access any microcode with new features. But a Gartner study found that four years after product release is the latest point at which this approach makes financial sense. For organizations that purchased a system a year or two into the product lifecycle, that may mean only two or three years into its service life.
Past this timeframe, new features are almost never offered and many OEMs will increase the cost of support. So customers pay more but get less value. On the other hand, third party maintenance providers can step in to offer better, more responsive support and more features at about half the cost. And with multivendor support through a single provider, contract management and trouble ticket oversight become more efficient as well.
Extend hardware lifespan, wiselyFor some time, there were two opposing camps on upgrades. There were the conservative-minded who kept hardware only as long as the initial support period lasted, generally three to five years. And there were the risk-takers preferring to “run it till it drops,” racking up the savings with DIY support until catastrophic failure cost them more in downtime than they’d gained.
Now there is a middle way with post-warranty and post-EOSL (end of support life) maintenance available on nearly all server, storage, and networking hardware from major manufacturers. This empowers enterprises to decide on a product-by-product basis which equipment is delivering value. Once all assets, their warranty status, and risk profiles are identified, enterprises can then extract maximum return on these investments, without compromising reliability or security, and stretch CapEx farther.
Get out of reactive modeFew of us make our wisest financial decisions under pressure, and constant support fire drills in the data center can lead to overspending. More staff must be on hand to avoid meltdown when the worst happens again, and the most expeditious option—maybe replacing a malfunctioning piece of hardware without a real diagnosis—is not always the most cost-efficient.
Moving from this stance toward a more proactive one can change the budget equation. For example, newer hardware monitoring systems can streamline triage and automate trouble ticketing to reduce the support burden on data center staff. This provides direct savings and fosters an environment in which resources can be directed more mindfully.
Share and share alikeData centers are complex places, and many operators strive to have an in-house team member trained for every possible task. This can lead to unnecessarily high staffing costs.
Tapping outsourcing partners can access to expertise on an as-needed basis, without paying full- or even part-time salaries. It’s worth asking what data center monitoring, maintenance, and optimization tasks can be handed off to outside experts or even computers. With the rise of machine learning-based systems, for instance, you may not need the same number of administrators sifting the daily influx of network alerts as you did just a year ago.
It is vital to stay on top of innovations in data center architecture, systems, and practices, but many ICT executives will find the highest impact, lowest risk cost-saving opportunities reside in the more tried-and-true areas of hardware selection, monitoring, support, and optimization. These choices might not be as headline-grabbing as siting data centers under the sea or building the DCIM equivalent of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but they certainly are closer to home.
Authored by Paul Mercina, Director of Product Management at Park Place Technologies

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