#TechTop3 – Our top three tech stories of the week

By November 28, 2014EU insight

By the London technology team

Labour MEP calls online privacy ‘a human right’

London MEP Claude Moraes (Labour/S&D) gave a lecture to the LSE calling digital privacy “the new frontier of human rights”. Moraes, chair of the European Parliament’s influential Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee. The lecture preceded a big week for the on-going privacy and surveillance debate, with a new Bill on IP matching and social media firms being criticised by two committees of MPs. 

Moraes said calls for increased surveillance were ‘knee jerk’ reactions to events, and sent signals that the European Parliament may try and make the new Data Protection Regulation even more privacy centric than anticipated. Given the role the LIBE Committee in EU policy making, British policy makers should take note as data protection law in the UK stems from Europe.

Natasha Lomas wrote on the speech for TechCrunch.

BT to buy O2 or EE? Not if Three has anything to do with it

On Monday the exciting, though somewhat déja-vu like, news broke that BT is in talks with Telefonica to buy O2. The move would reverse what is widely regarded as one of the worst strategic errors in corporate history –selling off O2 to Telefonica in 2001. EE then confirmed on Wednesday that they were discussing a possible take-over by the UK company, prompting BT’s share price to jump substantially.

To complicate matters even further in the world of mobile network operator mergers, reports emerged on Thursday stating that Hutchison Whampoa, the owners of 3 Group are also preparing a bid for either EE or O2.

It will be fascinating to see how this bidding war is resolved, but it is clear that it is highly likely that we will soon see significant changes in the UK’s mobile market.

The story received good coverage by Matt Brian of Engadget.

Digital Government Review published

In March of this year, Chi Onwurah MP, the shadow minister for digital government, cyber-security and social enterprise, asked an independent expert advisory board to conduct a review of digital government. The review’s purpose was to set out clear goals for a digital agenda that would improve services and empower citizens whilst being efficient and cost effective.

The final report of that review has now been published. It has a strong focus on digital inclusion and makes 35 recommendations to “make digital government work for everyone”. Many of the recommendations will be considered as a submission to Labour’s policy discussions ahead of next year’s General Election.

The BBC picked up on Labour’s pledge to conduct a thorough “digital data review” and Computer World’s Charlotte Jee produced an interactive run-down of the key recommendations.