Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

This is your weekly round-up of the top tech news stories.

Every Friday, Silicon UK surveys the week’s tech news.

Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your industry or sector.

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.


Welcome to Silicon UK Pulse

I’m James Marriott with all the big technology news from the last week.

The UK government has urged Meta not to roll out end-to-end encryption on Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Ministers want the firm to prioritise safety measures to protect children from sexual abuse – linked to the controversial Online Safety Bill.

Meta already has end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp – first introduced back in 2016,

Speaking of the Online Safety Bill…

It is set to officially become ‘law’ after clearing major hurdles this week.

It was passed in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords today.

The aim is to protect children by forcing the removal of “harmful” online content from social media platforms.

But it has been met with dismay by the platforms, some of whom threatened to withdraw from the UK entirely.

Thousands of details, including police officers’ names and photos, are thought to be at risk after a data breach.

We reported a few weeks back about the ransomware attack on a firm in Stockport which makes ID cards for police staff and other high-profile workers.

Officers held a public meeting this week and admitted some 20,000 details could have been compromised.

“Several” forces and government departments have been affected.

Google Bard is expanding.

Alphabet’s AI tool – similar to Chat GPT – is being connected to the full suite of tools, including Google Docs, Gmail and YouTube.

Bard was introduced back in March.

Meanwhile, Google has become a final attempt to avoid having to pay a huge fine for alleged market abuse of its online shopping service.

The European Commission fined it 2.42 billion Euros back in 2017 after it ruled that Google had thwarted rivals of its shopping comparison service.

It did appeal in 2020 but lost – and this week began its last-ditch effort to overturn the fine, at Europe’s top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union.

X could be moved behind a paywall, according to owner Elon Musk.

He says the platform formerly known as Twitter will move to a monthly subscription charge in the future.

Of course, it already has a paid-for premium service called Blue – but that’s optional.

The revelation came during an in-person conversation broadcast live on Monday afternoon between Musk and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

TikTok has been handed a huge fine in Ireland.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has levelled the largest fine to date for the Chinese-owned video-sharing platform.

It ruled there had been a breach of GDPR child privacy laws between 31 July 2020 and 31 December 2020 and fined the firm 345 million euros (£297 million).

Last week we were talking about new iPhones – this week, it’s all about software, with the release of iOS17.

It adds new features to some of the most commonly used apps, and it also includes a standby mode that turns an iPhone into a bedside smart display similar to a traditional alarm clock.

It also includes easier file sharing with AirDrop, improved typing options and interactive widgets for the home screen.

It works on iPhone X handsets or later.

In the US – parents whose children purchased items in the Fortnite game without permission are being given refunds.

The US regulator said the game tricked players into buying things they didn’t mean to.

Fortnite developer Epic Games agreed to pay $245m (£198m) in refunds in 2022 – and that process was launched this week.

The end is nigh for some of the UK’s 3G networks.

BT and EE are to switch off their 3G transmitters starting in January 2024 – and due to take just a couple of months.

Vodafone has already announced plans to do the same.

And robots delivering your shopping? It’s happening!

The Co-op’s robot grocery delivery service in Greater Manchester is expanding after a successful trial.

They’ve been running in Sale for a few months and now are moving into another couple of areas too.

Some 57,000 deliveries have been made to local people, many of whom are disabled or housebound.

That’s the latest from Silicon UK Pulse – for more tech news and features, head to silicon.co.uk

David Howell

Dave Howell is a freelance journalist and writer. His work has appeared across the national press and in industry-leading magazines and websites. He specialises in technology and business. Read more about Dave on his website: Nexus Publishing. https://www.nexuspublishing.co.uk.

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