Information Commissioner demands WhatsApp does not send UK user data to US 

  • The UK’s data regulator is writing to WhatsApp to demand that the chat app does not hand user data to Facebook, as millions worldwide continue to sign up for alternative apps such as Signal and Telegram to avoid forthcoming changes to its terms of service
  • Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, told a parliamentary committee that in 2017, WhatsApp had committed not to hand any user information over to Facebook until it could prove that doing so respected GDPR
  • But, she said, that agreement was enforced by the Irish data protection authority until the Brexit transition period ended on 1 January
  • Now that Britain is fully outside the EU, ensuring that those promises are being kept falls to the Information Commissioner’s Office
  • For the full story, select here
  • For more information on WhatsApp’s latest privacy changes, read our recent article here

Details of online sex offender emerge in court

  • A man who engaged underage girls online in sexualised conversations was caught by online vigilantes, a court has heard
  • The man, aged 34, was chatting on Facebook to girls who were aged 9 to 14,  but who were in fact decoys, set up by seven different groups aiming to protect children 
  • Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that the offender asked some of the girls to send him indecent photos of themselves or watch him performing an indecent act
  • He said the most serious offence was when he engaged in sexual conversations with a girl he thought was nine.
  • The alleged offences took place over a three-month period between June and August 2019 and the offender was arrested after one of the paedophile hunter groups confronted him at his home and contacted police
  • For the full story, select here

NHS issue warning after new vaccine scam emerges 

  • The NHS has warned people to be vigilant about fake invitations to have the coronavirus vaccination, sent by scammers
  • The scam email includes a link to “register” for the vaccine, but no registration for the real vaccination is required
  • The fake site also asks for bank details either to verify identification or to make a payment
  • The NHS says it would never ask for bank details, and the vaccine is free
  • Cyber-security consultant Daniel Card told BBC News that traffic data indicates thousands of people had clicked the link to the fake site – although it is unclear how many then filled in the form
  • For the full story, select here
  • Covid lockdowns have seen a rise in fraud throughout the UK and online. For information on a type of scam called whaling, select here

Schools Minister states reopening of schools is top priority

  • Schools in England will reopen “as soon as possible”, Schools Minister Nick Gibb has told the Commons
  • Mr Gibb said the government would “prioritise the reopening of schools as we begin the process of lifting lockdown restrictions”
  • He was responding to an urgent question brought by Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green on schools reopening
  • Ms Green said the government had “failed to give parents, children and staff the credible plan they deserve”
  • For the full story, select here