This Week In Tech And Telco: More Data Misuse
Hey there, welcome back to this week in tech and telco. Here’s what you need to know before you head off for the weekend. 👇
- This is big news in the telco space that everyone should be aware of.
In a move that will completely reshape the data center landscape, Digital Realty Trust, one of the largest data center operators in the US is to acquire Interxion for $8.4 billion.
This will give Digital Realty a huge boost globally, thanks to Interxion’s European presence and its interconnection capabilities linking Europe to Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
DRT has about 200 data centers, mostly in the US, while Interxion is a major European player, with 53 data centers across Europe, including London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam.
According to revelations by The Wall Street Journal, Google has a secret division that collects health data from millions of Americans through a partnership with Ascension, one of the largest healthcare providers in the US.
Now known as Project Nightingale, patients and doctors alike were not informed of the scheme, which shares lab results, doctor diagnoses, hospitalization records, and more. Data is compiled into a complete health history that is connected to a patient’s name and date of birth and is accessible by Google staff.
A whistleblower who works in Project Nightingale released a video on the social media platform Daily Motion containing a document dump of confidential files.
They introduce the video by saying: “I must speak out about the things that are going on behind the scenes.”
Security researchers have found 11 design vulnerabilities with 5G protocols that could expose a user’s data, despite widespread claims 5G would bring added security.
Hackers exploiting the vulnerabilities would be able to access location data, send spoof emergency alerts, track phone activity such as calls, texts, or web browsing, and silently disconnect the phone from the network altogether.
The vulnerabilities were found using a tool built by the researchers, 5GReasoner. They then used it to identify five further vulnerabilities carried over from 3G and 4G.
The findings have been sent to GSMA, the mobile network standards body, which has said it is working on fixes.
Instagram will begin testing the removal of public ‘like’ counts in the US this week, following similar tests in Canada, Australia, Japan, Italy, and Brazil.
It’s hoped the move will cut down on scorekeeping and discourage harassment, however, it could have a large impact on both social media businesses and brands that rely on such features.
Similar adjustments are being made across other social networks. Twitter is deploying a range of tests aimed at motivating users to engage positively on the platform, YouTube has given itself greater power to remove accounts causing harm and Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, also tested the removal of some ‘likes’.
We’re currently at AfricaCom!
Because Radial Path has been at AfricaCom this week, we’ve decided to do a one-off rundown of news from the region. Connecting Africa has been a large task for telco, with much of the industry still emerging, so it’s definitely something to keep tabs on. Here are some snippets from the week’s news:
Here’s the latest regarding African connectivity:
- Orange plans to build a new international backbone network in West Africa, which will connect to the rest of the world and link up to all the main capital cities in the region. (Light Reading)
- From Cape to Cairo, Liquid Telecom has now linked the east and west coasts of Africa to its superfast internet network following a new high-capacity fiber link running across the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Forbes)
- Africa Data Centres has announced an extended partnership with China Telecom Global through the deployment of a China Telecom PoP at a data center in South Africa. (Data Economy)
- Connecting Africa is an ongoing challenge for anyone in the telecoms industry, but where do you find the $435 billion to plug the holes? Asks Jamie Davies. (Telecoms)
- Airtel Africa PLC subsidiary Airtel Networks Ltd has signed a deal with Intercellular Nigeria Ltd to buy an additional 10 megahertz spectrum in the 900 MHz band in Nigeria for USD70 million. (LSE)
Other tech stories we’re reading:
- Tesla's new Gigafactory battery facility will be built in Berlin, Germany, instead of the UK, a decision the Elon Musk blames on Brexit uncertainty. (Auto Express)
- Microsoft will apply The California Consumer Privacy Act, which comes into force 1 January 2020, to all American consumers. (Microsoft)
- Twitter has drafted a deepfake policy that would warn users about “manipulated media” like photos, videos, and audio, but not remove such content. (Tech Crunch)
- Will consumers ever get on board with smart glasses? Many tech companies have tried and failed at launching glasses. But Microsoft, Snap, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon are all working on wearable computers for faces that may replace phones. (CNBC)
- According to China News, China has officially started working on 6G technology research and development. The country has just switched on its 5G network. (China News)