Welcome once again to – 5-For-Friday – your weekly tech news roundup.
1. A former adviser to Barack Obama to head UK tech panel.
The UK is set to hire Obama’s chief economic adviser to head up a committee, examining competition in the UK’s technology sector.
As the UK government prepares our exit from the European Union, the panel will look at whether our society is benefiting from technological progress.
The panel will run from September 2018 through to early 2019 before publishing a report of recommendation to the government. Just in time for Brexit day!
2. Cybersecurity startup Hazy raises a further $1.8m.
UK Tech News reported how London-based AI company Hazy – which enables GDPR-compliant data sharing – raised £340,000 in start-up funding in January this year.
Hazy has now gone on to raise $2.8m in total funding following a $1m cash injection from M12 and Notion in May.
With more and more tech business obtaining funding, it’s an exciting time for UK Tech – an industry prime for plentiful investment.
3. Facebook starts charging WhatsApp business users.
Facebook seems to make it into every 5-for-Friday.
This week, Zuckerburg Inc. is reported to be launching a pay-to-use model which will allow businesses to communicate with their customers via their WhatsApp chat messenger platform.
The move will allow Facebook to make money from WhatsApp, which has lacked a revenue stream since dropping subscription fees.
4. UK banks aren’t using tech to secure transactions.
The UK’s biggest banks – including TSB, HSBC, and Nationwide Building Society – aren’t using current web technologies to help ensure online banking transactions are secure – as reported on Wired.
In total, 14 banks allow people to access their websites with browsers using old and potentially insecure versions of encryption.
The results come following an assessment of 25 UK banks and building societies by Swansea University computer science student Edward Wall.
5. Ofcom study reveals the extent of our mobile and tech addiction.
A recent Ofcom report has confirmed that approximately 75% of the UK population now own smartphones, and on the average user checks their smartphone every 12 minutes.
It also revealed that the number of calls made using smartphones has dropped, showing a shift in the generational use of the technology – with the rise of free messenger apps like WhatsApp, iMessage and the bundled free texts as opposed to the cost per-message a decade ago.
Just over half of adults say they are usually on their phone while watching television with others, with older generations saying this is unacceptable.
That’s all from us. Until next week. Have a great weekend!
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