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GDPR: Catalyst for change

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What makes your business tick? Changes to sales volumes, the latest gadgets, or the information customers exchange with you?

Well, brace yourself: the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will help to enforce some big commercial reprioritisations. Manny organisations are already ahead of the game, reconfiguring structures and preconceptions to embrace what many see as a powerful initiative for raising digital standards and upholding citizens’ data rights. Those treating the process as a perfunctory box-tick exercise face a decidedly less assured future.

It is easy to become mired in perceived regulatory impediments, blindly chasing compliance without heeding the bigger picture. Today’s tech-conscious consumers only want to work with the most trustworthy data handlers, and the GDPR allows them to call the shots louder and with more influence than ever before.

The GDPR is about taking ownership and showing responsibility. It elevates personal data protection as a strategic priority for organisations working with EU residents. It requires businesses to be transparent, fair and lawful. It also mandates a culture in which data privacy and security form a central part of the customer relationship.

The race for credibility

Businesses can no longer shun data transparency and accountability responsibilities when processing customer data. At every hierarchical juncture, they must be assiduous and empathetic to the trust customers place in them, as well as their duty to mitigate against an increasingly complex cybersecurity threat landscape.

Training programmes should already be in full swing, ensuring data privacy nuances are grasped and staff understands their role in keeping both their personal and customer data safe. This should be supported by substantive policies concerning data handling and customer interaction.

Sustained credibility is difficult to achieve but can ultimately serve as a launch pad for better service innovation and profit.

Mind the step-change: the GDPR’s privacy and security requirements

The GDPR is an opportunity for organisations to do better. It is a powerful prompt to forensically assess all extant data governance, collection and processing legalities, security technologies and policies. Modifications and improvements in line with the GDPR are clearly a positive step to promote notions of privacy and security by design throughout the business. Responsible data conduct is surely set to become one of the most coveted badges of corporate honour in the coming years.

While the GDPR is an evolutionary journey requiring all manner of cultural change, the key ‘must-dos’ remain the same. Organisations need to investigate the automation of technical controls and ensure they have alerts in place for attempted breaches. Remember, a breach encompasses both unauthorised access and inappropriate access, modification or loss. Meanwhile, establishing a legally compliant data inventory and governance model will help achieve the right level of protection. Wherever possible, this should include the anonymisation, pseudonymization, and encryption of data.

From a privacy perspective, data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) can help identify, assess and mitigate or miniArthur,mise privacy risks. These are particularly relevant when a new data processing system or technology is introduced. Interestingly, GDPR mandates the use of DPIAs by data controllers where there is a ‘high risk’ to a data subject. This includes the processing of sensitive data or anything systematically monitoring individuals that could result in legal or detrimental harm to the individual.

A good rule or mantra is to treat GDPR as a positive initiative and an empowering force for change. It is essential that organisations, from shop floor to boardroom, aspire to become impeccable data stewards – not just because of new legislation, but because it simply makes commercial sense. Getting ticked off for non-compliance is no excuse – the adoption of a sustainable data privacy policy and integrated security solutions can make you best-in-class and really keep pace with the times.

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Huawei Mate 20 unveils ‘higher intelligence’

The new Mate 20 series, launching in South Africa today, includes a 7.2″ handset, and promises improved AI.

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Huawei Consumer Business Group today launches the Huawei Mate 20 Series in South Africa.

The phones are powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date, the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the 7nm process, incorporating the Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU, the SoC offers improved performance and, according to Huawei, “an unprecedented smooth user experience”.

The new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with improved battery life. A Matrix Camera System includes a  Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users see both wider and closer, with a new macro distance capability. The camera system adopts a Four-Point Design that gives the device a distinct visual identity.

The Mate 20 Series is available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, across four devices: Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. They ship with the customisable Android P-based EMUI 9 operating system.

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, at the global launch in London last week. “The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance.”

The SoC fits 6.9 billion transistors within a die the size of a fingernail. Compared to Kirin 970, the latest chipset is equipped with a CPU that is claimed to be 75 percent more powerful, a GPU that is 46 percent more powerful and an NPU (neural processing unit) that is 226 percent more powerful. The efficiency of the components has also been elevated: the CPU is claimed to be 58 percent more efficient, the GPU 178 percent more efficient, and the NPU 182 percent more efficient. The Kirin 980 is the world’s first commercial SoC to use the Cortex-A76-based cores.

Huawei has designed a three-tier architecture that consists of two ultra-large cores, two large cores and four small cores. This allows the CPU to allocate the optimal amount of resources to heavy, medium and light tasks for greater efficiency, improving the performance of the SoC while enhancing battery life. The Kirin 980 is also the industry’s first SoC to be equipped with Dual-NPU, giving it higher On-Device AI processing capability to support AI applications.

Read more about the Mate 20 Pro’s connectivity, battery and camera on the next page. 

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Epic Games brings a
Nite-mare to Android

Epic Games’ decision to not publish games through Google Play inadvertently opens a market to Android virus makers, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, decided to take the high road by skipping Google Play’s app distribution market and placing a third-party installer for its games on its website. While this is technically fine, it is not recommended for the average user, because allowing third-party installers on one’s smartphone opens up the possibility of non-signed and malicious software to be run on the smartphone. 

In June, malware researchers at ESET warned Android gamers that malicious fake versions of the Fortnite app had been created to steal personal information or damage smartphones. A malware researcher demonstrated how the fake applications works in the Tweet below.

While the decision to bypass Google Play was a bold move on Epic Games’ part, it has been a long time coming for app developers to move their premium apps off Google’s Play Store. The two major app distributors, Google Play and Apple’s App Store, take a 30% cut of every purchase made through their app distribution platforms. 

The App Store is currently the only way to get apps on a non-modified iOS device, which is why Epic Games had no choice for Fortnite to be in the App Store. On the other hand, Android phones can install packages downloaded through the browser, which makes the Play Store almost unnecessary for the gaming company. 

The most interesting part of this development is that Google is not the “bad guy” and Epic Games is no saviour to other game developers. Epic Games is a company with a multi-billion dollar valuation and has resources like large-scale servers to distribute and update its games, a big marketing budget to ensure everyone knows how to get its games, and server security to protect against malware. 

Resources of this scale allow the game company to turn a cold shoulder to Google’s Play Store distribution and focus on its own, in-house solution. 

That said, installing packages without the Google Play Store must be done carefully, and it is essential to do homework on where a package is downloaded. Moreover, when a package is installed outside of the Google Play Store, a security switch to block the installation of third party apps must be turned off. This switch should be turned back on immediately after the third party package is installed. 

This complex amount of steps makes it less worthwhile to install third party apps, in favour of rather waiting for them to reach the Play Store.

From a consumer perspective, ESET recommends not installing packages outside of the Google Play Store and to ignore advertisements to download the game from other sources.

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