Week Ending: February 1st - A Roundup in I.T. & Tech News

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January is over! Well done, you made it! Notoriously the toughest month of the year was capped off with snow for large parts of the UK. Now, let’s see what the final week of the month had to offer in terms of I.T. and technology news.

Concerns over privacy due to Facebook merge plans

Facebook plans to merge its messaging platforms on Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram in 2020 raising concerns over user’s privacy once again. The social media giant confirmed that it plans to merge the messaging infrastructure of all the apps to create "the best messaging experiences" for its users.

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have offered reassurances that the integration would mean a messaging platform that is private and end-to-end encrypted. Data experts however warn it could impact people’s privacy especially given Facebook’s recent questionable history.

Privacy expert Tim McKay spoke to the Independent, commenting: “Merging personal information and privacy configuration from three significant applications won’t be trivial. Facebook development teams would do well to look at this precedent and prioritise user privacy.”

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has called for an urgent briefing on this topic in order to assess how the proposals will align with GDPR rules.

Kwik Fit hit by malware

Another week and another I.T. problem for a large UK business - this time, car service specialist, Kwik Fit. The company confirmed that its computer network had been infected with malware, meaning that it was unable to handle customer requests and book in vehicle repairs.

A spokeswoman commented: “We first experienced some issues with a virus in our IT network during the weekend."

"This affected a number of our systems but in the interest of ongoing security we can’t confirm the source of the problem."

"We have been working to get our operational systems back up and running normally and while there is still some disruption, our centres are open as usual."

Read the full story via IT Pro.

A look into Google’s Brain Team

Finally, BBC had an interesting, behind the scenes look at the inner workings of Google’s Brain Team this week.

Responsible for leading a department crucial to the future of Google, the BBC spoke with Jeff Dean, Head of Artificial Intelligence in an interview which talked about everything from AI and its future to how ‘space rays’ made Google’s search engine malfunction.

It’s a truly fascinating piece for anyone who works in I.T. and tech. Peek behind the curtain here.

Those were some of this week’s top stories but if you want more content, follow us across our four social media channels: