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modern-slavery-act-300x200According to research conducted by the International Labour Organisation, more than 40 million people worldwide were victims of modern slavery in 2016, and about 152 million children, aged between five and 17, were subject to child labour.

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Agile is emerging as the prevailing methodology for software development. According to the 12th Annual State of Agile Report, a survey conducted by VersionOne and published earlier this year, 97% of respondent organizations practice Agile development methods, while 52% reported that more than half of the development teams in their organizations are following Agile practices.

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iStock-513630618-digital-advertising-real-estate-300x200Digital advertising is exploding. In just the first six months of 2017 alone, internet advertising revenues exceeded $40 billion. Promoted ads are dominating social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and it is impossible to surf the internet or use mobile apps without having to watch or click through a myriad of dynamic ads to get to the underlying content. Why is this? Because digital advertising works.

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h1 visaOutsourcing service providers have long been in the practice of bringing highly skilled employees from India and other locations to work with local businesses within the United States. Outsourcers such as Wipro, TCS and Infosys are some the largest petitioners of H-1B visas, the high-skilled work visa favored by the tech industry. In order to bring the most value to customers, service providers largely rely on getting work visas for Indian tech workers so they can consult with U.S. businesses.

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smart buildingsAt a recent seminar discussion on smart buildings, I was reminded of the Mr. Robot episode where the general counsel of a multinational corporation, which is being targeted by a hacker group, has her futuristic apartment hacked. In case you haven’t been watching, Mr. Robot is USA Network’s psychological thriller about a young programmer who works as a cybersecurity engineer by day but by night is a vigilante hacker.

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iStock-871148930-machine-learning-ai-300x169Famously dramatized by the disembodied voice of HAL in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, artificial intelligence has been the subject of humanity’s existential angst for decades. Although Elon Musk warns that those fears may be justified, one of the biggest pushes for advancing artificial intelligence to-date has been to market it for purposes of day-to-day corporate efficiency. Nearly every IT vendor is seeking to make a name for their proprietary AI tool by offering AI as a Service to the majority of businesses who are not developing AI in-house, but who want to leverage the benefits of AI’s automated decision-making, data analytics and cost-savings. In the business context, AI has yet to pose the threat of refusing to “open the pod bay doors,” but customers are faced with the challenge of exposing the vendor’s AI to data amassed by their entire enterprise, thereby allowing the algorithms to learn from and evolve based on information that may be private, proprietary and heavily regulated. The most common solution to this conundrum is for customers to contract for ownership of all machine learning models, bots and other outputs that result from the AI’s presence in the customer’s environment and processing of customer data. But what are the implications of this “all for one” approach to ownership of the fruits of machine learning? What, if any, innovations in AI are lost when lessons learned are retained by a single entity?

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The long awaited and, one hopes, much prepared for new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are just a few short months away from becoming law. To help companies look at the practical steps they need to take now in order to be ready, Pillsbury will be presenting “#ReadyforGDPR?” on February 20 from Noon – 1:00pm EST. We will discuss how these new laws will significantly impact companies doing business in Europe, even those without a physical EU presence, and the latest feedback from enforcers as to what will trigger fines. We hope you can join!

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Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) matter?

“AI is probably the most important thing humanity has ever worked on. I think of it as something more profound than electricity or fire.”

—Sundar Pichai, Google CEO

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Oracle recently published a policy document entitled Licensing Oracle Software in the Cloud Computing Environment” which sets out specific requirements on customers when licensing various Oracle programs and using them in the following cloud computing environments:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

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Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (a.k.a. the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR) will, as most business people are probably aware of by now, come into force across the EU on 25 May 2018.

This will be the case in the UK (notwithstanding Brexit) and every other member state, since EU regulations have direct applicability. In other words, they do not need an act of parliament in the member state to make them into law. By contrast, EU directives are not directly applicable. When passed they still need legislation to be passed before they become part of national law. The current regime of the 1995 Data Protection Directive, and the UK’s Data Protection Act of 1998, both of which are due to be replaced next year, are good examples of this.

To complete the picture, from a UK regulatory perspective, in terms of what is changing, the government has introduced a Data Protection Bill which is currently passing through parliament. The Bill does not replace GDPR in the UK. Instead it seeks to make the UK’s own data protection laws “fit for purpose” in a digital age, replacing 1998 Act and, amongst other things, implementing the “GDPR standards across all general data processing”.