Friday Five: New law to protect security of smart devices

Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. New law to protect security of smart devices

The government has introduced new legislation to protect smart devices in people’s homes from being hacked. Recent research from Which? suggested homes filled with smart devices could be exposed to 12,000 attacks a week. Default passwords for smart devices will be banned, with non-compliant firms facing huge fines.

Cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting smart products from home speakers to dishwashers. Hackers who can access one vulnerable device can go on to access entire home networks and steal personal data. The rules apply not just to the makers of digital products, but also to businesses which sell cheap tech imports in the UK.

2. Apple’s digital driver’s licence delayed to 2022

Apple’s digital driver’s licence/ID feature won’t be coming until “early 2022”, according to an update to Apple’s iOS 15 page. Originally announced at WWDC 2021, Apple says that the feature — originally slated for late 2021 — will let you use its Wallet app to store your digital identification for use at airport security checkpoints.

This feature is only for US users at the moment, with Arizona and Georgia the first states to let their citizens to add their licences to their phones. But you’d expect that if it proves successful (and secure), it will make its way to the UK (although more as a way of proving ID than for travel, as Brits take far fewer internal flights).

3. How resignations can lead to opportunities

When Microsoft surveyed over 30,000 global workers, it revealed that 41% were considering quitting or changing professions this year. Dubbed the “Great Resignation”, it’s become one of the biggest consequences of the pandemic. But the truth is, if invested in properly, resignations can be extremely positive.

In this Management Today article, Lauren Coe, associate director EX strategy at Cognizant, explains the three things employers should do when an employee resigns that can lead to tremendous opportunities in understanding your workforce, to create life-long brand ambassadors and maintain relationships with your future talent.

4. Amazon workers plan Black Friday protests

Amazon workers in 20 countries — including the UK and US — are planning protests and work stoppages on Black Friday — one of Amazon’s busiest all year. The Make Amazon Pay group says: “Amazon takes too much and gives back too little.” It is backed by a coalition of labour groups, trade unions and grassroots campaigns.

No UK Amazon warehouses are unionised, so many employees will be working on the day, with the campaign groups staging protests at Amazon buildings around the country and its London HQ. But strikes are being encouraged in Germany, while worldwide, nearly 50 organisations have signed up to a list of “common demands”.

5. Token effort blocked by author’s estate

Lord of the Rings creator JRR Tolkien’s estate has successfully blocked a crypto-currency called JRR Token. Lawyers for the estate said the product infringed the author’s trademark. Websites selling and promoting the currency, jrrtoken.com and thetokenofpower.com, featured rings, hobbits and a wizard like Gandalf.

The US-based developer tried to claim that JRR stood for “Journey through Risk to Reward”, rather than being designed to mislead people into thinking it had a legitimate connection with the author. Unsurprisingly, this claim was dismissed. The developer had to pay the estate’s legal costs, which lawyers said were “significant”.

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