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FIDO Alliance accelerates momentum in Europe in 1H 2018

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FIDO Alliance accelerates momentum in Europe in 1H 2018|

FIDO Alliance, the global member association developing specifications and an interoperable solutions ecosystem for simpler, stronger authentication, has accelerated momentum both in Europe and worldwide in 2018, five years since its launch, with a number of significant milestones, including:

Launch of FIDO2: In partnership with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), FIDO Alliance announced the achievement of a major standards milestone in the global effort to bring simpler yet stronger web authentication to users worldwide. The FIDO2 project, designed to bring FIDO authentication to billions of users through updated web browsers and device operating systems,  launched with committed browser support from Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox, and marks a significant step towards creating a web less reliant on passwords and making FIDO standards ubiquitous across all platforms. The FIDO Alliance enables users to securely access web services through browsers via a single gesture — such as touching a fingerprint sensor, looking at a camera or inserting a security key.

  • Amazon and Facebook join FIDO Board of Directors: For consumers, both security and ease of use are paramount. As a result, FIDO seeks companies that are defining the digital economy to join its board. The latest appointments, internet giants Amazon and Facebook, join other leading global technology, financial services and e-commerce board members in driving the Alliance’s strategic vision to reduce the world’s reliance on passwords with stronger, simpler authentication
  • GDPR: As detailed in a recently released white paper, FIDO standards were built with a “privacy by design” approach and are optimised for compliance with the new regulation, which came into force on May 25, 2018. With a wide range of FIDO(R) Certified products on the market, FIDO authentication represents the best way for organisations to implement stronger authentication that meets GDPR’s rigorous requirements, while at the same time, enhancing the user experience
  • Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) and solving the strong customer authentication challenge in Europe: Concerns among the European financial ecosystem around how to best comply with PSD2 range beyond simply meeting the security requirements; the costs, the impact of GDPR and overall customer experience also are important considerations. FIDO Authentication offers financial institutions scalable, standards-based solutions to the PSD2 Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) challenge in Europe. The consortium has been working to educate the market with whitepapers, a specialist webinar and other resources on the topic
  • European Working Group update: Launched in November 2017, the Group was established to help accelerate the use of FIDO authentication standards in Europe. Co-chaired by executives from Gemalto and ING, the Working Group has grown to its current composition of 22 member organisations and has helped inform FIDO’s positions on the aforementioned regulatory activities while also working to educate and engage the European marketplace

“With the recent arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) this week, European regulators are introducing a new era for privacy best practices that will influence the world at large,” said Brett McDowell, executive director of the FIDO Alliance. “Members of the FIDO Alliance have published this guideline as one of many activities designed to help educate businesses on the benefits of FIDO — today’s leading privacy and security best practice for strong customer authentication — easing regulatory compliance while improving the customer experience across Europe’s Digital Single Market.”

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs

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Bitcoin, ether hit fresh highs 1

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Bitcoin hit a fresh high in Asian trading on Saturday, extending a two-month rally that saw its market capitalisation cross $1 trillion a day earlier.

The world’s most popular cryptocurrency rose to an record $56,620, taking its weekly gain to 18%. It has surged more than 92% this year.

Bitcoin’s gains have been fuelled by evidence it is gaining acceptance among mainstream investors and companies, such as Tesla Inc, Mastercard Inc and BNY Mellon.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and daily volume, hit a record $2,040.62, for a weekly gain of about 12%.

Ether is the digital currency or token that facilitates transactions on the ethereum blockchain. In the crypto world, the terms ether and ethereum have become interchangeable.

Ether futures contracts launched on derivatives exchange CME earlier this month.

(Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan; Editing by William Mallard)

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers

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World Bank pushing for standard vaccine contracts, more disclosure from makers 2

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The World Bank is working to standardize COVID-19 vaccine contracts that countries are signing with drug makers, and is pushing manufacturers to be more open about where doses are headed, as it races to get more vaccines to poor countries, the bank’s president said on Friday.

World Bank President David Malpass told Reuters he expected the bank’s board to have approved $1.6 billion in vaccine funding for 12 countries, including the Philippines, Bangladesh, Tunisia and Ethiopia, by the end of March, with 30 more to follow shortly thereafter.

The bank is working with local governments to identify and fill gaps in distribution capacity, after they purchase vaccines under a $12 billion World Bank program, and also to standardize the contracts they are signing with manufacturers, he said.

The bank’s International Finance Corp, its private financing arm, has $4 billion to invest in expanding existing production plants or building new ones, including in developed countries, but needs more data on where current production is headed, he said.

“We are eager to be investing in new capacity, but it’s hard to do because you don’t know how much of the existing capacity is already committed to the various off-takers,” Malpass said in an interview with Reuters. New or expanded plants could be used to produce other types of vaccinations in the future, he said.

The bank’s funds could be used to expand plants in advanced economies, if the production was earmarked for developing nations, he said.

Malpass welcomed Friday’s pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries to intensify cooperation on the pandemic, saying it could help jump-start deliveries of vaccines to poorer countries, which are lagging far behind rich countries in getting shots in arms.

Data compiled by Our World In Data, a scientific online publication, showed Israel was leading the world in COVID-19 vaccinations, with nearly 82 of 100 people vaccinated, while India and Bangladesh reported less than one person per 100, Many African countries have not started at all.

Malpass said he was heartened by news about new vaccines coming down the road, and about Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE seeking permission to store their vaccine at higher temperatures, which would ease another obstacle to deliveries in lower-income countries.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Heather Timmons and Leslie Adler)

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion 3

By Paresh Dave

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google will evaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above on team diversity and inclusion starting this year, the company said on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about its treatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google’s ethical artificial intelligence research team, said in December that Google abruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity efforts and threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered a review of the situation. While Google declined to share specific findings, the company announced on Friday it will engage human resources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30% more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with a focus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the United States and female technical leaders globally. About 96% of Google’s U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73% globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expanded a commitment announced in June to devote more resources to retaining and promoting existing employees, including by expanding a team addressing disputes among workers and their managers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews was not previously announced, and the company did not immediately share details about what would be measured and how pay would be affected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholders and employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay to them.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for one such proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, “I am pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bare minimum that should have been easy to do immediately.”

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming more commonplace. McDonald’s Corp on Thursday tied executive bonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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