IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 25 February
DPC personal data complaints increase | Hanafin denies copyright legislation move
The Irish Times reports that the number of complaints from people seeking access to personal information held on them increased last year, with many people concerned about potential or actual dismissal from their jobs. Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes said the top item for complaints to his office in 2010 was about failure to respond adequately to requests for access to personal data. His office opened 783 formal complaints last year, of which 39 percent related to people seeking access to their personal data.
The paper also says that Caribbean mobile operator Digicel posted a 32 percent rise in revenues in the quarter ended 31 December 2010. Revenues at Digicel Group Ltd, which covers 30 markets across the Caribbean, El Salvador and the Pacific, reached USD580 million in its fiscal third quarter. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation also rose 32 percent year-on-year to a record high of USD240 million.
The paper also reports that Minister for Enterprise Mary Hanafin has moved to quash rumours that she was planning to rush through a statutory instrument relating to copyright issues before leaving office. Earlier, former minister for communications Eamon Ryan said he believed a "new law on internet downloads" was awaiting Hanafin's signature. "It looks like they're legislating for the 'three strikes and you're out rule' in the last days of the administration," he said. However, in a statement, Hanafin said there was no question that she would rush through legislative changes. "There is absolutely no truth in the rumour circulating in the media that I am about to sign a statutory instrument relating to the Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 and/or the EU Copyright Directive 2001," she said.
The same paper says that Irish-based games developer Havok has established a new research and development office in Copenhagen, to focus on its gaming physics engine. The company said the move would allow it to access talent that is difficult to find in Dublin. The operation will be headed by industry veteran Thomas Jakobsen and will build on work already being done in the company's Irish headquarters. In a separate development, Havok announced a partnership with Sony that will see its technology being adapted for the company's "next generation portable" console.
The paper also notes that Apple has released its new line-up of Macbook Pro notebook computers, which will run twice as fast as the previous generation and feature a high-definition video camera and improved graphics.
The same paper notes that networking giant Cisco has announced it is investing nearly EUR500,000 in the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway. The primary research will enable Cisco to make further developments to its social networking and collaboration platform for large businesses, Cisco Quad.
The Irish Independent says that Duncan Lewis is leaving Vislink after a little more than two years at the helm of the Dublin-based closed circuit TV systems firm. Lewis will retire from Vislink at the end of next month after what he termed the "vicissitudes" of restructuring the company. He will be replaced on a temporary basis by John Hawkins, who is due to become chairman in May.
The Irish Examiner reports that France Telecom has said it sees a drop in profit margins this year as it gears up for a new rival in its home market in 2012. France's largest telecoms firm, which reported 2010 profit slightly better than analyst expectations, said it sees a 1 percentage point slide in 2011 margins for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation. The company is looking to guard market share and margins at home, where Iliad will start offering mobile services next year.
The Wall Street Journal reports that News Corp's efforts to sell MySpace are advancing, as bankers Allen & Co this week begin to schedule meetings with potential buyers, according to sources. The meetings, which will give interested buyers a detailed look at the company's financials for the first time, will be scheduled for early to mid March. A person familiar with the matter said around 20 companies, some of them financial firms, have expressed interest in a deal. It's possible additional parties will emerge over the coming weeks.