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‘Nuggets’ seeks to ensure online security by keeping it in-hand

By PATRICK STEPHENSON, BRUSSELS – In October, the US-based credit reporting agency Equifax revealed that hackers had penetrated the company’s databases and stolen the private information of over 145 million people. Looted identity data included the “big four” personal security identifiers of name, address, birth date, and social security numbers. These four identifiers together constitute the basis for most personal consumer transactions, online or off. According to the Chicago Tribune, cyber-criminals have already begun using the stolen info to take out credit cards, mortgages, and student loans. Many now wonder if keeping such vital personal data inside vast corporate ‘silos’ is a good idea in the first place. Shouldn’t consumers make purchases, or take out loans, without allowing companies to hold on to their personal data? One company hopes to change the way that consumers interact with online retailers by using…

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Tough political talks lie ahead between European Parliament and Council over rules and financing of EU’s future defence fund

By BROOKS TIGNER, BRUSSELS – The European Commission’s June 2017 proposal to create a European Defence Fund splits into two parts: a defence research “window” and one for capability development known as the European Defence Industrial Development Programme, or EDIDP. The latter would enable the EU to co-finance with national governments the pre-acquisition costs of testing, prototyping and demonstration for developing defence and dual-use capabilities. While few policymakers contest the research window’s rules and proposed budget of EUR 500 million per year starting in 2021, there are growing concerns within the European Parliament about the fairness of the EDIDP’s tentative structure and, moreover, how to fund its preliminary two-year budget of 500 million euros for 2019-2020. At issue are...