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Coronavirus: Public Health Wales publishes 18,000 test results by mistake

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The information was online for 20 hours before being taken down

The details of more than 18,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus were published online by mistake by Public Health Wales.

The health body said the data of 18,105 Welsh residents was viewable online for 20 hours on 30 August.

Most cases gave initials, date of birth, geographical area and sex, meaning the risk of identification was low, Public Health Wales (PHW) said.

However 1,928 people in living in communal settings were more at risk.

Nursing home residents or those living in supported housing also had the name of their place of residence published, meaning the risk, while still considered low, was higher.

The incident was the result of “individual human error” when the information was uploaded to a public server searchable by anyone using the site.

PHW said the information had been viewed 56 times before it was removed but there was no evidence so far that the data had been misused.

What is Public Health Wales doing about the data breach?

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Anyone with concerns can contact Public Health Wales for help

Chief executive Tracey Cooper

Official feed of BBC News, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, it is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees.

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Broadband: Old TV caused village broadband outages for 18 months

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Switching off the problem television fixed the issue for Aberhosan villagers, Openreach says

Engineers have solved a mystery which left villagers with broadband problems for 18 months.

Connectivity could be poor along with slow speeds from 07:00, causing issues for households trying to get online.

Openreach engineers replaced cables at Aberhosan, Powys, but it did not fix the problem so they had to think again.

They then switched to a monitoring device and found the fault was due to electrical interference emitted by a householder’s second-hand television.

The owner, who does not want to be identified, was “mortified” to find out their old TV was causing the problem, according to Openreach.

“They immediately agreed to switch it off and not use again,” said engineer Michael Jones.

Engineers walked around the village with a monitor called a spectrum analyser to try to find any “electrical noise” to help pinpoint the problem.

“At 7am, like clockwork, it happened,” said Mr Jones.

“Our device picked up a large burst of electrical interference in the village.

“It turned out that at 7am every morning the occupant would switch on their old TV which would, in-turn, knock out broadband for t

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‘Lack of investment’ behind snarled-up legal system

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Many think the courts system needs to invest more in technology

When Louise Westra and her partner decided to adopt a child in November 2018, they were aware of the long process that was ahead of them, but they were not to know that the coronavirus pandemic would hold them back from completing the adoption of their son.

On 27 March, their petition was due in court. As lockdown had taken effect, telephone conferencing would be used instead of going to court.

However, after the phone call, Ms Westra received an email from her solicitor explaining that the papers had not been served to the biological parents of the child. This continued every month after lockdown, as it wasn’t possible for the papers to be physically served.

“It’s farcical because one of them is the biological father who lives with the biological mother who has had her petition but the biological father hasn’t and they live in the same premises,” Ms Westra says.

Serving papers has to be completed by post via Royal Mail or in some cases lawyers would instruct a process server to physically take the papers and hand them to the person.

“It sounds very archaic but if [the person] won’t take them by hand, the processor has to touch them on the shoulders and drop the papers at their feet and that’s technically counted as full service,” says Rebecca Ranson, a solicitor for Maguire Family Law.

E-mailing or any other forms of digital communication are not considered valid – even though the majority of people in the UK have access to e-mail and the internet. It is this kind of process, in need of a digital upgrade, that is frustrating for Ms Westra.

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Louise Westra got stuck in a “farcical” legal loop

Ms Westra’s case is one of many that have been delayed. The number of outstanding Crown court cases was 43,676 on 26 July, and the entire backlog across magistrates’ and Crown courts is more than 560,000. The Commons Justice Committee has announced an inquiry into how these delays could be addressed.

The reality, however, is that there was already a huge backlog back in December, and Covid-19 has just exacerbated an existing problem. Cases like Ms Westra’s have been affected by the pandemic, but many lawyers believe that the legal system could have been better prepared through technology investment over the years.

“We’ve got people being held for longer than they otherwise would be, and for every person in custody waiting for trial or waiting on bail for trial, there are witnesses, and complainants and their families awaiting a resolution. Whether it’s the lack of technology links in prison, using Skype and improvising or not having enough Nightingale courts – it all boils down to a lack of investment,” says Joanna Hardy, a London-based barrister.

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In 2016 HM Courts & Tribunals Service began a £1bn court reform programme. This included a video-conferencing tool called the Cloud Video Platform (CVP), which allows for a dedicated private conference area, so criminal lawyers can speak to their clients without visiting prison.

A programme for testing and adopting video technology was planned out until 2022, but in the pandemic, the government had to get CVP up and running in 10 weeks. This has since been extended to civil courts. But this implementation has been challenging, as there are only a restricted number of physical video links allowed.

“As we weren’t ready for this huge technolo

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Microsoft buys Fallout creator Bethesda for $7.5bn

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Xbox-owner Microsoft has acquired the games company behind blockbuster titles including Doom, Fallout, Skyrim and Wolfenstein.

It is paying $7.5bn (£5.85bn) for Bethesda’s parent ZeniMax Media.

Xbox has said that the publisher’s franchises would be added to its Game Pass subscription package for consoles and PCs.

This could help make the forthcoming Xbox Series X more attractive than the PlayStation 5 to some players.

Both machines are due to launch in November.

Game Pass already gives players access to more than 200 games. Microsoft includes first-party titles at point of launch to those signed up to its “ultimate” package without further cost.

By contrast, Sony has opted to charge players up to £70 for its own major releases and does not intend to include new titles in its PlayStation Plus Collection service.

It is not yet clear how the takeover affects Bethesda’s plans to create The Elder Scrolls 6, Starfield and other unfinished games as cross-platform titles.

In a statement, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said the two firms “shared similar visions for the

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