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EU steps up WTO action against China’s forced technology transfers

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The European Union challenged today in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) the systemic practices that force European companies to give up sensitive technology and know-how as a precondition for doing business in China. This legal action builds up on a case launched by the EU in June 2018.

With this move, the EU significantly broadens and deepens the scope of its WTO action against Chinese measures on forced technology transfers. This step is taken in the light of additional findings concerning the incompatibility of the Chinese measures on the approval of investments and the protection of foreign companies’ intellectual property rights with the agreed multilateral rules.

Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: “We cannot tolerate that EU companies have to give away valuable technology as a price to pay for investing in China. This clearly goes against the rules that China committed itself to when it joined the WTO.  Today, we launch a broader and more systemic legal challenge against this illegal practice, as we believe that it is a major issue affecting European companies doing business in China. This is a matter that can and should be solved within the international, multilateral framework.”

In its revised request to the WTO, the EU is challenging Chinese laws that regulate:

–  the approval of investments in the areas of electric vehicles (New Energy Vehicles) and biotechnology (crop seeds), part of the strategic sectors of Made in China 2025 plan,

–  the approval of joint ventures across sectors,

as they impose performance requirements on foreign companies operating in China, and restrict the economic and contractual freedom of foreign companies on investments and technology transfers.

The so-called performance requirements force or induce European companies to transfer technology to their joint ventures with Chinese partners in exchange for the necessary administrative approvals by the Chinese authorities. Foreign companies are also required to carry out research and development activities in China.

At the time of joining the WTO China committed not to impose performance requirements in exchange for investment approvals, and to preserve the contractual freedom of companies in China, in particular in the context of investments and technology transfers. The EU maintains therefore that the Chinese current policy measures are in violation of the China’s legal commitments.

The measures challenged today come on top of what the EU had covered in its initial legal action triggered in June 2018. The previous request targeted provisions of the Technology Import and Export Regulation (“TIER”) and the Regulation for the Implementation of the Law on Chinese-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures (“JV Regulation”), as they go against the WTO rules of equal treatment for national and foreign companies and unduly restrict the rights of EU companies, among others in relation to patents.

Background

The request for consultations formally initiates the WTO dispute settlement proceedings. If consultations do not reach a satisfactory solution within 60 days, the EU may request the WTO to set up a panel to rule on the compatibility of China’s measures with WTO rules.

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193 countries adopt the first global agreement on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence

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All the nations members of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted on Thursday a historical text that defines the common values and principles needed to ensure the healthy development of AI.

Artificial intelligence is present in everyday life, from booking flights and applying for loans to steering driverless cars. It is also used in specialized fields such as cancer screening or to help create inclusive environments for the disabled.

According to UNESCO, AI is also supporting the decision-making of governments and the private sector, as well as helping combat global problems such as climate change and world hunger.

However, the agency warns that the technology ‘is bringing unprecedented challenges’.

We see increased gender and ethnic bias, significant threats to privacy, dignity and agency, dangers of mass surveillance, and increased use of unreliable AI technologies in law enforcement, to name a few. Until now, there were no universal standards to provide an answer to these issues”, UNESCO explained in a statement.

Considering this, the adopted text aims to guide the construction of the necessary legal infrastructure to ensure the ethical development of this technology.

“The world needs rules for artificial intelligence to benefit humanity. The Recommendation on the ethics of AI is a major answer. It sets the first global normative framework while giving States the responsibility to apply it at their level. UNESCO will support its 193 Member States in its implementation and ask them to report regularly on their progress and practices”, said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO chief.

AI as a positive contribution to humanity

The text aims to highlight the advantages of AI, while reducing the risks it also entails. According to the agency, it provides a guide to ensure that digital transformations promote human rights and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, addressing issues around transparency, accountability and privacy, with action-oriented policy chapters on data governance, education, culture, labour, healthcare and the economy.

One of its main calls is to protect data, going beyond what tech firms and governments are doing to guarantee individuals more protection by ensuring transparency, agency and control over their personal data. The Recommendation also explicitly bans the use of AI systems for social scoring and mass surveillance.

The text also emphasises that AI actors should favour data, energy and resource-efficient methods that will help ensure that AI becomes a more prominent tool in the fight against climate change and in tackling environmental issues.

“Decisions impacting millions of people should be fair, transparent and contestable. These new technologies must help us address the major challenges in our world today, such as increased inequalities and the environmental crisis, and not deepening them.” said Gabriela Ramos, UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Social and Human Sciences.

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Do you really need a Mac Data Recovery Software?

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It is a well-known fact that the volume of data generated is growing exponentially. Of course, some of this data is completely absurd, but most of the data is precious to the users generating it, and they want to keep it safe and secure. However, data loss is not an alien scenario for any user and happens more frequently than you can imagine.

Apple Inc. has ensured that, there is minimum chance of data loss on Mac, but that needs a highly alert user. Although, as we know, ‘To err is human’ and thus, we face data loss even with multiple options to secure our data on Mac.  Data recovery solutions for Mac systems are complex. Therefore, to answer the question ‘Yes, you need a Mac Data Recovery Software’.

How we lose data on Mac?

If you have lost data on your Mac system, it is no big deal. The data loss on a Mac system may occur for multiple reasons, some known and some unknown. The most common reasons for data loss on Mac are listed below:

  • Accidental deletion of data.
  • Crashing of the startup drive (Macintosh HD).
  • Crashing of the volume on the Mac drive.
  • Corruption of data.
  • Bad sectors on the HDD/SSD of Mac.
  • Virus or Malware attack.

Inbuilt Solutions to prevent data loss on Mac

It is important to understand that not each data loss scenario needs a third-party data recovery software until you are facing a situation where you have not created a backup of your data. Most of the data loss scenarios could be avoided or rectified only with preparedness. You can prevent data loss or recover lost data by taking the following actions:

Role of TRIM in Data Recovery on SSDs

Despite all the benefits, there was a challenge with the first Gen SSDs. Unlike traditional HDDs, where data can be overwritten on the existing data, SSDs need to erase the data prior to writing new data. The erasing is a slower process as compared to writing data, and thus it requires a longer time. Due to this drawback, the first-generation SSDs used to get slower with prolonged usage. Moreover, these SSDs had a communication gap with the OS.

Even if the OS deleted a file, the concerned space was identified as occupied by the SSD, thus creating a build-up of unknown and unavailable spaces. A new feature called TRIM was introduced to overcome this issue and create better communication between Mac’s SSD and macOS. This feature significantly improved the performance and usage of SSD.

Enabling TRIM on Mac reduces the possibilities of data recovery even by professional data recovery software. If the TRIM feature is enabled on your Mac, then deleting a file would result in the deletion of the index of the file, thus making it inaccessible. Most of the data recovery software are not capable of retrieving data lost on SSD, even if the TRIM feature is disabled, as the new generation Mac laptops are more secure and hard to be accessed for data recovery software.

Disable TRIM on your Mac

To disable the TRIM feature, you first need to ensure that it is actually enabled. Follow the steps below to check and disable TRIM on your Mac:

Step 1: Press Option key then click Apple Menu and select System Information.

Step 2: In the System Information window locate the SATA tab in the sidebar and click on it.

Step 3: Check the status in front of TRIM Support column.

Step 4: If the option in front of TRIM Support is Yes, then TRIM is enabled on your Mac.

Step 5: Launch Terminal on your Mac.

Step 6: Insert the command sudo trimforce disable in the Terminal and hit Return.

Now, the data recovery software will be able to identify all the data deleted from your Mac SSD.

How can a Data Recovery Software help?

Now that the TRIM has been disabled, you would like to know which data recovery software you should use to recover your deleted data securely. There are a plethora of Freeware and Freemium software claiming assured data recovery from Mac SSD, but only a handful of trusted professional software are capable of actually recover data securely and in a foolproof manner from Mac SSDs.

If you want to have hassle-free secure data recovery, you can choose Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition for Mac. This globally recognized DIY software recovers up to 1 GB of data free of cost. Other features that make it a favorite worldwide are as  under:

  1. It can recover files that have been removed by emptying the Trash.
  2. You can use it to recover data from the Mac USB drive.
  3. Lost data from formatted partition can be retrieved.
  4. You can preview the files before saving them for recovery.
  5. It recovers almost any file type and format related to Mac.
  6. You can retrieve photos, Pages, Mail Files, MS Office Docs and much more with this software.
  7. Being a DIY software you don’t need any technical expertise to recover your data.

To Conclude

With all the discussions and analysis of technical facts, we can now easily answer the question ‘Do you really need a Mac Data Recovery Software?’ and the verdict is, Yes, you do need it. Not every data loss scenario can be addressed by the inbuilt features of Mac. Some require specialized professional assistance through data recovery software. However, you need to ensure that the data recovery software you are choosing fits your specific need.

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Deloitte Wins 2021 ‘Digital Innovation of the Year’

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Omnia’s Trustworthy AI Module, Deloitte’s unique artificial intelligence evaluation technology, has been recognized as ‘Digital Innovation of the Year’ at the Digital Accountancy Forum and Awards 2021 in London earlier this week. This marks the second consecutive year Deloitte has garnered top honors for delivering innovative and disruptive technologies by The Accountant and International Accounting Bulletin. It also marks the fourth time Deloitte has won the award overall.

Omnia DNAV, a digital cloud-based solution that revolutionizes the audit of securities and investments, was honored with the award in 2020. Deloitte won the 2018 ‘Audit Innovation of the Year’ for its audit-transforming Cortex data platform and in 2015 for functionality using artificial intelligence that quickly identifies, extracts, and analyzes information across an entire population of documents.

The rapid rise of AI, its transition from an efficiency tool to a strategic business imperative, and the rush by companies to capitalize on the benefits of AI and its enormous potential exposes the broadening parameters of risk associated with AI. Moreover, it underscores the need for robust governance and oversight in AI development, implementation, and operation to be on par with internal controls over financial reporting.

Deloitte Omnia’s Trustworthy AI Module offers organizations a unique combination of experienced professionals with an objective perspective, along with a framework and enabling technology for establishing effective verifications and control tests for responsible innovation — and protection for customers, stakeholders, citizens, and society — while scaling AI for long-term value and differentiation.

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