Ico’s Condition Still Guarded, but Showing Improvement
On, Wednesday, 27 November 2019 Emily Ico, 29, the mother of nine year-old Danielle Hall who died under strange circumstances while at home in Ico’s company in August, is said to be doing slightly better at the psychiatric institution in Belmopan.
Ico, who has been at that facility since soon after the August 16th 2019, incident, remains on medication and her prognosis and future are still unknown. The Reporter spoke with a member of the Ico family this week who shared with us that Ico is now starting to talk – something she has not done since her daughter died. She is reportedly also eating much better and sleeping better. The hospital is still not allowing Ico to receive any visitors as her condition remains very guarded.
The last time the relative went to visit Ico a few weeks ago, they were not permitted to see her but were encouraged to return soon when a doctor is present for an update on her condition and the outlook for her recovery.
Ico and Danielle were at their Ontario Village home at approximately 10am. that morning when neighbours reported hearing strange noises coming from the house and heard her breaking up the household items, screaming in a strange language and then saw her through the window jumping on the bed.
The erratic behaviour is something out of the norm for Ico – a devout Christian who lived by her Bible, engaged in the village’s women’s group activities, and who took every care to train her only child to be a decent person.
The neighbours summoned Ico’s common-law husband, Daniel Hall, to come home at once to see what was happening, but by the time he got home from work, his daughter lay motionless on a bed and Ico was on the floor displaying very strange behaviour.
Hall rushed little Danielle to the Loma Luz Hospital for urgent help but it was too late.
Telegram’s founder and CEO Pavel Durov should testify in the US Securities Exchange Commission‘s (SEC) case against the company’s controversial digital token, a US federal judge has ruled.
A document signed by District Judge P. Kevin Castel at the New York Southern District Court earlier this week, says Durov will be deposed “on January 7 or 8, 2020, as necessary,” at a location mutually agreed by both parties.
Shyam Parekh, a Telegram employee, will be deposed on December 10. According to CoinDesk, Parekh’s name was featured on the company’s letters to investors that were leaked after it was sued by the SEC.
The judge has also asked Telegram’s vice president Ilia Perekopsky to testify in London on December 16.
In mid-October, Telegram caved into the SEC’s request to cease the sale of its Gram tokens.
“Telegram has agreed to stipulate that it will not make any offers, sales, or deliveries of its expected cryptocurrency, called ‘Grams,’ in order to maintain the status quo until this Court can resolve the legal issues at the heart of the matter,” a court filing said at the time.
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As an interface for our IDL, we developed a social network. Usually only a wallet is needed, but we decided to make something much larger. Something along the lines of the business social network for the next generation.
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SilentNotary – An evidence providing service that notarizes user data via distributed IDL registries and the Ethereum blockchain.
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Cryptonomica – a user identification service used to identify PGP keys.
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Agreement will enable lending on favourable terms to small businesses
Employment impact: initiative will help safeguard 100 000 jobs
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) are making available EUR 1 billion to Spanish SMEs to finance their investments and provide them with liquidity. Specifically, the EU bank has granted a loan of EUR 500 million to ICO, which will match this with the same amount, meaning that under the agreement a total of EUR 1 billion will be channelled to small businesses via the Líneas ICO product. EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and ICO Chairman José Carlos García Quevedo signed the agreement in Madrid today.
According to European Commission data, SMEs account for more than 72% of job creation in Spain. This new EIB-ICO agreement is designed to help generate and safeguard jobs in Spain by supporting firms that have problems accessing finance owing to their small size or type of business. The EIB estimates that this agreement will serve to safeguard 100 000 jobs.
Upon signing the agreement, EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro said: “Spanish SMEs are key drivers of economic growth and employment. Ensuring that they have the necessary financial resources at all stages of their development is one of the EIB Group’s top priorities. We are very pleased with this new agreement with ICO, which will allow us to join forces to bring the advantages of EU bank financing to those Spanish firms that find it most difficult to carry out their investments, thereby boosting business competitiveness, wealth generation and job creation.”
ICO Chairman José Carlos García de Quevedo added: “This operation represents a further demonstration of the common objective of supporting the Spanish business fabric that unites our two institutions and will strengthen ICO’s role as the go-to institution for financing the projects of sole traders and small businesses to promote growth. It is worth pointing out that, up to November 2019, 98% of all loans granted under the Líneas ICO banner went to SMEs, 64% of which were microfirms with fewer than ten employees.”
This is the ninth agreement between the EIB and ICO aimed at strengthening the job creation capacity of Spanish SMEs. According to EIB estimates, the various lines of financing for small businesses launched jointly by the two institutions have helped to safeguard around a million jobs in Spain.
The UK’s Information Commissioner has submitted to the government its proposal for an ‘Age Appropriate Design Code of Practice’. Consulted earlier this year with industry and the public, the code is expected to help better protect the privacy of children online.
The code requires approval from Parliament before taking effect. However, this will need to wait for new MPs to take office after the election in December.
The government included provisions in the Data Protection Act 2018 to create standards that provide proper safeguards for children when they are online. As part of that, the ICO was required to produce a statutory age appropriate design code of practice which has been dubbed the Kids Code. Its proposal is based on existing data protection laws and follows around 450 responses to the draft code sent out for consultation in April and “dozens of meetings” with trade bodies, industry representatives, campaigners and individual organisations, the ICO said.
The European Investment Bank will provide EUR 110m for the operation under the Juncker Plan, while ICO will contribute EUR 100m
The agreement will help to accelerate El Corte Inglés’ digital transformation to strengthen its competitiveness
The investments will focus on the implementation of new technologies to expand multichannel sales and improve logistics chain management
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) are set to finance the innovation investments of El Corte Inglés, with a view to accelerating its digital transformation. To this end, the EIB will provide a EUR 110m loan with Investment Plan for Europe support, and ICO will grant financing of EUR 100m. This is a ten-year agreement which reflects the two institutions’ confidence in the Spanish company. The contracts formalising this agreement were signed today in Madrid by EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro, ICO Chairman José Carlos García de Quevedo and El Corte Inglés CEO Víctor del Pozo.
Supporting innovation and business digitalisation is one of the EIB’s priorities in Spain, and it is with this goal in mind that the EU bank has signed this second loan aiming to boost the digital transformation of the emblematic Spanish business and European department store leader. The financing provided by the EIB in 2016 enabled El Corte Inglés to launch a new integrated digital platform for online retail to drive internet and mobile sales.
The ICO financing is part of the Spanish public sector bank’s strategy to promote business development in digitalisation and innovation.
With the agreement signed today, El Corte Inglés will be able to speed up and expand its technological transformation by strengthening its digital infrastructure and systems, developing new software for better data management and improving the cyber-security of its online business. In addition, the application of new technologies will enable it to adapt more quickly to consumer preferences and optimise online client response times, as a portion of the EIB and ICO financing will go to investment in its logistics, supply and distribution chain.
The implementation of this project will help strengthen the competitiveness of one of Spain’s biggest private sector companies in terms of job creation. El Corte Inglés has more than 90 000 employees and accelerating its digital transformation strategy will mean creating new, highly skilled jobs in its IT department.
“We are delighted to contribute to the digital innovation of one of our most emblematic companies and one of Spain’s biggest employers. Digitalisation is among the main challenges faced by European businesses to ensure they can compete and grow, which is why supporting it is a key priority for the EU bank,” said EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro at the signing ceremony.“In the retail sector, investing in digital technologies is vital to adapting to rapid market changes and competing with other online retail giants. By signing this agreement, the EIB is reiterating its commitment to the innovation and digitalisation of Spanish businesses and to creating jobs in our country.”
ICO Chairman José Carlos García de Quevedo indicated that “ICO’s participation in this operation is part of its strategy to promote digitalisation and innovation, one of the public sector bank’s key priorities. ICO’s goal is to provide Spanish companies with financing instruments enabling them to confidently tackle their digitalisation process to consolidate their growth and competitiveness.”
El Corte Inglés CEO Víctor del Pozo expressed his satisfaction that the company could count on the support of two major institutions in its ongoing digital transformation. “Our company innovates in everything we do, and the digital challenge is one of our current priorities. The support of the EIB and ICO will enable us to drive and move forward in this digitalisation and innovation objective.”
The EIB and innovation
In 2018, the EIB Group increased the financing it provided in Spain for research, development and innovation (RDI) – key elements of the competitiveness of the economy – for the third consecutive year. It dedicated EUR 2.439bn to this objective, representing almost 30% of its activities in the country and making Spain the second largest beneficiary of EIB financing for innovation investment in the EU in 2018.
The Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) is a corporate state-owned entity attached to the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Business. ICO has become a reference point for the financing of both SMEs and large investment projects. ICO contributes to business growth and job creation, supporting economic activities meriting promotion and development as a result of their social, cultural, innovative or environmental importance.
The flood of subject-access requests to the Brexit Party coincided with the European Elections in May
The Brexit Party has been ordered by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to respond to subject-access requests dating back to May by the end of the week.
A subject-access request (SAR) enables individuals to demand from organisations details of the data they are keeping on them. Under GDPR, organisations have just 30 days to respond to such requests.
A spokesperson for the party said it had received a “flood” of requests around the time of the European Elections in May, and suggested that the organisation had been targeted by anti-Brexit campaigners.
“During the European elections, there was a coordinated attempt by campaigners to flood the Brexit Party with Subject Access Requests,” a Brexit Party spokesperson said.
“All political parties are allowed access to the electoral register so they can send literature to voters. However, inaccurate claims circulated on social media, claiming we had acquired people’s addresses improperly, leading to the written requests asking for access to information.”
1. Received one of these Brexit Party pamphlets through the post?
Wanna know how they got your personal details & what they’re going to do with them?
Well, it’s easy to find out. You just need to write them a letter and pop it in the post.
“We have responded to the vast majority of letters,” the Brexit Party spokesperson said. “Around 0.2 per cent are currently being dealt with and we will meet the deadline agreed with the ICO.”
In a statement, an ICO spokesperson said: “As a public body the ICO has to consider its responsibilities during the pre-election period. Our regulatory work continues as usual but we will not be commenting publicly on every issue raised during the General Election.
“We will however, be closely monitoring how personal data is being used during political campaigning and making sure that all parties and campaigns are aware of their responsibilities under data protection and direct marketing laws.”
Last week, Crowdfund Insider referred to several Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement actions that addressed the sale of unregistered securities by issuers of initial coin offerings (ICOs). Penalties assessed by the SEC are now coming due for several prominent enforcement actions brought by the SEC. Yet, questions remain as to whether, or not, many of these issuers have the resources to cover these costs – much less any refunds driven by a recission requirement.
CI received a note from Philip Moustakis commenting on several of the ICO enforcement actions. Moustakis is a former senior counsel at the SEC who investigated and litigated the SEC’s first-ever Bitcoin-related enforcement action. He is also an early member of the SEC’s Cyber Unit working closely on distributed ledger technology issues. Currently, Moustakis is counsel at Seward & Kissel LLP.
Moustakis explained that in announcing its settlement with Gladius, the SEC heralded the fact that the company self-reported its ICO, took remedial steps, and cooperated with the SEC in its investigation as reasons a penalty was not imposed. Just a few months prior, the SEC imposed a $250,000 penalty against both Paragon Coin, Inc. and AirFox for unregistered ICOs of comparable size. All three companies in their respective settlements with the SEC agreed to return funds to investors who purchased tokens in the ICO and requested a refund.
Because there were so many ICOs of equal or greater size during the 2017-2018 ICO craze that were cut-and-dried securities offerings, Moustakis said he had expected to see a self-reporting initiative of some kind following the Gladius settlement.
“… An initiative in which the SEC offered ICO promoters who self-reported, came into compliance, and offered refunds to investors who purchased in the ICO would receive similar no-penalty settlements. Now we may be seeing why that has not happened,” explained Moustakis. “As a practical matter, it may not be feasible for many firms to come into compliance. On the whole, token values have declined since the craze, meaning many investors will opt to put their tokens back for a refund. And with many of the blockchain-based platforms linked to token offerings still undeveloped or in development, the money may not be there.”
Moustakis said that it remains to be seen whether the apparent difficulties some of these companies have with complying with their settlement agreements will color the SEC’s approach in future cases.
We contacted Moustakis with several more questions regarding what happens when a settlement with the SEC cannot be paid.
“The SEC may agree to provide a respondent with more time, which is what I would expect them to do, so long as the respondent is endeavoring in good faith to meet its obligations under the settlement,” Moustakis stated. “At some point, if the SEC determines the respondent is not endeavoring in good faith to do what it agreed to do, the SEC may seek to unwind the settlement and proceed with its prosecution. It is also possible that the delay here is attributable to investors having some difficulty with the claims processes created in connection with the settlements, which I would also expect the SEC to work through.”
Regarding rescission offers, if an issuer cannot meet the demand of investors asking for their money back – what happens? Does the company simply file for bankruptcy?
“Strictly speaking, the settlements do not provide for the ICO issuers to make rescission offers – which can be a lengthy and costly process, requiring additional filings – but rather an agreement to return funds to investors who purchased tokens in the ICOs and want to put those tokens back to the issuers for a refund. It is for the SEC to enforce those settlements. But civil suits may also follow. Whether a suit would drive the issuer into bankruptcy would depend on the strength of the plaintiffs’ claims, the economics involved in meeting plaintiffs’ demands, and the financial condition of the company.”
Another attorney had indicated, in his opinion, that it was not practical for the SEC to assess penalties when it is pretty clear they will never be paid. Is there an alternative?
“The SEC can enter into a settlement with a respondent that does not include a penalty if the respondent can demonstrate he or she cannot pay. However, the SEC is not in the habit of waiving disgorgement, that is, that the respondent gives up the proceeds of any securities law violations committed, in the SEC’s view,” shared Moustakis. “But here the issue appears to be that the respondents cannot follow through on undertakings to which they agreed as a condition of their settlements, namely to refund investors who would prefer to have their money back rather than keep the tokens they purchased in the respective ICOs.”
In retrospect, would there have been a better approach by regulators to have better managed the ICO craze? The DAO report appears insufficient in hindsight.
Moustakis said, that in his view, the DAO Report did just what it was intended to do:
“… it put the industry on notice that under a traditional securities law analysis, on the whole, ICOs constituted securities transactions. There may have been those in the industry unwilling to hear that or not getting the greatest advice on the issue. To that end, more aggressive prosecution following the report may have given the report’s message greater teeth, but the SEC has a really smart team doing this work and, often, it comes down to resources.”
The DAO Report put the industry on notice that under a traditional securities law analysis, on the whole, ICOs constituted securities transactions. There may have been those in the industry unwilling to hear… Click to Tweet
Among its findings, the ICO confirmed that special category data, which includes sensitive information about uses such as their sexual orientation or political affiliation, was being directly processed without explicit consent.
There are also inconsistent contractual arrangements in the RTB process, the ICO said, as well as inadequate transparency information.
Johnny Ryan, chief policy and industry relations officer for ad-tracker-blocking browser Brave, said the ICO’s findings were “precisely” what it said in its GDPR complaints about RTB earlier this year and which was criticised by the Internet Advertising Bureau for being “intentionally damaging to the digital advertising industry”.
Media was not invited to the London meeting, which was originally set to be held under Chatham House rules, but this was later waived by the ICO’s executive director for technology policy, Simon McDougall, who is leading the investigation.
Ryan said: “It’s a good session, though several years too late. What has become clear to everyone is that RTB is indeed causing a massive data breach. And I think there was a consensus in the hall that the industry needs to reform to fix that. We at Brave and our colleagues at privacy organisations like ORG [Open Rights Group] and Panoptykon Foundation are no longer the only voices calling for change. Everybody gets it now.”
Campaign has asked the ICO for more information about its findings, but a spokeswoman indicated that it was unlikely to comment.
There is likely to be a formal statement about the investigation’s progress in the coming weeks, given that the ICO said in June that the industry had six months to start taking action over RTB abuses.
Google also presented at the event to explain its decision last week to remove some bid request information from programmatically traded advertising.
Beginning in February 2020, Google will no longer include contextual content categories, such as “sport” or “weather”, in bid requests. Google cited privacy concerns since contextual categories revealed in a bid request can be used to create individual profiles about individual users.