Industry News 17/12/18

17 December 2018

Reading time 4 minutes

Each week at Rokk we will be looking at the news stories from the world of software and app development in the digital marketplace. From technology developments to new market insights and trends; you can find the news in brief here.

Facebook software bug exposes millions of users’ photos

Last week Google announced further issues with its Google+ APIs and now Facebook has revealed that a software bug has caused similar problems by giving third-party apps unauthorised access to user photos. The company announced the news in a blog post on Friday, ‘Notifying our developer ecosystem about a photo API bug’, stating that a software glitch back in September gave some third-party apps, “access to a broader set of photos than usual”. In other words, the apps will have been able to access photos which users had not given permission for. The bug has potentially affected up to 6.8 million users and up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers. Facebook is working with app developers to resolve the issue and ensure no unauthorised photos remain in their possession.

Popular e-retailer Asos issues profit warning

Asos, the online fashion retailer beloved by twenty-something shoppers, was celebrating soaring sales and growth just a few months ago, however the company has announced this week a shocking profit warning. While sales have risen for the ecommerce business in the past three months, the value is still below expectations for this time of year when consumers should be spending more on seasonal gifts. Asos has cited poor consumer confidence and the economic climate for the decline. With this news that even the online retail market leader Asos is struggling, it seems online brands like the high-street must adjust to consumers who have less money to spend.

Government funding supports public services with their digital innovation

Public services are always on call for the needs of the community, making them a well-deserving sector for the latest digital technologies which can enhance services. Earlier this year the government launched Local Digital, a funding project for digital projects in public services. This month the winning applicants were announced from the first round of a £7.5 million fund, awarding a total of £1.3 million to local councils. The funding will support a range of projects from AI research to effective digital management systems, such as Birmingham City Council and Partners who will use funds to investigate the benefits of chatbots and virtual assistants to care for people in need.

NICE propose guidelines to help the NHS assess digital tech developers

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has developed an evidence standards framework to help NHS commissioners source the best digital technology developers who are “clinically effective and offer economic value”. With the wealth of complex technology available today these guidelines aim to demystify what digital healthcare technologies should look like and achieve in terms healthcare, patient and user experience. The framework enables commissioners and innovators to assess digital health technologies by their functional classification, such as Communication or Self-manage, evidence for effectiveness, for instance credibility with UK healthcare professionals, economic impact which might be user population size and contextual questions to help identify any risks associated with the tech. NICE partnered with Public Health England, MedCity and DigitalHealth.London to create the guide.