House of Lords mulls contact-tracing app privacy / Ryanair reports full-year results / AI ethics framework discussed by EU committee

By Robert Scammell


Good morning, here’s your Monday morning briefing. Look out for these three things happening around the world today.

House of Lords mulls contact-tracing app privacy

Members of the House of Lords will today discuss the privacy implications of the NHS coronavirus contact-tracing app.

The app, which is currently being trialled on the Isle of Wight, is a key part of the government’s “test, track and trace” strategy to help the country exit lockdown. Health secretary Matt Hancock has previously said it will be rolled out nationwide before the end the month. However, privacy experts have raised concerns about the government’s decision to choose a centralised method and called for greater transparency to “prevent mission creep” surveillance.

The virtual proceeding, which takes place at 2:30pm, will also see lords ask questions about the introduction of immunity certificates.

Ryanair reports full-year results

Europe’s largest low-cost airline Ryanair will report its full-year results today, with the fallout of the coronavirus expected to push its profit to the lower end of expectations.

The airline’s share price is down 43% year to date, and down almost 48% since its high point for the year in early January. It has cut 3,000 jobs – 15% of its workforce – and faces a backlog of millions of refund applications.

Last week Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary announced an ambitious plan to get his planes back in the air by 1 July, counting on people being eager to fly by then – provided government restrictions do not prevent them from doing so.

AI ethics framework discussed by EU committee

The EU’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection will today discuss a framework of ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies.

In February, the European Commission published its new European digital strategy, which includes proposals for tighter regulation of artificial intelligence and a data strategy aimed at levelling the playing field with US tech giants.

The remote meeting, which takes place at 2pm local time, will also see Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, share his views on the EU Exit Strategy.

Friday’s Highlights


Elexon cyberattack: No blackout but supply chain vulnerability exposed

London job vacancies fell by 23% in the week before lockdown easing

Coronavirus case studies: How HotelRunner is working towards a more “tech savvy” travel industry