Monday, 16 May 2011


MasterCard Selects Asia for iPhone NFC Attachment Trial

MasterCard Worldwide would possibly trial the new NFC-enabled iPhone attachment in Asia soon, stated NFC Times.

The attachment - iCarte, from Canada-based Wireless Dynamics, would carry a MasterCard PayPass application in an embedded secure chip, enabling users to tap their iPhone 4 handsets to pay where the PayPass contactless payment system is accepted. The iCarte device, which has an NXP Semiconductors-made NFC chip, can read NFC tags.

David Chan, MasterCard's head of customer delivery for Southeast and South Asia said: "The iCarte is currently being trialled internally with a small number of users-less than 100 and we hope to expand this to a wider base of consumers in the near future".

Trials are expected to be held in Singapore and Malaysia and use Singapore-based Cassis International as trusted service manager to provision the PayPass applications over the air on the secure chips, NFC Times have reported.

The names of possible candidates to participate in trialling iPhone NFC Attachment are Singapore's EZ-Link Pte that issues contactless electronic purse - ez-link in public transport. Chan declined to confirm that EZ-Link would be involved in the trial, but MasterCard's group executive for mobile, Mung-Ki Woo, had earlier mentioned in a blog that EZ-Link would be one of the trial participants with the Fevo prepaid PayPass application..

The Malaysian mobile operator Maxis Communications has expressed an interest in the new MasterCard application, although Claire Margaret Featherstone, head of new business at Maxis stated: "we have no firm plans at this moment, but we are very excited by the major device manufacturer roadmaps for NFC in second half of 2011".



Yahoo, Alibaba in Talks over Alipay

Yahoo, world's second biggest search engine and Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba, are believed to hold meetings over Alipay, Alibaba-owned online payments service company. The core of the meeting is regarding the controversy over ownership of Alipay.

The joint statement issued by Yahoo and Alibaba read: "Alibaba Group, and its major stockholders Yahoo! Inc. and Softbank Corporation, are engaged in and committed to productive negotiations to resolve the outstanding issues related to Alipay in a manner that serves the interests of all shareholders as soon as possible".

Recently, Yahoo! filed paperwork notifying the US Securities and Exchange Commission that ownership of Alipay had been shifted to a Chinese company owned mostly by the Alibaba chief executive Jack Ma without the knowledge or approval of Alibaba's board of directors or shareholders. Yahoo! owns a 43 percent stake in Alibaba and an estimated 40 percent share of Alipay.

According to Yahoo!, "the transfer of ownership was made in August although it and Japan's Softbank, another major Alibaba stakeholder, were only informed in March".

In answer to Yahoo's claims, Alibaba CEO said the transfer of ownership of Alipay was "legal and 100 percent transparent. The board and shareholders including Yahoo! and Softbank Corp. are fully aware of the ownership transfer of Alipay".



Digital Payment Technologies to Support Contactless Payments

Today, Digital Payment Technologies announced the introduction of the new LUKE II parking pay station platform that will enable consumers use near-field communications (NFC) enabled mobile phones and contactless credit cards such as Visa PayWave, MasterCard PayPass and American Express ExpressPay for quick and secure complete parking transaction.

Digital Payment Technologies' contactless credit card payment systems include an embedded chip and antenna that can be used to pay by simply waving their card over a reader on the pay station. LUKE II features PCI compliant credit card processing.



Another Game Provider Hit by Hackers

Square Enix, a provider of digital entertainment content confirms a group of hackers gained access to parts of its Eidosmontreal.com website as well as two product sites. The sites were immediately taken offline to assess how this had happened and what had been accessed.

Eidosmontreal.com does not hold any credit card information or code data, however there are CV's which are submitted to the website by people interested in jobs at the studio. Regrettably up to 350 of these resumes may have been accessed, and we are in the process of writing to each of the individuals who may have been affected to offer our sincere apologies for this situation. In addition, we have also discovered that up to 25,000 email addresses were obtained as a result of this breach.

Speaking to BBC News, Graham Cluley, a consultant at security firm Sophos, warned that both leaks could cause problems for the individuals concerned.

"With the e-mail there is a danger that gamers could be e-mailed by someone pretending to be from the company who gets them to click on a link or run some malicious software."

"The resumes are a blueprint for identity theft. They have everything that scammers want. The only thing missing is credit card information."



Taiwanese Telecommunication Firms Meet on NFC

Major Taiwanese mobile operators and the country's largest contactless payment provider met last Friday to consider cases of a joint venture to launch NFC in Taiwan. The island in East Asia is expected to become one of the continent's top NFC hot spots.

Among the companies present were - Chunghwa Telecom, Far EasTone and Taiwan Mobile, retail-payment provider EasyCard Corp. Two smaller mobile operators - Vibo Telecom and Asia Pacific Telecom, were also present at the meeting. The companies could possibly form an alliance similar to the formation of Isis in USA.

It was their first meeting to discuss the possible joint venture or alliance. Later, the firms and EasyCard are expected to talk about some specific areas of cooperation, such as how to manage applications on secure elements in the forthcoming NFC phones. They are considering choosing a common trusted service manager.

The parties are also expected to talk about common specifications for NFC handsets, procedures for how NFC payment and ticketing services will be carried out and ways to deal with the rather strict financial regulatory climate in Taiwan.

The telecommunication companies would allow for contactless EasyCard application and also would be open to banks issuing such applications as Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass, NFC Times reported.



Teenager's Personal Details Sent to Wrong Family

Somerset County Council breached the Data Protection Act by sending a social service assessment about a local teenager to the wrong family, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) reported.

The Council revealed the breach to the ICO in February 2011, shortly after the incident took place. The ICO's investigation found that the assessment, which had been prepared by the Council's social services department, contained sensitive personal information relating to a teenager's behavioural history and medical background. The report was mistakenly sent out to the wrong family by a council employee who was handling two similar cases at the same time.

The ICO has also found that there were failings in the way the incident was handled by the Council. The recipient of the information was first told to throw it away before being advised that it would be collected by a council employee.

Acting Head of Enforcement, Sally-Anne Poole said: "The information collected by social services departments is often extremely sensitive. Local authorities should make sure they have adequate measures in place to keep this information secure, especially where there is the potential for human error. Even though the information was returned to the council the damage had already been done and will have caused considerable embarrassment to those affected".

However, Poole was pleased with the Somerset County Council's action to ensure that in future all documents carrying confidential data be handled with care.




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