Today's Tech: UK in "digital chaos" as users fail to back up data and privacy groups take GCHQ to court over mass illegal spying

The number of children owning a mobile phone has dropped for the first time ever, according to figures released by regulator Ofcom, with tablet computers becoming the new must-have device. The use of phones among children aged five to 15 has grown every year since the survey began in 2005, but 2013 saw phone ownership among this age group fall to just 43 per cent, compared to 49 per cent last year. The shifting numbers are due to two factors. Firstly, the number of children owning basic (non-smart) phones has nearly halved from 28 per cent to 15 per cent over the past year. Secondly, the ownership of tablets now equals ownership of smartphones. While the number of kids who own smartphones has remained relatively constant at 18 per cent, the number owning tablets has risen to the same percentage

It seems that Google is set to enter the arena of wearable technology this month, with rumours of an incoming Nexus watch circulating. Unofficially dubbed the 'Google Gem', the watch would compete with Samsung's Galaxy Gear and Sony's Smartwatch 2 for a share of the growing wearable technology market. It would also represent a tactical move to pre-empt the release of Apple's fabled iWatch. Artem Russakovskii, founder of Android Police, posted on his G+ account that "Google will announce a Nexus watch, codenamed Gem, likely together with the KitKat announcement." He also tipped the date of the announcement to be 31 October. Google's watch will likely be compatible with all Android devices, and cheaper than the £300 Galaxy Gear.

GCHQ is facing a legal challenge against its mass data collection programme in the European Court of Human Rights after three campaign groups launched proceedings this week. Big Brother Watch, the Open Rights Group and English PEN, along with the German Internet activist Constanze Kurz, allege that GCHQ breached the privacy rights millions of people across the UK and Europe through its collection of Internet users' email communications and metadata. The groups claim that spy agency's actions are illegal under European laws and are pushing for UK laws to be changed to remove and leeway that allows the government to collect such large volumes of data. The UK agency has the capacity to scoop up and store over 21 petabytes of data a day.

Britain is a nation in "digital chaos", with most people in the UK still failing to back up their data, according to a report commissioned by storage firm Western Digital. Hundreds of people surveyed admitted that they never save multiple copies of their documents, citing lack of motivation and knowledge as common factors in their decision. Of the 1,500 people surveyed, 22 per cent said they could not be bothered to back up files, and 20 per cent said they did not know how. The report found that the average UK household has personal files dispersed between as many as 14 different devices, with laptops, smartphones, tablets and USB sticks coming up as primary storage locations.

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