Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Hello, good morning and a special shout out to those of you in ‘Goblin Mode‘. Let’s dive right into your tech news briefing.


1. OAIC to probe Medlab over February data breach

In February 2022, Medlab Pathology (owned by Australian Clinical Labs) experienced a cyber incident that involved some personal information of its patients and staff. It was advised of the breach by the Australian Cyber Security Centre in June. It began investigations but months later, October 27, actually, it decided to tell people about the type of info they had caught up in the breach. This has set off alarm bells with Australia’s privacy commissioner and yesterday, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner commenced an investigation into the personal information handling practices of Medlab.

2. Google One VPN comes to the Pixel 7

For all the great things the Pixel 7 does, it was still missing out on some of the features it trumpeted most at launch — until today. Google is rolling out the latest Pixel drop, which includes some of the Pixel 7’s much-ballyhooed features, like Clear Calling, speaker labels for the Recorder app, and free VPN through Google One. The features drop is only for the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. Once the update hits, you can use VPN by Google One without a subscription to the service, provided you use a Pixel 7, of course.

3. Facebook will use age-confirming AI before you date

Meta announced it is updating its Facebook Dating service to “detect” if a user is lying about being younger than 18. After that happens, Facebook said it will prompt them to verify their age, in which case they can either upload a form of ID, such as a driver’s licence, which the company said will be encrypted and won’t be visible on the public profile. The other option is for users to upload a video selfie, which the company then sends out to a third party who uses AI technology to verify age based on a users’ facial features.

4. Don’t threaten us with a good time

Still on Facebook and after New Zealand signalled its intention to impose a law similar to Australia’s Media Bargaining Code, news emerged that Meta said it may remove news from Facebook and Instagram if U.S. Congress passes a Bill that would empower smaller news outlets to negotiate compensation from tech companies. The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act of 2022 creates a four-year safe harbour from antitrust laws for print, broadcast, or digital news companies to collectively negotiate with online content distributors (e.g., social media companies) regarding the terms on which the news companies’ content may be distributed by online content distributors.

5. Aussie crypto exchange to cut 90 jobs

The Guardian is this morning reporting that Brisbane-based cryptocurrency exchange Swyftx has cut 90 jobs as a result of the collapse of global exchange FTX and a fall in global trade. According to the report, the cut represents approximately 35 per cent of the company, which currently employs 235 people. Despite Swyftx boasting 630,000 customers in Australia, and its CEO and co-founder reported as saying his company was “uniquely well-positioned” to weather something like FTX’s collapse, the cuts will go ahead because it is “not immune to the fallout in crypto markets”.

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