Welcome back to the July edition of the CoTalent Tech Review. A round-up of the most exciting trends and developments shaping the tech landscape in Australia and around the world.
From Israel’s moon mission to social AR, this week’s round-up once again sees innovation at the forefront of tech news. Meanwhile, Facebook faces its first fine and a partnership between the Australian government and IBM signals a new era where citizen’s data security is a top priority.
IBM signs a $1bn deal with Australian government for blockchain data security
IBM has won a five-year AU$1bn contract with the Australian government to provide data security-enhancing technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence and automation. The deal is thought to put Australia within the top three digital governments in the world and could save the country’s taxpayers AU$100m.
Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal triggers first fine
Facebook is to be fined £500,000 (AU$890,000), the maximum amount possible, by the United Kingdom Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The fine is for breaches of the Data Protection Act. The ICO found that Facebook lacked sufficient privacy protections and failed to catch warning signs that Cambridge Analytica was misusing people’s data.
Israel joins the race to return to the moon
A collective of private Israeli companies has planned their first mission to the moon. Israeli non-profit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries hope to launch their mission to the moon by year’s end. The plan involves a 1,300-pound lander piggybacking on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch, with a communications satellite as its primary payload.
Tokyo startup Paidy raises $55M Series C to let people shop online without a credit card
Tokyo-based fintech startup, Paidy, has just raised a $55 million Series C. This level of funding is remarkable for a Japanese startup, whose idea is a response to Japan’s low usage rate of credit cards (even for online purchases). Paidy claims that there are now 1.4 million active accounts, and have set themselves the ambitious goal of increasing that number to 11 million by 2020.
Former Apple employee charged with stealing trade secrets
An engineer who worked on Apple’s secretive autonomous car project allegedly stole trade secrets for a Chinese car startup backed by Alibaba. Xiaolang Zhang downloaded a plan for a self-driving car circuit board and booked a flight to China. He was arrested at the San Jose airport on July 7th and faces 10 years imprisonment and a US$250,000 (AU$337,000) fine.
Facebook is testing augmented reality ads in the news feed
Facebook is giving advertisers new ways to show off their products, including with augmented reality. Michael Kors is the first brand to give Facebook’s AR ads in US News Feeds a test drive. The AR experience will allow users to try on a pair of glasses, change the product colour, and make a purchase right inside the Facebook app.
At CoTalent, we like to keep our finger on the pulse of the tech industry and think it’s important that you do too! Stay tuned for our next CoTalent Tech Review round-up next month.
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