Home » Robodebt Investigation Scrapped: 5 Tech Things to Know in Australia Today

Robodebt Investigation Scrapped: 5 Tech Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning, and a happy TGIF to you. Let’s get into the tech news now, and the jump into the long weekend.

1. National Anti-Corruption Commission drops Robodebt probe

The National Anti-Corruption Commission has announced that it will not pursue referrals made to it after the robot debt Royal Commission.

Robodebt, a horrible idea by the former Coalition government that impacted hundreds of Australians, involved automatic debt calculation and notices to be distributed to welfare recipients.

“The Commission is conscious of the impact of the Robodebt Scheme on individuals and the public, the seniority of the officials involved, and the need to ensure that any corruption issue is fully investigated,” the Commission said in a statement.

“However, the conduct of the six public officials in connection with the Robodebt Scheme has already been fully explored by the Robodebt Royal Commission and extensively discussed in its final report. After close consideration of the evidence that was available to the Royal Commission, the Commission has concluded that it is unlikely it would obtain significant new evidence.”

2. UN blasts fossil fuel ad money

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on tech and media companies to stop taking money from fossil fuel companies for their advertising campaigns, citing skyrocketing CO2 in the atmosphere and severe impacts on our planet.

“I urge every country to ban advertising from fossil fuel companies. And I urge news media and tech companies to stop taking fossil fuel advertising,” Guterres said in his speech.

“I call on these companies to stop acting as enablers to planetary destruction. Stop taking on new fossil fuel clients, from today, and set out plans to drop your existing ones… … Fossil fuels are not only poisoning our planet – they’re toxic for your brand.”

3. Guess who is under the monopoly microscope?

The Guardian reports that Microsoft, OpenAI, and Nvidia are all under anti-trust investigation in the U.S. for their roles in the AI industry. The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission will be collaborating on an investigation, with the Department to focus on Nvidia as the leading hardware supplier, and the Commission to investigate OpenAI and Microsoft, to see if the Beast of Redmond is dodging anti-trust investigations by significantly backing AI companies.

4. New Apple app on the way

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports that a new app for iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS devices may be on the way, in the form of a password keeper, similar to 1Password and LastPass. the idea is to make it easier to log into services on Apple devices, leveraging the iCloud keychain.

5. First Pinterest and now Snap

TikTok is peaking across to its classmates again, and is now testing one of Snapchat’s most loved features, Streaks. Tech Crunch reports that TikTok is testing a similar feature, but instead of being photos, it’s direct messages, kicking in after three days. Without photos, what’s the point? Editor’s Note: I currently have this feature and it’s gamifying my TikTok doom scrolls.


Have a lovely day, and a restful long weekend. Stay warm!

Image: iStock