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Telstra puts the brakes on its start-up accelerator

  • Telstra will no longer be welcoming founders into its start-up accelerator Muru-D after the telco reviewed how it engages with the start up sector.  That means no new seed funding.
  • Muru-D was started in 2013, since then 140 startups across 17 cohorts graduated from the accelerator. 
  • But the telco says things have changed & “ there are now many start-up accelerators from venture capitalists, global accelerators, university and government partnerships to help early stage companies develop their initial product.” 
  • Instead “Telstra will use muru-D to provide start-ups with access to our core technologies and work selectively with more mature start-ups on partnerships with Telstra as either a supplier to us or as a go-to-market partner.”
  • How should corporations engage the start-up sector? 

COVIDSafe data ‘incidentally’ collected by intelligence agencies in first six months

  • Some intelligence agencies were “incidentally” collecting data from Australia’s COVIDSafe contact tracing app during the first six months after its launch. The collection happened “in the course of lawful collection of other data” allowed under the Privacy Act. 
  • The collection is considered incidental because it was not possible to collect the data covered by a warrant without inadvertently collecting the COVIDSafe data.
  • COVIDSafe uses bluetooth to log proximity, not location data but the app requires a user to upload some personal info like name, age, postal code, and phone number.

The case for getting your parents off Facebook 

  • NYT opinion writer Charlie Warzel asked two baby boomers, who he had never met, for the passwords to their Facebook accounts so he could see what their newsfeeds looked like in the lead up to the US election. 
  • He found “an information hellscape” 
  • “Touching family moments are interspersed with Bible quotes that look like Hallmark cards, hyperpartisan fearmongering and conspiratorial misinformation” 
  • And as Cam Wilson points out at Gizmodo, Facebook is still taking ad money from anti-vax groups in Australia, despite saying it would ban Anti-vax ads 
  • Facebook Keeps Taking Money To Promote Australian Anti-Vaxx Content Despite Their Ban

Twitter to relaunch account verifications in early 2021, asks for feedback on policy

  • For the last few months, Twitter has not been giving out the blue tick to users, as it put the verification system on hold 
  • The system will relaunch in 2021, with an emphasis on companies, community groups, and activists, not just the twitter famous
  • Twitter says the account must be “notable and active,” and the badge won’t be awarded to any accounts with incomplete profiles. You also must not have broken any twitter rules in the past six month 
  • Twitter is asking for feedback on the system 

And a brief follow up for yesterday…

NSW Launches Safework Taskforce on food delivery
Why delivery apps are deadly – The Signal