5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Australia’s smaller startups are happy with the draft share scheme changes but there’s one issue. Image: Fishburners.

It’s Wednesday. There was a lot happening in tech overseas last night with Snapchat reportedly raising another round at a valuation of between $16-$19 billion and Dutch startup WeTransfer securing $25 million in funding to expand into the US.

Here’s what you need to know in Australian tech today.

1. There’s an unresolved issue in the government’s proposed Employee Share Scheme Legislation which could create a “gravy train” for valuers and accountants. It’s got to do with how a startup’s valuation is handled when they issue shares. The tax office is currently consulting with industry on the changes but one solution would be to implement an option for startup to opt for a standard valuation so they don’t have to pay for the services of an accountant or valuer. More here.

2. Tony Abbott says data retention will help catch paedophiles. The Government is applying additional pressure to get its metadata laws through Parliament. “We know that access to metadata has played a role in preventing and investigating terrorism offences, but it’s also vital to investigating major crimes that destroy lives in this country — and no crime is more abhorrent than crimes against children,” Abbott said. “The cost of losing this data is an explosion in unsolved crime.” More here.

3. Facebook has secured a patent for its process of identifying experts and influencers in a social network. Here’s the method.

4. It’s estimated more than 20,000 Australians working in tech companies in the US. The opportunities for tech pros in the US are big and so are the salaries. Here are 14 tech jobs that pay over $90,000 right now.

5. Victoria has struck a secret deal with Uber this week to bring 2,500 UberX drivers into the state’s regulatory regime as accredited hire-care drivers, BRW reported. The move would legalise the service and probably annoy taxi drivers around the world.

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