5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Facial recognition. (Source: FinTech Australia)

Check out these tech stories as you wind down for the weekend:

1. 500 Australian businesses are ready to sell on Amazon when it launches here. That titbit came as the internet giant launched its first-ever summit in Australia to show local merchants how to make money on its platform. The free event on November 13 has the blessing of the local retail industry bodies, as retailers and consumers alike brace for Amazon Australia – although no one knows yet when it’s starting. Read more here.

2. The government is keeping a big database of our faces and startups want a piece of the action. Tech industry executives have told Business Insider that biometrics solves fraud possible through physical identity checks and that the fintech industry would be well-advised to adopt the government’s lead in facial recognition. Read more on the debate and the privacy implications.

3. Brisbane energy tech startup Redback just raised $9 million. Right Click Capital and the government’s Clean Energy Innovation Fund have chipped in $US2 million and $US5 million respectively in return for equity, as the company goes gangbusters with its solar power hybrid control system. Read more here.

4. Bitcoin wants to split again. A group of developers is planning to create Bitcoin Gold, a new currency with the aim of becoming “a better gold than Bitcoin”, whatever that means. The separatists are planning to establish a hard-fork on October 25, with the new currency to be operational by the start of November. Read more.

5. Former Microsoft Australia boss Pip Marlow has taken on more responsibility at Suncorp. iTnews reports Marlow, who is in charge of strategic innovation at the financial institution, will now add customer platforms and customer experience to her plate after a restructure.

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