Telstra nabs former Juniper CFOO and Tesla board member Denholm for COO role

ZDNet

After a string of departures in 2016 that saw the roles of CIO, CTO, COO, and CISO vacated, Telstra has said it will fill the chief operating officer role in early 2017 with the appointment of Robyn Denholm. Denholm joins Australia's incumbent telco after a 9-year stint as Juniper Networks chief financial and operations officer, and 11 years with Sun Microsystems before that. Denholm is also a board member of Tesla and Swiss robotics company ABB. Telstra CEO Andy Penn said the telco had made a world class appointment. "Robyn has a proven track record as a global COO in a business focused on telecommunications networks.


Uber compensation package approved by Queensland government

ZDNet

A bill to compensate taxi drivers affected by the legalisation of ride-sharing companies like Uber has passed Queensland's hung parliament late Thursday evening. In August, the government announced a AU$100 million assistance package including payments of $20,000 per taxi license, capped at two per owner, and AU$10,000 per licence for existing limousine service licence holders. As part of the package, the government also said it would invest AU$26.7 million into a hardship fund for drivers negatively impacted by the reform, which came into effect on September 5. Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe announced changes to the assistance package which include allowing compensation payments to trusts and companies that own taxi licenses, as well as sole operators such as drivers who lease a taxi off the license holder. Drivers classified as employees are excluded in the scheme. "It is expected the government will be in a position to send invitations to eligible taxi and limousine licence holders regarding the transitional assistance in December to enable payments shortly thereafter," Hinchliffe said.


The flowering of voice control leads to a crop of security holes

ZDNet

Vendors' glossy reports shower onto the desks of customers and journalists like gentle Christmas snow. But so many of these reports, like so many snowfalls, are nothing but slush. All year we've been hearing about the spreading plague of ransomware, and how the Internet of Things (IoT) will be a security nightmare. Remember the botnet made of video cameras? Vendors have been waving around phrases like "artificial intelligence" and "machine learning" and "threat intelligence sharing" like magic wands.


Human Services to recoup AU$4b with automated welfare overpayment system

ZDNet

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has implemented an online compliance system that is using automation to help locate funds owed to the Commonwealth. Approximately AU$4.5 million that has gone awry is being pointed to each day by the online compliance system, allowing DHS to kick off the process to reclaim the funds. Before the new system, only AU$295,000 in missing funds was highlighted every 24 hours. The system has been in operation since July and is now initiating 20,000 compliance interventions a week -- a jump from 20,000 a year previously. Minister for Human Services Alan Tudge expects the system to carry out 1.7 million compliance interventions within the next three years.


Another Australian parliamentary year ends without data breach notification laws

ZDNet

With Australian Parliament risen for 2016 and members headed towards their summer breaks, Australia appears set to be without a working data breach notification scheme until sometime in 2018. If it feels like Australia has been through this before, you'd be right. Parliament is currently undertaking its third attempt to pass data breach notification laws, following previous attempts being stranded in the Senate by both Labor and Coalition governments. Due to commencement provisions in the legislation, unless otherwise proclaimed, any laws passed would take effect 12 months after gaining Royal Assent, which is likely to rule out 2017 for a working notification scheme. "Today Australians were on the brink of finally being given a basic privacy protection which they have waited three years for, but the government has squibbed it yet again," Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and Shadow Assistant Minister For Cyber Security & Defence Gai Brodtmann said in a statement on Thursday.