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ACS Week in Review: April 11, 2014

Friday, 11 Apr 2014

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The ACS Week In Review is a collection of key news items from the previous week, which may be of interest to ACS members and stakeholders. To view the full news item, simply click on the link in the headline.

Google glass to go on sale to the public – just not in Australia

Australians will miss out on buying from the first batch of publicly available Google Glass products next week, when it opens for purchase in the United States.

The company announced last night the wearable gadget would go on sale in the US on April 15 for US$1500 (AUD$1594). It did not quantify how many units of Glass were available but said there was a limited supply.

Glass will not be available to anyone outside of the US, but can be purchased online by Americans from 11pm AEST through Google’s Glass website.

This will be the first time the product has been available to the wider public, after previously being restricted to application developers involved in Google’s Explorer program.

"Every day we get requests from those of you who haven't found a way into the program yet, and we want your feedback too," the company said in a blog post.

Simple error that left millions at risk

The German software developer who introduced a security flaw into an encryption protocol used by millions of websites globally says he did not insert it deliberately as some have suggested.

In what appears to be his first comments to the media since the bug was uncovered, Robin Seggelmann said how the bug made its way into live code could "be explained pretty easily".

The encryption flaw, called Heartbleed, has exposed large swathes of the internet to malicious exploitation, prompting some security experts to warn internet users against even using the web for the next few days.

The bug introduced a flaw into the popular OpenSSL software, which is used by many popular social networking websites, search engines, banks, and online shopping sites to keep personal and financial data safe. It allowed those who knew of its existence to intercept usernames, passwords, credit card details, and various other sensitive information from a website's server in plain text.

It also allowed for a server's private encryption keys to be stolen. Once stolen, these keys can be used by criminals to decrypt data sent between a website's server and a user of that website.

Calls for technological neutrality in financial system enquiry

The government has published the submissions it has received for the 2014 Financial System Inquiry. Over 200 industry stakeholders, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ, Westpac, Eftpos, and PayPal, have weighed in on the discussion.

A number of submissions call for a balanced approach to new technologies and technological neutrality in the regulation of Australia’s digital financial services. One of the nation's biggest financial players, the CBA, warned that new technologies introduced potential risks.

In its submission, CBA proposed that a balanced approach must be taken to regulating digital delivery of financial services that will encourage innovation and competition while also ensuring the integrity, stability, and security of the financial sector.

CBA also called for technology neutrality in the decision-making process behind the regulation of the country's financial industry.