Weekly Tech Round-Up | #16

Here is all the tech news from the past week, sign up for our newsletter to receive this in your inbox every week. We also do a South West tech news update.

Cazoo’s Alex Chesterman backs legal tech startup in £1.5M funding that lets lawyers verify client identity in minutes

Based out of London, Thirdfort is an app-based solution that lets conveyancers verify client ID and source of funds in minutes. The legal tech startup has secured £1.5 million in funding, bringing the company’s total funds raised to £4.2 million. The latest funding was raised from existing investors, with the funds doubled via a convertible loan from the Government, as part of its Future Fund programme. The funding will be used to support expansion in the legal and property sectors for the digital ID and anti-money-laundering startup. 

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Alibaba: Chinese regulator slaps huge fine on tech giant

The world’s biggest online retailer – China’s Alibaba – has been hit with a record fine equivalent to $2.75bn. Regulators in China said the internet giant had abused its dominant market position for several years. In a statement the company said it accepted the ruling and would “ensure its compliance”. Analysts say the fine shows that China intends to move against internet platforms that it thinks are too big. The company is China’s Amazon meets eBay, our correspondent says. Retail is its main activity but its work has spread to digital payments, credit and cloud computing.

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UK must make tech firms pay for news, says competition watchdog

The UK must introduce a new code to ensure news publishers are fairly compensated for the use of their stories on tech platforms, the competition watchdog has said. Daniel Gordon, Senior Director of markets at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), said his organisation agreed with the principles behind a new Australian law requiring tech giants to pay for content. “A code needs to be put in place to ensure there are fair and reasonable terms between the platforms and the businesses they interact with,” he told a Lords committee this afternoon. He added that the CMA would start exploring how a code of conduct could be used to help rebalance the relationship between publishers and platforms.

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UK Employees want pandemic-era tech to stay but fear the return of ‘the old way’ of doing things

As the UK prepares to return to normal in the coming months and industries reopen, research from The Workforce Institute at UKG reveals that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 87% of UK workers have been propelled into the future of work by accelerating their digital transformation projects. Furthermore, 86% are enjoying the benefits of these new technologies, and 38% are fearful that their organisation will go back to the “old way” of doing things post-pandemic.

The global research commissioned by The Workforce Institute at UKG and conducted by Workplace Intelligence dissects the feelings of nearly 4,000 employees and business leaders across 11 countries to understand what digital transformation initiatives took place during the COVID-19 pandemic, how leaders and employees felt about these new technologies, and what they hope to see in the post-pandemic world of work.

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