Archive: 2020

1
Click your “e-John Hancock” onto that: COVID-19 helps the Australian Government clear the way for electronic execution under section 127(1) of the Corporations Act
2
#WashYourCyberHands
3
Privacy Professionals download COVIDSafe App
4
It’s Trace Time! The COVIDSafe App is open for business – Part II
5
It’s Trace Time! The COVIDSafe App is open for business – Part I
6
“This is a public health app, it’s not a surveillance app”: Review finds “nothing particularly disturbing” about the Federal Government’s coronavirus tracing app
7
Let’s Track This Through: Tracking Data at the Epicentre of Efforts to Stop COVID Outbreak as Federal Government Considers Implementing Opt-In Mobile Application
8
A phishing pandemic (and offensive): Part III
9
“Major systemic failure”: The Federal Court of Australia published full names of asylum seekers on the Commonwealth Courts Portal
10
A phishing pandemic – Part II

Click your “e-John Hancock” onto that: COVID-19 helps the Australian Government clear the way for electronic execution under section 127(1) of the Corporations Act

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham and Warwick Andersen

Temporary amendments to the Australian Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (Corporations Act) took effect on 6 May 2020, making it easier to facilitate company meetings using remote technology, and providing some certainty as to companies’ execution of documents electronically under section 127(1) of the Corporations Act.

The Corporations (Coronavirus Economic Response) Determination (No. 1) 2020 (Determination) allows company meetings such as AGMs to be held using technology rather than face-to-face meetings, and enables a quorum, votes, notices and the asking of questions to be facilitated electronically. For a more in-depth look at these changes, see “Operating a Business During COVID-19: The Implications for Public Companies” by our colleagues Harry Kingsley, Kaveh Zegrati, and Alex Garfinkel.

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#WashYourCyberHands

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

There has never been a better time to #WashYourCyberHands.

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided the perfect breeding ground for cyber criminals to capitalise on, and exploit the outbreak of the virus to steal data, commit fraud and circulate online scams. Law enforcement agencies and the cybersecurity industry have seen an increase in the number of targeted cyberattacks by criminals since the outbreak began.

INTERPOL has announced it is launching a global campaign to raise awareness about the top coronavirus related cyber threats throughout the globe. The campaign will provide basic cyber hygiene advice to businesses and individuals on how to ‘wash your cyber hands’ and protect systems and data from cyber threats.

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Privacy Professionals download COVIDSafe App

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham, Michelle Aggromito and Allison Wallace

A number of legal professionals, with significant experience in the field of privacy law, have signed an open letter to encourage individuals to download the Commonwealth Government’s COVIDSafe App.

Among the privacy lawyers are members of K&L Gates own Australian privacy team (and the authors of this blog post) Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham, Warwick Andersen, Michelle Aggromito and Allison Wallace.

The open letter is signed by members in their personal capacity, and signals that people who care about privacy a lot can still think that supporting the health and economic objectives of the App is more important at this time.

As at the date of this post, more than 5 million people have downloaded the App, with more needed to reach the Commonwealth Government’s target of 40% of the Australian population.

It’s Trace Time! The COVIDSafe App is open for business – Part II

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Michelle Aggromito

In Part I of this blog, we briefly touched on some of the safeguards that the Commonwealth Government has indicated that they will implement to address privacy concerns. Those proposed new safeguards are intended to satisfy many of the privacy concerns. However, there are additional safeguards that have been implemented in connection with the functionality of the App, which we focus on in Part II here.

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It’s Trace Time! The COVIDSafe App is open for business – Part I

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Michelle Aggromito

The Commonwealth Government released its COVIDSafe App for download at 6.00pm AEST on Sunday 26 April, and it surpassed 1.13 million downloads within the first 12 hours. This was far greater than expectations, with Health Minister Greg Hunt commenting that, at best, the hope was that “we might get to 1 million in five days.”

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“This is a public health app, it’s not a surveillance app”: Review finds “nothing particularly disturbing” about the Federal Government’s coronavirus tracing app

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham, Michelle Aggromito and Rebecca Gill

The Federal Government’s coronavirus tracing app has raised some privacy concerns amongst the Australian public. Even some of our government Ministers have ruled out downloading the app due to such concerns! However, the independent cyber security body tasked with reviewing the app has said that it has found no major concerns with it.

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Let’s Track This Through: Tracking Data at the Epicentre of Efforts to Stop COVID Outbreak as Federal Government Considers Implementing Opt-In Mobile Application

By Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Max Evans

We previously blogged about the plethora of Asian countries who are using telecommunications networks, smart phone applications and messaging services to inform, track and monitor individuals who may have contracted COVID-19. It appears that Australia’s eyes are on similar technology opportunities, as according to an article from the SMH, the Federal Government will ask Australians “within weeks” to opt in and sign up for a mobile application that uses tracking data to alert individuals as to their risks of contracting COVID-19.

According to the article, the relevant application will monitor the movements of participants to inform individuals whether they have been close to someone already infected with COVID-19. The application also has the functionality to enable someone who has contracted the virus to notify health authorities and ensure that an alert is sent to anyone he or she has been in contact with over the previous 24 hours. Both of these processes are part of what is known as “contact tracing”.

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A phishing pandemic (and offensive): Part III

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham, Michelle Aggromito and Rebecca Gill

As noted in part I of this blog, various reports have highlighted the significant increase in phishing scams in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, there has been an increase in coronavirus-related emails and SMS messages that are embedded with malicious links or documents, created for the purposes of stealing personal information (among other things), usually for financial gain. In order to stop the spread (pardon the pun) of such virus-inspired phishing scams, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has confirmed that it has launched an offensive against malicious attackers located offshore.

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“Major systemic failure”: The Federal Court of Australia published full names of asylum seekers on the Commonwealth Courts Portal

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham, Michelle Aggromito and Rebecca Gill

The Federal Court of Australia has suffered a catastrophic data breach in which the names of individuals seeking protection visas in Australia have been published on the publicly available Commonwealth Courts Portal database for years.

Ordinarily, the files of such applicants are listed by pseudonyms which are a collection of numbers and letters.

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A phishing pandemic – Part II

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham, Michelle Aggromito and Rebecca Gill

In part 1 of this blog, we highlighted the increase in phishing scams in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In this part 2, we discuss some practical tips that organisations can implement to mitigate the heightened risks of falling prey to such scams.

So, where to begin? You may have seen a recently published alert on the K&L Gates Hub: Responding to COVID-19 series, which provides high level ideas and tips for organisations when implementing remote working procedures for their employees. In particular, organisations should consider implementing:

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