Category: Legal & Regulatory Risk

1
Another Facebook app leaves anonymised data of 3 million users potentially exposed
2
Family Planning NSW the latest victim of cyber attacks
3
US Court signals that proving data breach class actions will be difficult
4
Facebook to release “clear history” tool
5
Cambridge Analytica closes its doors
6
Excel skills of English Council leads to the exposure of “hidden” personal information
7
DNA Profiles shared online lead to serial killer’s arrest
8
Over half of notifiable data breaches caused by human error
9
Facebook’s Potential $70 billion Legal Challenge
10
Mark Zuckerberg testifies: what you need to know

Another Facebook app leaves anonymised data of 3 million users potentially exposed

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Recent news reports have revealed that Facebook has been hit with another data scandal.

The anonymised data of approximately 3 million Facebook users has reportedly been published on a poorly protected website. This data was originally collected via a Facebook quiz app called “myPersonality”. The myPersonality app was developed as part of the “myPersonality project” run by academics at the University of Cambridge’s The Psychometrics Centre.

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Family Planning NSW the latest victim of cyber attacks

By Cameron Abbott and Allison Wallace

Up to 8000 clients of Family Planning New South Wales have been affected by a ransomware attack on the NGO’s website. No the sort of records people every want to see disclosed.

The website was hacked on ANZAC Day, with the personal information of clients who had contacted FPNSW  in the past 2 and a half years compromised – including details such as names, contact details and reasons for enquiries.

 

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US Court signals that proving data breach class actions will be difficult

By Andrew C. Glass, David D. Christensen, Cameron Abbott and Matthew N. Lowe

In the US, several attempts at class actions for those affected by a data breach have failed challenges in early procedural stages.  In Dieffenbach v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., 887 F.3d 826 (7th Cir. Apr. 11, 2018), the Seventh Circuit allowed a data breach class action to survive the pleadings stage.  At the same time, the Court indicated that the plaintiffs may have a tough time proving their claims on the merits or establishing that class certification is warranted.  At the end of the day, the Dieffenbach decision may prove to be less of a boon and more of a bust for plaintiffs in data breach class actions.  Although it may provide a means to get into court, the decision makes clear that obtaining a favorable outcome may be a “difficult task.”  For a full summary of the Dieffenbach decision please see our client alert here.

Facebook to release “clear history” tool

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Facebook collects data on every “like” button you click on a website and the websites you visit that use Facebook pixel code.

At the F8 Conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook will release a new tool that will enable Facebook users to see and delete identifying information that Facebook has collected about them from other websites and apps. This new “clear history” tool will also allow users to turn off having this information stored with their Facebook account.

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Cambridge Analytica closes its doors

By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan

Cambridge Analytica, the data company embroiled in the Facebook privacy scandal, is closing down. The firm’s parent company, SCL Elections, announced that it and some of its affiliates including Cambridge Analytica had commenced insolvency proceedings in the UK, and would immediately cease all operations.

In a statement, Cambridge Analytica said it had been “vilified” and the subject of “numerous unfounded accusations” about its activities, which it says are legal and widely accepted in online advertising. It blamed negative media coverage of allegations the company improperly used the data of 87 million Facebook users (which you can read about here, here and here) for a mass exodus of clients.

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Excel skills of English Council leads to the exposure of “hidden” personal information

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

The Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council (Council) was recently fined £120,000 (approximately AUD$217,920) by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for the unauthorised processing of personal data belonging to 943 people who owned vacant properties in the Borough.

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DNA Profiles shared online lead to serial killer’s arrest

By Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Sarah Goegan

Last week, California police arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, the man suspected of being the “Golden State Killer” or “East Area Rapist”, a serial killer and rapist who terrorised parts of California in the 1970s and 80s.

Of particular interest is how he came to be arrested, with the help of DNA matched on a genealogy website.

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Over half of notifiable data breaches caused by human error

By Warwick Andersen, Rob Pulham and Keely O’Dowd

Following on from Friday’s blog, we have looked at a particular aspect of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme quarterly report in more detail.

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Facebook’s Potential $70 billion Legal Challenge

By Rob Pulham, Warwick Andersen and Georgia Mills

In another blow to embattled Facebook, British and US lawyers have launched a class action lawsuit against the social media giant, along with Cambridge Analytica and two other companies for allegedly misusing the data of over 87 million people.

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Mark Zuckerberg testifies: what you need to know

By Cameron Abbott and Sarah Goegan

Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress in two marathon sessions this week. He was quizzed on topics including Cambridge Analytica and data sharing, privacy law and social media regulation, and Facebook’s policies.

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