Category: Legal & Regulatory Risk

1
Government committed to introducing Mandatory Data Breach Notification laws
2
Big banks want a slice of the Apple Pay pie
3
EU-US Privacy Shield certifications to open in August
4
EU-US Privacy Shield approved
5
Agreed changes to EU-US Privacy Shield strengthens data transfer pact
6
Report finds average cost of data breach reaches $4 million
7
European Data Protection Supervisor less than impressed with EU-US Privacy Shield
8
OAIC releases draft guide for conducting big data activities
9
Yes it can cost you your job…even if you are the boss!
10
Hacked accounts anyone?

Government committed to introducing Mandatory Data Breach Notification laws

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

After much delay, a spokesperson for Attorney-General, George Brandis has said the government is committed to introducing the Mandatory Data Breach Notification laws this year. We will be sure to look out for it during the next term of Parliament. You can find more information on the proposed scheme and its regulatory impact on the Attorney General’s Department consultation for Serious Data Breach Notification webpage.

 

Big banks want a slice of the Apple Pay pie

By Cameron Abbott and Rebecca Murray

It is not often that any one of Australia’s ‘Big Four’ banks find that they are too small to influence the shaping of new payment technology in Australia. However, three of Australia’s largest financial institutions have chosen to join forces in applying to the ACCC seeking authorisation to enter into joint negotiations with Apple Inc to install their own electronic payment applications on iPhones. The application to the ACCC can be seen here.

As yet, Apple, which operates its own lucrative Apple Pay electronic payment application, does not allow third-party electronic payment apps to be loaded onto iPhones. The applicants, National Australia Bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp and the smaller Adelaide Bank and Bendigo Bank contend that restricting the technology through which iPhone mobile wallets function, known as Near Field Technology, equates to anti-competitive behaviour.

In a joint statement, the banks state that they ‘want to ensure that Australian consumers can make payments easily through their choice of mobile wallet providers, have access to the latest developments in contactless payment technology, and can benefit from common security standards across the mobile payment system.’ The joint statement can be seen here.

ANZ is conspicuously absent from the joint application having ‘blinked first’ by agreeing to give Apple a nice cut of the action in Australia by using Apple Pay.

EU-US Privacy Shield certifications to open in August

By Cameron Abbott, Simon Ly and Rowena Baer

As a follow up to our latest blog post, the European Union and European Commission yesterday announced that the Privacy Shield arrangement has been adopted.

Companies wanting to utilise the Privacy Shield for their Trans-Atlantic data transfers are able to apply for certification with the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1 August 2016, with the US and EU to brief companies on the application process later this week.

For a legal perspective and analysis of the Privacy Shield, please see our colleagues’ report here.

To keep up to date and for an overview of the changes, please see here.

EU-US Privacy Shield approved

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham, Simon Ly and Rowena Baer

When the Safe Harbour arrangements were struck down the EU and US worked to create a replacement and flesh out the details of this new arrangement (see our last article on this issue here). We have all been somewhat nervously watching to see if the new ‘Privacy Shield’ would get final approval amid some criticism from some quarters. Good news, last Friday the EU member states on the Article 31 Committee voted to approve a revised Privacy Shield.

The new arrangement provides a welcome measure of certainty for businesses whose Trans-Atlantic data transfers have been left in legal limbo since the European Court of Justice declared the longstanding Safe Harbor Framework invalid in October 2015.

The European Commission has released a statement expressing their confidence in the adoption of the new Privacy Shield, noting that the new pact is “fundamentally different” from its predecessor. The new Privacy Shield imposes “clear and strong obligations on companies handling the data and makes sure that these rules are followed and enforced in practice”.

International tech industry groups have also praised the move as a win for both consumers and businesses as the pact provides robust consumer privacy protections. Voicing their support of the Privacy Shield, Microsoft released a detailed blog post on how the Privacy Shield is progress for privacy rights, declaring that the regime is an “important achievement for the privacy rights of citizens across Europe, and for companies across all industries that rely on international data flows to run their businesses and serve their customers”.

Whilst we are still at the early stages, companies should begin assessing the Privacy Shield’s impact on their existing agreements and also more broadly their data strategy, keeping in mind that the regime relates only to EU-US data transfers. In particular, consideration should be given to the transitional arrangements in the Privacy Shield. Companies should also be aware of the potential challenges to this regime (and related issues post-Brexit) as there is concern about the shelf life of the Privacy Shield.

For more information, please see the EU’s page here and the US’s page here.

Agreed changes to EU-US Privacy Shield strengthens data transfer pact

By Cameron Abbott and Giles Whittaker

The US and the European Union reportedly reached an agreement on the language of a key data transfer pact, including clearer limits on U.S. surveillance and stricter rules for companies holding information of Europeans. The updated EU-US Privacy Shield was sent to EU member states, who are expected to vote on the proposal in July. The revised data transfer pact is said to include stricter cross-border data-handling rules for companies using Europeans’ information for targeted online advertising, and also has detailed the specific condition under which U.S. government intelligence services would collect data in bulk and the safeguards on how the data is used.

Meanwhile, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant urged the EU’s member states to quickly sign off on the updated version, saying that the new framework for trans-Atlantic data transfer is critical for companies on both sides of the pond.

Further information regarding the report by Reuters can be read here.

Report finds average cost of data breach reaches $4 million

By Cameron Abbott and Giles Whittaker

A report sponsored by IBM and conducted by the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach has grown to $4 million, up 29% from 2013. The survey also found cybersecurity incidents continued to witness growth in both volume and sophistication, with 64% more security incidents reported in 2015 than the preceding year. According to the study, the companies lose $158 per compromised record. Also not surprisingly, breaches in highly regulated industries were even more costly. For instance, healthcare breaches reached $355 per record – a full $100 more than in 2013.

Read the full report conducted by the Ponemon Institute here.

European Data Protection Supervisor less than impressed with EU-US Privacy Shield

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham and Giles Whittaker

The EU-US Privacy Shield data-sharing agreement has come under scrutiny from the European Data Protection Supervisor Giovanni Buttarelli. Mr Buttarelli has expressed concerns that the Privacy Shield, which will outline how data (including personal information) should be handled in foreign jurisdictions, is “not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny”.

While Mr Buttarelli said he “appreciates” the efforts made to develop a solution to replace Safe Harbour, he emphasised that “significant improvements are needed should the European Commission wish to adopt an adequacy decision, to respect…the key data protection principles” which are afforded in Europe with particular regard to “necessity, proportionality and redress mechanisms”.

Giovanni Buttarelli’s statement regarding the Privacy Shield can be found here.

OAIC releases draft guide for conducting big data activities

By Cameron Abbott and Simon Ly

Last week the OAIC released their consultation draft Guide to big data and the Australian Privacy Principles, with feedback on the Guide open until 26 July 2016.

The main purpose of the Guide is to facilitate big data activities while protecting personal information (being information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable). The Guide addresses issues such as notice and consent, retention minimisation and use limitation in regards to such data. Whilst not legally binding, the Guide will be referred to by the Privacy Commissioner in undertaking its functions under the Privacy Act.

One of the key aspects dealt with in the Guide is that entities should consider undertaking big data activities on an anonymised manner by de-identifying personal information. If so, this has the favourable outcome that such data will not be considered personal information so accordingly less onerous obligations apply under the Privacy Act to such data. Of course, if this is the case it also lessens the chance that personal information will be compromised should a data breach occur (speaking of which, we note OAIC’s April 2016 guide to deal with data breaches). However, in our experience most of our clients want to analyse and then drill down to take actions or campaigns in relation to a then identified group of customers.

The Guide also highlights how big data interacts with the APPs as well as discussing other related concepts, such as “privacy by design” frameworks. For more information, you can access the OAIC’s consultation draft Guide here.

Yes it can cost you your job…even if you are the boss!

By Cameron Abbott and Giles Whittaker

The CEO of Austrian aerospace parts maker FACC, has been fired following a cyber fraud that cost the company 42 million euros (AUD $65 million). FACC also fired their CFO in February soon after the cyber fraud.

Executives are being held responsible for business’ cybersecurity measures, and while FACC declined to comment on the details of Walter Stephan’s shortcomings, their supervisory board concluded that Walter Stephan had “severely violate his duties, in particular in relation to the fake president incident”. It is likely that this violation is in reference to a lack of adequate cybersecurity procedures or protections, which would be considered essential for most businesses in this technologically integrated era.

So how was it done? The technique used to deceive FACC into handing over their money is known as a ‘fake president incident’. To put it simply, the hackers sent an email to an employee posing as the CEO, and requested that funds be transferred to a specified account for a fake acquisition project. It would appear the board figured it shouldn’t have been that easy.

More information about this cyber fraud can be found in an article by reuters.

Hacked accounts anyone?

By Cameron Abbott and Giles Whittaker

Have you been hacked? If you are the user of a Google, Yahoo or Microsoft e-mail account then it is a possibility. Alex Holden, the founder and Chief Information Officer of Hold Security who discovered the hack has identified 272.3 million account credentials have been stolen. The majority of these accounts are users of Mail.ru which is Russia’s most popular e-mail service.

57 million Mail.ru account credentials had been hacked and Mail.ru “are now checking any combinations of usernames/passwords match users’ e-mails and are still active”, from initial checks there were no live combinations.

Google and Yahoo are yet to provide any response.

This recent hack, which was performed by a young Russian hacker who is more determined to become famous than rich from his recent efforts after only asking for 50 roubles (less than $1) for the entire dataset, is one of the biggest collection of stolen credentials since the attacks on major US banks and retailers two years ago. The information which was stolen, as suggest by Holden in an interview with Reuters is “potent [and] it is floating around in the underground…which can be abused multiple times.”

Some of the stolen credentials include those for employees of large US banking, manufacturing and retail companies. When considering that 22 percent of big data breaches come from stolen online credentials (according to a recent survey of 325 computer professional) and hacks of this nature typically allow for further break-ins or phishing attacks by accessing the contacts of each hacked account, the domino effect of a hack such as this is substantial. Furthermore, individuals that like to re-use their preferred passwords across multiple accounts have exposed themselves to additional hacks.

So what is the take away message? According to Will Harwood, founder and Chief Technology Officer of Silicon SAFE, the solution as he told Infosecurity is to put the “password data in a dedicated hardware supported database that only allows data to be stored and compared, never revealed.”

For more of Will Harwood’s security suggestions and the Infosecurity article click here.

To read more about Alex Holden’s discovery of the Russian hacker click here.

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