Tag: personal information

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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
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Privacy in the time of COVID-19
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You’ve got mail…and lots of it according to the latest OAIC report!
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Taking its Toll: Toll Shuts Down IT Systems Citing Cyber-Security Incident
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“Totally Clueless”: Dating app Grindr reported for breach of privacy rules
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You Can’t Throw the (Face)Book at Them: Affected Users Unable to Pursue Damages Claim against Facebook
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Hand Out of the Cookie Jar: CJEU Issues Long-Awaited Decision on Cookies
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Hospital systems in quarantine after ransomware attack in Victoria
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Hyp3r-misappropriation of data gets Instagram’s attention, but is enough being done?
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You can be anonymised, but you can’t hide

“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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Privacy in the time of COVID-19

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

Nothing can stop us from talking about privacy, including a pandemic! Yesterday, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) issued guidance on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information during the COVID-19 pandemic (Guidance). 

It mainly serves as a reminder to organisations that even in these pressing times, they must comply with the Australian privacy regime. However, it also highlights what organisations can collect and do with personal information for the purposes of preventing and managing the spread of COVID-19.

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You’ve got mail…and lots of it according to the latest OAIC report!

By Cameron Abbott and Michelle Aggromito

With email being one of the most common forms of communication, it’s not surprising that inboxes these days accumulate thousands of emails that, perhaps, aren’t always electronically filed or deleted (not ours of course).

As the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has indicated in its most recent report on notifications received under the Notifiable Data Breach (NBD) scheme, email accounts are frequently being used for storage, and this raises inherent risk. Yes it’s convenient, but using email to send personal information, such as copies of passports, bank account details and credit card information, can very quickly lose its appeal. If the email account is accessed by a malicious actor through a phishing attack or a rogue employee, the end result can be exploitation of that information for criminal gain.

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Taking its Toll: Toll Shuts Down IT Systems Citing Cyber-Security Incident

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and Florence Fermanis

We have our first large scale data breach of the decade. Toll, a transport and logistics network which delivers up to 95 million items globally every year, has temporarily shut down a number of its IT systems as a precautionary measure after suffering a cyber-security breach on Friday, according to an article by the SMH.

A spokesperson has indicated that Toll has cybersecurity experts working closely with their IT team on the breach, and is taking careful internal measures so that systems can be brought back up online in a “controlled and secured manner”. Additionally, Toll has initiated business continuity plans to minimise the disturbance brought on by the breach. While any official numbers of affected customers and the exact nature and extent of the breach have not yet been released by Toll, The Register has reported that the breach has reportedly affected customers in Australia, India and the Philippines.

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“Totally Clueless”: Dating app Grindr reported for breach of privacy rules

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and Florence Fermanis

Dating apps, for many young people, are a fact of life. Meeting someone these days in real-life rather than through a simple swipe right appears to have become the exception, belonging more to any number of 90s teen “romcoms” than it does to real life.

According to an article by Reuters however, in recent times dating app Grindr has been the subject of a complaint by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) in relation to a breach of privacy rules as set out in the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, implemented in 2018.

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You Can’t Throw the (Face)Book at Them: Affected Users Unable to Pursue Damages Claim against Facebook

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and James Gray

A US federal judge has ruled that the 29 million Facebook users affected by the September 2018 data breach may not seek damages as a remedy, but can only pursue the enforcement of better security practices at Facebook, according to a report by Reuters. Judge Alsup of the US District Court stated that Facebook’s repetitive losses of users’ privacy indicated a long-term need for supervision, which comes in addition to prior judgment which indicated that Facebook’s views about user’s privacy expectations were “so wrong”.

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Hand Out of the Cookie Jar: CJEU Issues Long-Awaited Decision on Cookies

By Cameron Abbott and Max Evans

Earlier this month, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a long-awaited decision with respect to the requirements necessary for entities to satisfy in order to attain the valid consent of a user to the use of cookies to track and analyse his or her personal information.

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Hyp3r-misappropriation of data gets Instagram’s attention, but is enough being done?

By Cameron Abbott, Michelle Aggromito and Alyssia Totham

Until recently, a security vulnerability in the social media platform Instagram, allowed Hyp3r to illicitly harvest millions of Instagram users’ data and track their locations.

In a similar manner to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that plagued Facebook following the 2016 US presidential election, this latest example of Hyp3r’s mass data collection was discovered through a journalistic investigation and was not uncovered by the social media platform.

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You can be anonymised, but you can’t hide

By Cameron Abbott, Michelle Aggromito and Karla Hodgson

If you think there is safety in numbers when it comes to the privacy of your personal information, think again. A recent study in Nature Communications found that, given a large enough dataset, anonymised personal information is only an algorithm away from being re-identified.

Anonymised data refers to data that has been stripped of any identifiable information, such as a name or email address. Under many privacy laws, anonymising data allows organisations and public bodies to use and share information without infringing an individual’s privacy, or having to obtain necessary authorisations or consents to do so.

But what happens when that anonymised data is combined with other data sets?

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