Tag: privacy

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Not So Zoomy: Use of Videoconferencing Technology “Zoom” on the Rise, but Privacy and Data Security Inadequacies suggest Users should Tread Carefully
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Privacy in the time of COVID-19
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Uniformity of Law II: NSW Government pledges to introduce Mandatory Data Breach Reporting in respect to State Government Agencies
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This is your digital life (of no consent or control): The Australian Information Commissioner takes Facebook to Court
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Front and Centre: Privacy makes Front-Page, without a breach!
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New Decade, New Facebook? Facebook Reaches $550 Million Settlement in Facial Recognition Class Action, Agrees to Upgrade Privacy Safeguards
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Taking its Toll: Toll Shuts Down IT Systems Citing Cyber-Security Incident
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Post-Brexit data protection – where are we now?
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“Totally Clueless”: Dating app Grindr reported for breach of privacy rules
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Pushing for Gold: Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics adopting Facial Recognition Technology and Robotics to Ensure Peak (Security) Performance

Not So Zoomy: Use of Videoconferencing Technology “Zoom” on the Rise, but Privacy and Data Security Inadequacies suggest Users should Tread Carefully

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

As the world grinds to a halt following the perpetuation of COVID-19, more and more businesses have turned to remote work arrangements. This has led to a sharp rise in the use of videoconferencing technology Zoom. However, as the Australian Financial Review notes, flawed data security and privacy practices mean that the use of Zoom could be disastrous for corporate and personal privacy.

Concerns surrounding the use of Zoom arose earlier this year, with critical security vulnerabilities enabling hackers to predict Meeting ID’s and therefore join active meetings, and also allowing any website to forcibly join a user to a Zoom call with their video camera activated and without the user’s permission. Whilst a number of these errors were patched up, as the article notes, Zoom refused to disable the ability for hackers to forcibly join to a call anyone visiting a malicious site, raising security red flags and undermining public confidence in Zoom’s attitude towards data security. A strange response given that part of its attraction had been a perceived stronger approach to security.

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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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Uniformity of Law II: NSW Government pledges to introduce Mandatory Data Breach Reporting in respect to State Government Agencies

Cameron Abbott, Warwick Andersen and Max Evans

Following on from the consultation opened by the NSW Government in July 2019 (the subject of a previous blog), NSW Attorney-General Mark Speakman has committed to introducing a mandatory data breach scheme, according to an article by ITNews.

At present, neither NSW privacy laws nor the notifiable data breach scheme under Part IIIC of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) require public sector agencies in NSW to notify the NSW Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals where a data breach creates a risk of serious harm. This led to a consultation conducted by the Department of Communities and Justice in late 2019, which revealed “overwhelming public support” for the introduction of a mandatory data breach scheme in NSW, with the NSW Government “sharing a view” that the relevant scheme should be introduced.

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This is your digital life (of no consent or control): The Australian Information Commissioner takes Facebook to Court

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham and Rebecca Gill

In a first for Australia, the Australian Information Commissioner (Commissioner) has launched proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, seeking penalties against Facebook for serious and/or repeated interferences with privacy. The contraventions relate to the conduct disclosed by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which involved the This is Your Digital Life app (App). We’ve previously blogged about the App here.

It is unclear how the penalties will be calculated in this proceeding. The penalty rate applicable to the relevant period (being from March 2014 to May 2015) is a maximum of $1.7 million. Some have suggested that fines may be in the billions if the maximum rate is applied to each individual affected as a single “contravention” (with possibly over 300,000 contraventions in total!). This may be fun to calculate, but highly unlikely to be applied in reality.

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Front and Centre: Privacy makes Front-Page, without a breach!

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

Privacy lawyers have been waiting for this day for years (some of us decades). Privacy is on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age, despite there being no actual data breach. According to the article, Alinta Energy, one of the Australia’s biggest energy companies, is putting the privacy of its over 1.1 million retail gas and electricity customers at risk through poor privacy protections and a lack of proper oversight.

While this is an interesting piece of investigative journalism, what is really interesting is that privacy is now newsworthy even in the absence of a data breach.  It has been a long time coming but it seems society now rates privacy as front page news.  As our lawyers have already been pointing out in giving presentations this year – privacy has finally hit the big time!

New Decade, New Facebook? Facebook Reaches $550 Million Settlement in Facial Recognition Class Action, Agrees to Upgrade Privacy Safeguards

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and Florence Fermanis

Facebook is in the news again, but this time it’s not for the Cambridge Analytica scandal that took over our screens in 2019. Facebook has agreed to pay $550 Million USD to settle a class action which claimed that it had collected and stored biometric information belonging to millions of users without their consent, according to reports by Reuters and TechXplore.

According to the reports, the relevant users alleged that Facebook illegally collected biometric data through its ‘Tag Suggestions’ feature, which allowed users to recognise Facebook friends from uploaded photographs.

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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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Post-Brexit data protection – where are we now?

By Cameron Abbott and Michelle Aggromito

After years of political squabble and delays, Brexit day finally arrived on 31 January 2020. But what does it mean when we talk about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and how will data protection regulation and compliance change?

There will be little change during the transition (also known as “implementation”) period that is expected to end on 31 December 2020. During this period, EU law will continue to apply in the UK, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), after which the GDPR will be converted into UK law.

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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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Pushing for Gold: Organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics adopting Facial Recognition Technology and Robotics to Ensure Peak (Security) Performance

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and James Gray

It seems that Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) is the flavour of the month. Recently, we blogged about the adoption of FRT in the SkyCity Adelaide Casino to identify barred gamblers, which comes following the commencement of Perth’s 12 month trial of FRT conducted in co-operation with law enforcement agencies. However, on an international stage, organisers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have begun testing of FRT access systems to boost security, according to a Report by the Australian Financial Review.

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