Professor Spur uses the Privacy Act to injunct New Matilda publishing his private emails

October 22, 2014

The ABC reports in Professor Barry Spurr mounts legal fight over publication of racist emails in New Matilda on Professor Barry Spur obtaining an interim injunction in the Federal Court not to publish any further details about emails by Professor Spur.  While the report does not specify the basis for injuctive relief it is most likely grounded in section 98 of the Privacy Act.  Interestingly the report also states that Read the rest of this entry »

US Supreme Court to consider privacy issues in City of Los Angeles v Patel

October 21, 2014

Australian privacy related jurisprudence inches along in a state of lassitude. The latest report by the Australian Law Reform Commission advocating reform to this area of law including recommending a statutory tort of for serious invasions of privacy was tabled this year.  Its reception was muted to say the least and the Government has already made it clear that it does not support enacting such a tort.  Meanwhile in the United States the US Supreme Court has displayed continued interest in privacy following on from its unanimous decision in United States v Jones  and the earlier unanimous decision in Kyllo v United States  with its decision to grant a petition to hear an appeal from a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in City of Los Angeles v Patel on whether Read the rest of this entry »

Another insight into where drones are heading!

October 20, 2014

The Atlantic in Dudes with Drones gives an entertaining and valuable insight into how the unmanned aerial vehicle industry (aka drones) is morphing at an exponential rate by following a a group of entrepeneurs and enthusiasts.  In the USA an estimated 500,000 drones have been sold to date.  From a privacy perspective the moves to use facial recognition on drone mounted video cameras and the increasing capacity and battery life is a matter of concern.  The technology is Read the rest of this entry »

Two responses to recent high profile data breaches…

October 19, 2014

The Privacy Commissioner issued a statement last week titled Recent online security incidents with some advice on what can be done to improve security on line while Zdnet reports in Facebook explains how it protects user passwords in light of data breaches how it takes steps to protect passwords.  While both are good responses to a Read the rest of this entry »

Another reported loss of personal information relating to asylum seekers this time lost by Save the Children

The Guardian reports in Asylum seekers’ personal details stolen in second immigration data breach reports on another breach of data security relating personal information of asylum seekers.  This breach reportedly involves the loss of hard drives holding data which was not password protected.  If the report is accurate the personal information would include sensitive information for the purposes of the Privacy Act.  Information relating to mental health issues and minors is particularly sensitive. The loss also highlights the need to maintain proper security for mobile devices, whether they are USB stick/portable hard drives, flash drives, memory cards, phones or whatever means by which data are stored in a digital form. Password protection is a minimum as should be proper encryption.  If a breach of this nature occurred Read the rest of this entry »

Establishment of a Common Thread Organisation to allow collaboration on cybersecurity and cybergovernance issues in the Commonwealth

October 18, 2014

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation announced the beginning of the process to create a Common Thread Network to allow Read the rest of this entry »

Report on insecure medical information highlights poor security standards in Victoria

October 16, 2014

On Melbourne ABC radio today Jon Faine announced receipt of information from a whistleblower highlighting the insecure transmission of highly sensitive medical information through its emergency paging system.  It has been picked up by the Age in Private medical information used by emergency services ‘insecure’, claims whistleblower which Read the rest of this entry »

UK Information Commissioner’s Office issues CCTV code of practice and a warnting about the use of surveillance cameras

On 15 October 2014 the UK Information Commissioner’s office issued its updated CCTV code of practice (found here). As the press release notes the UK is one of the leading users of CCTV in the world.  Australia fares poorly by comparison with the UK in terms of privacy protections through the use of CCTV.  The absence of Read the rest of this entry »

California Attorney General announces settlement of $28.5 million with US rent to own business, Aarons Inc over consumer and privacy breaches including using spyware

October 15, 2014

 The Californian Attorney General has announced a settlement with Aaron’s over a number of breaches, including breach of privacy legislation.  The privacy breach related to the installation of spyware on rental computers without client’s consent.  The complaint is found here and the consent orders are found here. This follows on Federal Trade Commission entering into final orders involving the installation of spyware.  Where the powers are available the regulators in the USA are Read the rest of this entry »

US Postal Service has privacy problems with change of address information

October 9, 2014

The Washington Post in How the Postal Service put your change-of-address information at risk reports on an audit of the US Postal Service which uncovered a significant weakness in the data security privacy breach.   The weakness was poor controls over those outside groups who were given access to those records including a failure to follow its own procedures.  One of those procedures was to require entities to submit security plands when they apply for licences.  This episode highlights 2 issues in privacy protection; that weaknesses Read the rest of this entry »