Spurr v New Matilda – a flurry of commentary on privacy law thus far if nothing else…so far

October 25, 2014

The Federal Court proceeding Professor Barry Spurr v At Large Media Pty Ltd ACN 144 75 316 & Anor has generated considerable reportage and analysis about privacy law and its inadequacies in equal measure with commentary on Professor Spurr’s attitude to various groups within the community and his general penmanship as revealed by his leaked emails.  His claim appears to be Read the rest of this entry »

The twists and turns in an unlikely Privacy Act action

October 23, 2014

Barry Spurr’s action in the Federal Court against New Matilda may have received reasonably close coverage but the basis of the claim for injunctive relief has not been Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with the Privacy Commissioner

Given that in Australia the effectiveness, or otherwise, of regulation of privacy at the Federal level is dependent on the Privacy Commissioner’s attitude to enforcement and (to a lesser extent) his resources,  it is always interesting to hear what he has to say.  A slightly more rigorous analysis, but only just, than reading tea leaves and consulting astrological charts in determining what will happen in the future.  In Australia Read the rest of this entry »

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 »