CCTV trial in Queensland ringing privacy alarm bells

March 8, 2017

At the best of times Closed Circuit television (“CCTV”) needs to be used carefully, responsibly and proportionally.  The danger of function creep is present, particularly when CCTVs are tied to a network and run by government agencies.  The report today in the Guardian in Fears over trial of ‘1984’ surveillance system that anticipates antisocial acts highlights a highly suspect trial by Toowomba City Council to use facial recognition software and analytic software to potentially predict anti social behaviour. This story has had a run on the World Today.  The vagueness of the Toowoomba Mayor, Paul Antonio’s answers as to the future possible use of the CCTVs highlights the lack of transparency that accompanies these sort of “trials.”  Of almost as much concern is the fact that the Queensland Privacy Commissioner has not been consulted.  More like ignored even though the Information Privacy Act applies to local government.  That Commissioner has prepared, vague and inadequate guidelines, on camera surveillance which are likely to be breached if the commentary on the World Today story turns into account. In the UK, where CCTVs are ubiquitous, there is a code of practice and real consequences for its misuse.
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Yahoo’s misery from its 2014 continues with report that employees knew of breach at time of incident but not advising until 2016

The Yahoo security breach which resulted in 500 million customer emails being compromised will become a case study in what not to do when suffering a data breach, how not to Read the rest of this entry »

Doctor fined for filming men in the shower but scope for civil action limited

January 7, 2017

State governments have been enthusiastic about criminalising surreptitious photography of a sexual nature, in response to the questionable practice of upskirting (taking photographs from shoes or ground level of women’s’ underwear) and revenge porn, the posting on-line of naked or intimate photographs by a spurned ex partner. The use of this legislation is reported on in Doctor fined for filming men in shower, where the accused engaged in utterly appalling behaviour in filming men showering in public bathrooms in Brisbane.  The article provides:
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Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus….Merry Christmas

December 24, 2016

As is my tradition, just before Christmas I post a wonderful piece of journalism which is in keeping with this joyous festive season.  It is the editorial “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”, a wonderful Read the rest of this entry »

Yahoo hit by another massive data breach, this time affecting 1 billion accounts

December 15, 2016

It would be fair to say that 2016 has been an annus horribilis for Yahoo. In September it announced a data breach, stretching back to 2014, which affected 500 million accounts.  Today it announced a breach which occurred a year earlier, in August 2013. The information taken includes names, dates of birth, hashed passwords and some security questions and answers.  It is a disastrous Read the rest of this entry »

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security to hold an inquiry into Telecommunications and other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

November 21, 2016

Yet another inquiry into telecoms legislation.  This time it the reivew is into the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016.   The announcement Read the rest of this entry »

Big W has self inflicted data leak but nothing compared to the massive data breach at the Friend Finder Network.

November 14, 2016

Data breaches involving the personal information of thousands of people barely rates a mention in data security journals.  Even those involving hundreds of thousands are seemingly ubiquitous, though Read the rest of this entry »

Australia’s biggest data breach, involving 1.3 million records collected by the Red Cross..not quite the world beating Yahoo data breach earlier this year but very significant

October 28, 2016

Another day, another massive data breach. This time an Australian record with more than a million personal and medical records of people donating blood to the Australian Red Cross having their information exposed on line.

The Red Cross issued a fairly comprehensive statement which Read the rest of this entry »

NSW Legislative Council Committee recommends a statutory tort of privacy

March 6, 2016

The Standing Committee on Law and Justice has issued its final report relating to the serious invasion of Privacy in New South Wales.  The report is Read the rest of this entry »

Encryption and Privacy..

January 13, 2016

The friction, if not outright conflict, between government authorities wanting access to data and viable and trusted encryption is a significant ongoing Read the rest of this entry »