US Congress votes to repeal privacy protections for web users

March 29, 2017

The United States is a curious place when it comes to privacy protection.  There are four actionable torts protecting privacy and Federally there are a number of areas where privacy protection is quite stringent, notably health records.  Most states Read the rest of this entry »

Chair of Productivity Commission speech on Data Availability and Use…Report on the way significant impact on privacy.

The Productivity Commission’s long in gestation final report on data usage and access , Data Availability and Use, is about to be completed.  It will be handed to the Australian Government by the end of this month.  It is likely to presage a serious impact on privacy regulation.

There have been 211 initial submissions and 124 post draft submissions.

The chairman of the Productivity Commission, Peter Harris gave a very interesting speech on 22 March 2017 about the issues being considered by the Commission in the upcoming report.

The speech provides:

The Productivity Commission is in the final week of its inquiry into Data Availability and Use. Read the rest of this entry »

Another data breach involving Australian Government, this time involving the Federal MPS

March 21, 2017

Transparency is an important part of government administration.  That includes providing details of the costs of administration. To that end publishing the cost of the use of telecommunications devices by MPs is hardly controversial.  Unless of course it involves a significant breach of privacy, including a breach of the Privacy Act 1988.  The Department of Parliamentary Services did not Read the rest of this entry »

US Marine nude photo sharing scandal..bad and getting worse as massive privacy breach

March 18, 2017

The ongoing scandal involving the display of intimate (generally nude) photographs of female Marines by their fellow, male, marines on a secret Facebook page highlights the dangers of social media for breaching the privacy of others but also in demeaning and degrading women.

A Facebook Group, Marines United, would post photos of female marines, taken by the women themselves or their partners, without their consent.  So far 1,200 screen names have been identified, of whom 725 are active marines while 150 are in the Marine reserve.  The photographs were Read the rest of this entry »

UK Information Commissioner’s Office fines HCA International Ltd for failing to keep fertility patient personal information secure

March 5, 2017

Health records are amongst the most sensitive of information.  Information about a person’s fertility treatment are an even more sensitive category of information again.  It is not surprising that when there is a failure to keep data secure the regulator would take a strong line.  At least in the United Kingdom. In Australia, the regulator has not taken a strong line yet on anything of substance.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) fined HCA International Ltd (“HCA”) £200,000 for failing to keep records secure. The problem stemmed from Read the rest of this entry »

Privacy Commissioner and dating apps

February 14, 2017

Dating apps are notorious for both collecting a huge amount of highly sensitive personal information and being the subject of data breaches.  Ashley Madison data breach being just the most dramatic instance.

The Privacy Commissioner has issued a dos and don’ts on 4 dating apps, Tinder, Grindr, Happn and Bumble.  As far as it goes it is Read the rest of this entry »

Privacy Commissioner issues a response to the Mandatory Data Breach Notification legislation

The Privacy Commissioner has issued a statement regarding the passage of the Mandatory Data breach notification Bill.  The Privacy Commissioner has Read the rest of this entry »

Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 passes both Houses of Parliament today

February 13, 2017

Australia now has a form of mandatory data breach notification law.

The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 passed in the Senate today. The Greens, per Senator Ludlum attempted to amend the bill slightly.  Without success.

Unless the Government fixes a date for commencement by Proclamation it will commence operation in 12 months from the date the Bill receives Royal Assent.

Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 introduced into the Senate and read a first time

February 10, 2017

The Privacy (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 was introduced into the Senate last Wednesday, 8 February 2017.  It was read a first time and will be placed on the Notice Paper for second reading debate at a time of the Government’s choosing.  Given Read the rest of this entry »

Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 read a third time in the House of Representatives

February 8, 2017

Yesterday the second reading speeches of the Privacy Amendment (Notifable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 concluded and the Bill was read a third time.  It is now heading to the Senate. Given the Opposition and the Xenaphon team are supporting Read the rest of this entry »