In the matter of Polar Agencies Pty Ltd [2019] VSC 43 (8 February 2019): winding up application, ss 440 & 447A Corporations Acct 2001

February 14, 2019

Judicial Registrar considered an application to wind up a company when administrators had been appointed shortly before the hearing In the matter of Polar Agencies Pty Ltd [2019] VSC 43.


The plaintiff  a statutory demand served on the defendant by the plaintiff by post sent on 18 October 2018 [4].  The demand is in respect of debts totalling $558,508.56 for goods supplied by the plaintiff to the defendant and invoiced in the period March to August 2018. The defendant failed to comply with it [4] and made no application to set aside the statutory demand [5] thereby failing to comply with the demand in about midNovember 2018 which gave rise to a statutory presumption of insolvency under s 459C(2)(a) of the Corporations Act (the Act).

By an originating process filed on 16 November 2018 [3] the plaintiff applied for the defendant be wound up in insolvency pursuant to s 459P and s 459Q of the Act [1].

The proceeding first came on for hearing on 19 December 2018 where:

  • the plaintiff appeared and the defendant did not.
  • the Court was informed that negotiations were underway. Directions were made that any request for a further adjournment was to be supported by an affidavit to be filed and served by 4 February 2019,
  • the hearing was adjourned to 6 February 2019 [6].

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ACCC Chairman Sims gives speech on Digital Platforms Inquiry, raising privacy issues to be addressed

February 12, 2019

Yesterday, Rod Sims in a speech to the IIC Australian Chapter highlighted the issues that the ACCC raised in its Preliminary report on the Digital Platforms Inquiry.  The final submissions close on 15 February 2019.

As with the Preliminary Report Sims highlights the privacy issues that are associated with the current regime of data collection, the matching and lack of consent.  These are matters that should of primary concern to Read the rest of this entry »

Australian Information Commissioner publishes data breach statistics for 1 October – 31 December 2018 with 262 notified data breaches. Likely it is a understatement of the number of breaches in that quarter

The Information has published its Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Statistics Report for the last quarter of 2018.

The media release provides:

The latest quarterly report from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) shows 262 data breaches involving personal information were notified between October and December 2018.

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Data breaches and cyber attacks in January 2019 result in 1,769,185,063 records being accessed or compromised…and the deadline to opt out of MyHealth Record expires imminently

January 31, 2019

Itgovernance compiles monthly records of data breaches and works out, often from the victim of the data breaches the number of records leaked. In January 2019 it concluded that 1,769,185,063 records were accessed. That figure is eye wateringly large and even if the Collection#1 breach is not taken into account, which involved 772,904,991 records from historic data breaches it still means just under a billion records were affected.

And into this environment of steadily more effective cyber attacks and generally inadequate protections the Australian My Health Records system will now opt in the records of about 17 million Australians. The legislation has flaws, the system has bigger flaws and the experience overseas is that these centralised digitised health records are failures. Seven Thirty did a very interesting report of the MyHealth Record system.

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Apple’s rush to fix FaceTime Eavesdropping flaw highlights the preference to get the product out over getting right

The biggest difference between consumer goods and apps is that consumer goods generally go through quality control checks, compliance with standards and review by regulators before being sold to the public while apps are focused getting some new or improved feature for whatever system out as quickly as possible without any external review or control. The rationale seems to be that consumer goods that are defective can harm while apps are cool and even when they don’t work what harm do they do.

Apps are often released with design flaws and commonly require patching and all manner of fixes, The recent rush by Apple to fix its Group FaceTime highlights this approach to product development. The defect permitted a person who hadn’t accepted a call through FaceTime nevertheless being heard. The flaw also permitted third party access to iPhone and iPad microcophones and video camera feed.

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Google’s tangles with the regulators continue with French regulator fining it 80 million for breach of GDPR

January 23, 2019

Facebook had a worse 2018 than Google but to a large extent that is merely a matter of degree. Facebook’s travails with its association with Cambridge Analytica and not doing much with the proliferation of false news stories planted by Russia and other actors made 2018 an annus horribilis. Google has had to deal with the phenonama of false news issues as well as years of litigation in the European Union, the UK and Australia.
It might be that Google will have a hotter time of it in 2019 with the French Regulators, the National Data Protection Commission, fining it 50 million euros for not getting valid user consent to gather data for targeted advertising. The regulators claim that Google breached the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation.

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Singapore’s worst data breach which resulted in access to personal data of 1.5million results in a fine of $1 million Singaporean dollars

January 21, 2019

In July 2018 the Singaporean Government announced that there was a cyber attack which compromised the personal data of 1,495,364 people and led to outpatient prescription information for nearly 160,000 people being “exfiltrated”.

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US District Court of California rules that police can not force people to unlock a mobile phone with their face or finger

January 17, 2019

Courts generally have found the rapid changes in technology a challenge when applying and sometimes adapting legal principles. That is particularly so regarding privacy protections and when a search warrant is required. Smart phones can, and often, do contain more data than the physical contents of a person’s office, a photo collection and diary. While a search warrant is required to enter and search a house police try and often succeed in forcing a person to open their phone to prying eyes. The principle is the same even if the physical circumstances differ. There have been appalling acts of intrusion with no oversight regarding the actions of Australian Border Force officers.

Police databases and breaches of privacy

January 15, 2019

Police databases are a critically important investigative tool. They enable police to locate suspects, confirm addresses, check car ownership and registration and generally access information about individuals, often provided to the many governmental agencies through compulsion. It is then concerning when police abuse their powers to access data bases. There have been reports of such breaches in Queensland and Victoria.

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Massive data breach exposes personal information of German politicians.

January 5, 2019

Data breaches of any personal information is a serious matter. The misuse of personal information can financially affect a person whose information is used for identity theft and it can have a massive impact on an organisation that suffers a data breach.  A sub set of data breaches is where the target is a public figure.  There the motivations are generally not financial.  The aimed impact is reputational and  humiliation. It can also be used to cause disruption, as was the case recently in Germany where there has been a massive hacking attack which has resulted in personal data of hundreds of German politicians have been accessed and then leaked over Twitter.  This has been reported by Wired in  A Major Hacking Spree Gets Personal for German Politicians, Reuters in German politicians’ data published online in massive breach and the Australian in Angela Merkel hit in massive data hack attack.  The focus of these breaches are to humiliate and embarrass.  The breach is a particularly pernicious form of politics.  It is curious that Read the rest of this entry »