US Federal Trade Commission settles with Lenovo on charges that it preinstalled software that compromised online security and the privacy of users

September 6, 2017

The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement between it, 32 State Attorneys General and Lenovo relating to a complaint that it harmed consumers privacy and compromised data security with preloaded man in the middle software onto some of its laptops.  The software, described as VisualDiscovery, delivered ads to the lap top owners but in doing so compromised security protections.

This is a huge settlement which deals with Read the rest of this entry »

Duchess of Cambridge awarded 100,000 euros in French Court for breach of privacy case against Closer magazine

In 2012 a paparazzi used a zoom lens to take photographs of a relaxing, topless, Duchess of Cambridge while she was sunbathing on a terrace inside a private property during a holiday in France.  The resulting photographs were hawked around the various publications.  British papers turned down the offer but the French magazine Closer did not. It published the shots and the Duchess, with her husband, filed a criminal complaint for invasion of privacy and successfully obtained an injunction against the further use of the photographs. The Duchess also commenced civil action alleging an invasion of privacy.

Overnight the Duchess of Cambridge was successful with a French court ordering  Closer to pay €100,000 and Read the rest of this entry »

UK Information Commissioners office fines Nottinghamshire Council 70,000 pounds for leaving vulnerable peoples personal information on line for 5 years

September 5, 2017

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has again taken action for breaches of data security. This time it issued a monetary penalty notice, of £70,000, against the Nottinghamshire Council for exposing the personal information of vulnerable people for 5 years.  While the legislative structures are different the assertive approach by the ICO compares favourably to the lethargic and timid approach taken by the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

The nub of the problem was that Nottinghamshire County Council had set up a portal to allow social care providers to confirm that they had capacity to support a vulnerable person.  The architecture of the portal was flawed.  A member of the public discovered Read the rest of this entry »

Soper Industries Pty Ltd v Toll Transport Pty Ltd [2017] VSC 524 (1 September 2017): application to set aside statutory demand, whether there was a genuine dispute, section 459 of the Corporations Act, inconsistency between claim and documentation

The Supreme Court, per Gardiner AsJ, dismissed an application to set aside a statutory demand in Soper Industries Pty Ltd v Toll Transport Pty Ltd [2017] VSC 524.


Soper Industries Pty Ltd (‘Soper Industries’), applied under s 459G of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (‘the Act’) to set aside a statutory demand served on it by Toll Transport Pty Ltd (‘Toll’), on 15 March 2017 [1].

Under the demand Read the rest of this entry »

Verizon releases a report on poor security in the payment card industry. Not a significant surprise, same problem across the board.

Payment by card is becoming ubiquitous in Australia, right down to getting the mandatory coffee first thing in the morning.  Some businesses refuse to accept cash where cash was usually the only form of transaction, such as bakeries.  The Economist in Emptying the tills highlights the phenomena of card taps being the norm, cash payment by value dropping, to as low as 5.7% in Sweden, and card only being a selling point.  It is not universal with card over cash being the norm in Scandinavia but cash still reigning in Germany and Italy, though for differing reasons.

What is clear though is that with the march of the cards maintaining data security is critical.  The best starting point is to comply with industry standards on data security, otherwise known as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Unfortunately, as with many businesses, maintaining appropriate data security is less common that one would hope.  That is made clear in a very recent Verizon 2017 Payment Security Report.   It finds that 44.6% fail to protect to payment card data on Read the rest of this entry »

New South Wales Government Department pushes to increase privacy for children in care

Hard situations make bad laws.  That legal maxim, that an extreme case makes bad law, should be scratched onto the screen of every policy maker in every government.  It usually ends in tears.

The terrible and tragic case of William Tyrrell has been covered extensively in the media since he disappeared from care.  That coverage, or at least the extent of it, found its way into the New South Wales Court of Appeal in  Secretary, Department of Family and Community Services v Smith [2017] NSWCA 206.  In that case the Court rejected the Departments appeal from Read the rest of this entry »

Federal Court (Bankruptcy) Amendment (Insolvency and Other Measures) Rules 2017 take effect on 1 September 2017

August 30, 2017

The Federal Court (Bankruptcy) Amendment (Insolvency and Other Measures) Rules 2017  comes  into effect on 1 September 2017.  That will Read the rest of this entry »

Victoria launches its Cyber Strategy

There are no shortage of cyber strategies being announced and even re announced by governments and agencies and sometimes governments and agencies together .

The The Victorian Government has announced its first Cyber Security Strategy.  It is the first Australian state to do so. The 32 page strategy is found here.

The announcement Read the rest of this entry »

Victoria appoints its first Information Commissioner

As of 1 September 2017 the State of Victoria will have an Information Commissioner, replacing the position of Privacy Commissioner.  The Information Commissioner will also be responsible for Freedom of Information applications.

The inaugural Information Commissioner is Sven Bluemmel.  Mr Bluemmel was Read the rest of this entry »

Weakness of the Internet of Things highlighted by the discovery of 1,700 passwords of home routers

August 29, 2017

The Internet of Things is here to stay.  Many household appliances are now connected to the internet; from white goods, sound systems and children’s toys to name but a few.  The interconnectivity will grow not diminish with time.  The spread of the technology has not been matched by Read the rest of this entry »