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Tag Archives for " Australia "

Australia will install home surveillance hardware to ensure virus isolation

The State of Western Australia has given itself the power to install surveillance devices in homes, or compel people to wear them, to ensure that those required to isolate during the coronavirus crisis don’t interact with the community.

Not all people will be required to use the devices. State Premier Mark McGowan said they’ll only be used if: “Someone who is directed to self-isolate and fails to comply.”

Source: Australian state will install home surveillance hardware to make sure if you’re in virus isolation, you stay there • The Register

Australian Watchdog launches action against Facebook

The Australian Information Commissioner has lodged proceedings against Facebook in the Federal Court, alleging the social media platform has committed serious and/or repeated interferences with privacy in contravention of Australian privacy law.

The Commissioner alleges that the personal information of Australian Facebook users was disclosed to the This is Your Digital Life app for a purpose other than the purpose for which the information was collected, in breach of the Privacy Act 1988.

Source: Commissioner launches Federal Court action against Facebook — OAIC

Australia’s Home Affairs pushes back against encryption law proposals

Both Labor and Australia’s Independent National Security Legislation Monitor have proposed judicial approvals before cops and spooks can access encrypted communications, but the Department of Home Affairs isn’t keen.

The Department of Home Affairs has rejected criticisms of Australia’s controversial encryption laws, including the often-cited need for external judicial oversight and the impact of the laws on the tech industry.

Source: Home Affairs pushes back against encryption law proposals | ZDNet

AFP and NSW Police used Australia’s encryption laws seven times in 2018-19

Seven Technical Assistance Requests made with no Technical Assistance Notices or Technical Capability Notices issued.

The Department of Home Affairs has revealed it used Australia’s contentious encryption laws seven times in the period between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019. Australian Federal Police (AFP) used the laws five times and NSW Police used the laws two times.

All seven instances were Technical Assistance Requests, which are voluntary requests for the designated communications providers to use their existing capabilities to access user communications.

Source: AFP and NSW Police used Australia’s encryption laws seven times in 2018-19 | ZDNet

Australian government secretly releasing sensitive medical records to police

The Australian government is releasing highly sensitive medical records to police through a secret regime that experts say contains fundamentally flawed privacy protections.

The Department of Human Services fields large volumes of requests for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) data from state and federal policing agencies each year.

Source: Australian government secretly releasing sensitive medical records to police

Australian regulator files privacy suit against Google alleging location data misuse

An Australian regulator has filed a lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google, accusing it of misleading smartphone users about how it collected and used personal location data, advancing a global crackdown on the world’s biggest tech firms.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the local Google unit did not tell users of its Android operating system for almost two years that they needed to switch off two settings – not one – if they did not want the company to keep their information.

Source: Australian regulator files privacy suit against Google alleging location data misuse – Reuters

Parliament of Australia passes consumer data right bill

The Parliament of Australia passed, on 1 August 2019, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Consumer Data Right) Bill 2019 (‘the Bill’), which amends the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010, and the Privacy Act 1988 (‘the Privacy Act’), to introduce a data portability right for consumers in the form of a consumer data right (‘CDR’).

In particular, the Bill, which currently applies to the banking sector and will soon apply to the energy and telecommunication sectors, allows individuals and businesses to access specified data related to them and held by businesses, as well as authorises secure access to this data by accredited third parties.

Source: Australia: Parliament passes consumer data right bill

Right to delete is coming to Australia

Shadow Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said his party secured a “breakthrough commitment” from the government that would see the Consumer Data Right (CDR) gain the ability have consumer information deleted.

This new legislation will give Australian consumers an “off switch” when it comes to data sharing. Off switch would mean that a consumer will have the power to determine when a company should no longer hold their data.

Source: Labor thinks the right to delete is coming for Australia’s CDR after winter break | ZDNet

Fingerprint case highlights importance of biometric policies and consent

An unfair dismissal case has highlighted the need for companies to update policies and procedures and to obtain full consent before using biometric data in the workplace.

The Fair Work Commission in Australia found that Superior Wood employee’s dismissal for refusing to use a fingerprint scanner was unfair because the company did not have a privacy policy in place; it didn’t obtain consent before collecting sensitive information, and it failed to issue a privacy collection notice.

Full article: Fingerprint case highlights importance of biometric policies and consent

Australia’s anti-encryption collision with GDPR sub-processing

On Dec. 6, Australia passed a surprising law with a global impact on privacy.

The new law requires any Australian company to build backdoors to encrypted data and communications when instructed to do so by the government, while also requiring secrecy about the existence of such surveillance capabilities from individuals and enterprise customers. This unverifiable question of compromised encryption presents many technical threats and introduces international regulatory compliance challenges as well.

Full article: Australia’s anti-encryption collision with GDPR sub-processing

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