The ACCC is suing Google for misleading millions. But calling it out is easier than fixing it

Katharine Kemp, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, UNSW, and Academic Lead, UNSW Grand Challenge on Trust, UNSW Australia’s consumer watchdog is suing Google for allegedly misleading millions of people after it started tracking them on non-Google apps and websites in 2016. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says Google’s pop-up notification about this move… Read More

Large-scale facial recognition is incompatible with a free society

Seth Lazar, Australian National University; Claire Benn, Australian National University, and Mario Günther, Australian National University In the US, tireless opposition to state use of facial recognition algorithms has recently won some victories. Some progressive cities have banned some uses of the technology. Three tech companies have pulled facial recognition products from the market. Democrats… Read More

Cyber attack at BlueScope Steel and MyBudget highlights a chronic problem facing businesses, particularly those with poor privacy protocols

This year has seen some major cyber attacks which have crippled businesses. The malware attacks affecting Toll Transport, Bluescope Steel and MyBudget were probably all preventable. It is highly likely that human error was responsible for each attack. That bespeaks a failure in training and operations. An investigation of a data breach often reveals significant problems with compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles and problems with either the quality or the ongoing nature of training. Read More

The COVIDSafe bill doesn’t go far enough to protect our privacy. Here’s what needs to change

Katharine Kemp, UNSW and Graham Greenleaf, UNSW The Australian government will need to correct earlier misstatements and improve privacy protections to gain the trust of the millions of Australians being called on to download the COVIDSafe contact tracing app. The draft Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020, or the “COVIDSafe bill”, released yesterday,… Read More

Australian Information Commission v Facebook Inc [2020] FCA 531 (22 April 2020): application for service outside of Australia, the Commissioner’s prima facie case. The opening round in the first civil proceeding for breach of the Privacy Act by the Commissioner

On 23 April 2020 in Australian Information Commission v Facebook Inc the Australian Information Commissioner successfully obtained interim suppression and non publication orders and orders to serve outside Australia and substituted service against Facebook Inc.

This is the first of what is likely to be a number of interlocutory judgments as the civil penalty proceedings slowly move towards a hearing. Read More

The coronavirus contact tracing app won’t log your location, but it will reveal who you hang out with

Roba Abbas, Lecturer, School of Management, Operations and Marketing, University of Wollongong and Katina Michael, Professor, School for the Future of Innovation in Society & School of Computing, Informatics and Decision Systems Engineering, Arizona State University The federal government has announced plans to introduce a contact tracing mobile app to help curb COVID-19’s spread in… Read More

Australia’s privacy watchdog is taking Facebook to court. It’s a good start.

Katharine Kemp, UNSW and Kayleen Manwaring, UNSW On Monday, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) brought proceedings against Facebook in the Federal Court, asking the court to impose financial penalties for serious interference with the privacy of more than 300,000 Australians. To our knowledge, this is the first time the privacy regulator has… Read More

Australian police are using the Clearview AI facial recognition system with no accountability

Jake Goldenfein, Swinburne University of Technology Australian police agencies are reportedly using a private, unaccountable facial recognition service that combines machine learning and wide-ranging data-gathering practices to identify members of the public from online photographs. The service, Clearview AI, is like a reverse image search for faces. You upload an image of someone’s face and… Read More

Australia’s National Digital ID is here, but the government’s not talking about it

Dr Patrick Scolyer-Gray, Deakin University The Australian government’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) has spent more than A$200 million over the past five years developing a National Digital ID platform. If successful, the project could streamline commerce, resolve bureaucratic quagmires, and improve national security. The emerging results of the project may give the Australian public cause… Read More