Archives for: ‘Patrick Gunning’

EU-US privacy safe harbor no longer safe

Our European colleagues have summarised the recent decision of the European Court of Justice dealing with the EU-US privacy safe harbor.  This is a big deal – the US Secretary of Commerce has been quoted as saying that the decision “puts at risk the thriving trans-Atlantic digital economy”. The plaintiff in the case, Mr Schrems, objected to Facebook Ireland transferring …

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Australian Department of Immigration data breach – another court decision

Data security breaches can cause much more than financial harm to affected individuals. In February 2014 the Australian Department of Immigration accidentally disclosed personal information about almost 10,000 asylum seekers. The asylum seekers became concerned that if their request for asylum was denied and they were removed from Australia to their country of origin, they may face persecution if the …

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Misuse of private information is a “tort” in English law

The Court of Appeal for England and Wales has held that the cause of action recognised in English law since Campbell v Mirror Group for misuse of private information should be classified as a tort rather than an equitable cause of action. The question of classification was important in litigation against Google, Inc, because the plaintiffs needed to establish that …

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Another Privacy Commissioner determination awarding compensation

A notable feature of Timothy Pilgrim’s tenure as Privacy Commissioner has been his willingness to make determinations awarding compensation. At the end of March 2015, the Commissioner published his reasons for making another determination in which compensation was awarded. Some facts and figures on compensation under the Privacy Act With Privacy Awareness Week in the Asia Pacific coming upon us …

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Privacy Commissioner’s decision set aside by the Federal Court

A recent decision by Federal Court of Australia illustrated two things about privacy complaints – or at least those that end up before the courts: complainants often pursue their claims for many years, displaying a kind of endurance that many litigants do not possess; and the task facing an administrative decision maker is demanding – an attack on a decision …

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Immigration removals delayed pending assessment of data breach

The Immigration department’s well publicised 2014 data security breach continues to cause difficulties for the Department.  In late January and mid February the courts have issued interlocutory injunctions preventing the removal from Australia of certain asylum seekers pending the outcome of administrative law challenges to decisions to refuse refugee status, based on the Department’s consideration of the impact of the …

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Preliminary discovery and arbitration

Ordinarily, an arbitral tribunal does not have power to order preliminary discovery of documents that would allow a prospective plaintiff to evaluate whether or not sufficient evidence exists to commence a claim. This was one of the findings of the Supreme Court of NSW in a recent case in which a company suspected that a number of its former senior managers and consultants had misused the company’s confidential information or infringed its IP rights.

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