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 read more...
Subjects: Privacy

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 – read more...
Subjects: Privacy

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 read more...

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. read more...

When is information about a residential property “personal information”?

Is information contained in a document about a residential property “personal information” about the owners or occupants of the property under NSW privacy legislation even if the document doesn’t directly identify the owners or occupants? This was the question that the Appeal Panel of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal had to consider in Office read more...
Subjects: Privacy | Technology

Data security breach by Australian Immigration Department

The Australian Privacy Commissioner has found that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection contravened the Privacy Act when the Department accidentally published the personal details of almost 10,000 asylum seekers in a document that was intended to provide statistical information about the number and status of applications made for refugee status. The contravention occurred read more...
Subjects: Privacy

Mandatory data retention bill introduced to Australian parliament

Today the Australian government introduced its much anticipated bill to amend telecommunications laws to require providers of certain communications services to retain so-called “metadata” about the communications they carry. The government clearly anticipates that the proposals will be controversial – the Explanatory Memorandum accompanying the bill includes a detailed “Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights” read more...
Subjects: Privacy | Technology

De-identification and medical records in NSW

Are health service providers in New South Wales obliged by the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) to de-identify medical records on the request of a patient? Not according to this recent decision of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. On 20 October 2014 the Tribunal dismissed a claim against a local health read more...
Subjects: Privacy