Current News

New data breach notification laws

The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Act) has been amended by the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 (Cth) (the amending Act). The amending Act introduces a mandatory data breach notification regime where an ‘eligible data breach’ occurs. The amendments will commence on 23 February 2018, unless they are proclaimed to commence earlier.

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Big Data and the Risk of Re-Identification

On 12 September 2016, researchers at the University of Melbourne alerted the Commonwealth Government that it was possible to re-identify ostensibly “de-identified” Medicare Benefits Scheme (MBS) data that had been released for public access and analysis. The MBS Re-identification Event attracted significant media attention, generated an Australian Office of the Information Commissioner (OAIC) investigation and resulted in the introduction of the Privacy Amendment (Re-identification Offence) Bill 2016 (Cth). The MBS Re-identification Event is a reminder of the importance of considering the privacy implications of big data analytics.

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Case Note: Privacy and Health Records

The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal found that certain hospital CCTV footage could be released under freedom of information legislation, despite public interest and privacy concerns, if the faces, heads, necks and any tattoos or other identifying marks of persons in the footage were pixelated.

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Case Note: Duty to Warn of Genetic Risks?

To what extent does a health service provider owe a duty of care to (third party) relatives of a patient who may be predisposed to a genetic condition? This is the question raised by ABC against the St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

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ICT Procurement: tips and traps

Good technology is fundamental to your business. There are many ICT products on the market but often they are only as good as the relationships and contracts behind them. Entering into a one-sided supplier contract can significantly diminish your subsequent contractual rights and might leave you without compensation if the product or services fail to deliver. Developing your own suite of templates, or using a government template is always a good starting point as long as the procurement team have been trained in the use of the template.

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Responding to Elder Abuse

The Australian Law Reform Commission is currently conducting an inquiry into elder abuse. The Inquiry is tasked with identifying a “best practice legal framework” for the prevention, mitigation and response to elder abuse.

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Fire and Emergency Services Levy Bill 2017 (NSW)

The Fire and Emergency Services Levy Bill 2017 (NSW) passed its Third Reading on 29 March 2017 and received Royal Assent on 4 April 2017. The Bill commenced on the date of Assent. The Bill proposes to impose a fire and emergency services levy, which will be payable on all land that is situated in a council area or on Lord Howe Island. Only government land will be exempt from the levy.

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Elder Law Update – Responding to Elder Abuse

The Australian Law Commission (the ALRC) is currently conducting an inquiry into elder abuse (the Inquiry). The Inquiry is tasked with identifying a “best practice legal framework” for the prevention, mitigation and response to elder abuse.

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