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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that Australian supermarket Coles has been instructed by independent arbitrator Jeff Kennett to refund more than A$12 million to suppliers who were given the option of paying extra rebates to participate in a supply chain program run by Coles, or pay a fine for late delivery.

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The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports that Cash Converters International Ltd (Cash Converters) has agreed to settle two class actions brought against the company by 37,500 customers, for A$23 million.

Published in Consumer Protection

The New York Times reports that China's former chief of domestic security Zhou Yongkang has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for "abuse of power, accepting bribes and revealing state secrets". Mr Zhou was reportedly "found guilty of accepting about [US$118,000] in bribes, including money and property from Jiang Jiemin, the jailed former head of the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation".

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has announced that Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has "found that Adobe Systems Software Ireland Pty Ltd (Adobe) breached the [Privacy Act 1988 No. 119 (Cth) (the Privacy Act)], following a cyber-attack that affected at least 38 million Adobe customers globally".

Apple has announced that it has expanded its renewable energy and environment protection initiatives in China to include a new project with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which "aims to protect as much as 1 million acres of responsibly managed working forests which provide fiber for pulp, paper and wood products".

The Supreme Court of Victoria (VSC) has announced that it has approved an AU$25 million settlement of the class action brought against the manufacturer, exporter and distributor of Bonsoy soy milk products in a judgment delivered on 7 May 2015. According to the VSC, Bonsoy was reformulated in 2003 "to include a product known as kombu extract instead of kombu powder", which likely increased the iodine content of the soy milk, and allegedly lead to 496 people suffering illness including thyroid problems.

Published in Consumer Protection

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has handed down the commissioner's determination in Grubb v Telstra Corporation Ltd [2015] AlCmr 35 (1 May 2015), in which it was found that telecommunications company Telstra Corporation Ltd (Telstra) interfered with the complainant's privacy by refusing to provide him with access to the metadata held by Telstra in relation to his mobile phone, which was in breach of the former National Privacy Principle 6.1 of the Privacy Act 1988 No. 119 (Cth) (the Act). According to the OAIC, the geo-location metadata held by Telstra constituted "personal information" for the purposes of s. 6 of the Act, despite the data itself being anonymous, meaning that Telstra was obliged to provide that information on the request of the complainant.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that the Federal Court of Australia has ordered energy company AGL South Australia Pty Ltd (AGL) to pay penalties of A$700,000 and to provide refunds to 23,000 consumers totalling approximately A$780,000 after AGL made false or misleading representations in relation to discounts that certain residential consumers would receive.

Published in Consumer Protection

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that online group buying website operator Spreets Pty Ltd (Spreets) has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay AU$600,000 in penalties for making false or misleading representations to consumers about deals offered on its website.

Published in Consumer Protection

South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that HSBC has apologised and removed a hyperlink on its website that was unintentionally linked to an adult media site. Reportedly, the link previously directed users to a third-party website relating to the bank's now defunct Young Entrepreneur Awards and the web address had since been overtaken by a pornography business. HSBC has reportedly advised the public that its online banking services remain secure.

Published in Other
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