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News >> Privacy and Data Protection

“It's been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come” (Sam Cooke)

After two years’ painful gestation, EU legislators hope to gain European Parliament approval this year, for a new regulation aimed at safeguarding personal data. For many EU citizens however, these changes can’t come quickly enough.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has made available Online Behavioural Advertising (OBA): Follow Up Research Project (June 2015), a research report into whether major websites in Canada have complied with the OPC's guidelines (updated June 2012) on privacy and online behavioural advertising.

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".

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it has approved final orders settling allegations that TES Franchising LLC and American International Mailing Inc deceived consumers over their participation in international privacy frameworks.

Assistant Attorney General Delivers Remarks at Cybersecurity Law Centre
The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has made available a speech (20 May 2015) delivered by Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell at the Georgetown Cybersecurity Law Institute and Larry Center. In her speech, Ms Caldwell describes the DoJ criminal division's strategies for combating cybercrime, its plans to work more closely with the private sector and federal agencies to address cyber issues, the creation of the division's cybersecurity unit, and a number of high-level cybercriminal cases the division has worked on.

The New York Times reports that the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has handed down a judgment (7 May 2015) ruling that the National Security Agency's (NSA) systematic collecting of citizens' phone records was outside the scope of s. 215 of the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot Act) Act of 2001 (26 October 2001).

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 Memphis Business Journal reports that United States District Judge Henry T. Wingate has denied Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood's attempt to block Google from accessing correspondence between Mr Hood and the Motion Picture Association of America.

The ruling forms part of Google's lawsuit against Mr Hood, which reportedly came about after Mr Hood "subpoenaed information from Google over what the attorney general says is related to an investigation over Google sharing its [advertising] revenue with makers of videos who promote illegal drug sales". According to the Memphis Business Journal, Google then filed its lawsuit against Hood alleging that the attorney general's investigation was illegal, and that Mr Hood is assisting the Motion Picture Association of America in a campaign to "use legal action to investigate online piracy in ways not approved by Congress".
Memphis Business Journal: Judge sides with Google against Mississippi Attorney General (13 April 2015)
(Source: Memphis Business Journal)

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced that Austin Alcala, a fourth member of an international computer hacking ring has pleaded guilty to "conspiracy to commit computer intrusions and criminal copyright infringement based on his role in the cyber theft of software and data related to the Xbox One gaming console and Xbox Live online gaming system, and popular games such as the ['FIFA'] online soccer series; ['Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3']; and ['Gears of War 3']" between 2012 and 2014.

The United Kingdom Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has made available an enforcement notice (27 August 2014) served under the Data Protection Act 1998 c. 29 (UK) to Winchester and Deakin Ltd (trading as Rapid Legal and Scarlet Reclaim) after the direct marketing company was found to have made unsolicited marketing calls to people who had:

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