Tag: Data

1
New concerns over China’s ability to access user data on WeChat
2
Privacy Pandemic: Australians Losing Trust in Institutions’ Use of Their Data
3
And it’s here! China’s new privacy laws come into effect
4
Class action following ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline
5
City of Oldsmar, Florida narrowly avoids ‘hot water’ in remote cyberattack on its infrastructure
6
500,000 car owner records found on dark web
7
Utilize and Protect: 2020 AmCham Tech Panel explores complexities of the Data World
8
Taking its Toll: Toll Shuts Down IT Systems Citing Cyber-Security Incident
9
Is your iPhone spying on you (again)?
10
Consumer Data Right Draft Rules – submissions closing soon

New concerns over China’s ability to access user data on WeChat

By Cameron Abbott and Hugo Chow

A recent report by cybersecurity firm, Internet 2.0, has raised concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s ability to access the data of millions of users around the world of social media and payment application, WeChat.

WeChat is significant as it is the application that nearly all citizens in China use on a daily basis for communication, payments for services and as a way for citizens to connect through social media. Although the majority of WeChat’s more than 1 billion users are located in China, there are approximately 600,000 users in Australia, 1.3 million users in the UK, and 1.5 million users in the United States.

One of the concerns the report outlines is that although WeChat states that its servers are kept outside mainland China, all user data that WeChat logs and posts to its logging server goes directly to Hong Kong. And the report argues that under Hong Kong’s new National Security Legislation, there is little difference between Hong Kong resident servers and servers in mainland China.

As a result, due to China’s National Intelligence Law which requires organisations and citizens to “support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work”, there are concerns that the WeChat logging data that goes to servers in Hong Kong may be accessed by the Chinese Government upon request. The report states that the data that goes to Hong Kong is log data, which includes the user’s mobile network, device information, GPS information, phone ID, the version of the operating system of the device, but does not include information such as content of a conversation.

Another concern the report outlines is that although there was no evidence that chats were stored outside the user’s device, the report found that WeChat had the potential to access all the data in a user’s clipboard. This means that there is the potential for WeChat to access the data that is copied and pasted by users on WeChat, which is a risk to people using password managers that rely on the clipboard feature to copy and paste their passwords.

We expect to hear more about these sorts of concerns from a range of jurisdictions.

Privacy Pandemic: Australians Losing Trust in Institutions’ Use of Their Data

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham, Max Evans and James Gray

In the age of QR code check-ins and vaccination certificates, as Australia edges towards a post-pandemic (or mid-pandemic, it increasingly seems) “normal”, new research from the Australian National University (ANU) has revealed that Australians have become less trusting of institutions with regards to data privacy.

The ANU researchers said that the decrease in public trust between May 2020 and August 2021 was small but “statistically significant”. A key reason for this decrease, according to the researchers, was concern around “how their private data from check-in apps might be used by major institutions” as lockdowns and the use of apps for contact tracing intensified.

The institutions which experienced the greatest loss of trust were social media companies (10.1% decline), telecommunications companies, and federal, state and territory governments. This echoes sentiment from the OAIC following its recent ‘community attitudes to privacy’ survey that Australians trust social media companies the least when it comes to handling personal information, followed by the government.

While it remains to be seen whether this loss of trust becomes a permanent trend, one way to make Australians more comfortable with an organisation’s data practices – as reinforced by the OAIC – is to ensure the purpose of the collection and use of personal information is clearly understood. The OAIC has found that Australians are increasingly questioning data practices where the purpose for collecting personal information is unclear.

With increased penalties for privacy non-compliance looming, there’s never been a better time to revisit your privacy policies and collection statements to make sure that these are clear, so your organisation can stand out against this trend and build consumer trust.

And it’s here! China’s new privacy laws come into effect

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham and Ella Richards

On 1 November 2021 the People’s Republic of China (PRC) effected the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL).

The PIPL joins existing Cybersecurity Law and Data Security Law to broaden privacy obligations within the PRC. This comprehensive legislation governs the treatment of personal information within the PRC and strengthens the existing data localisation requirements.

Our colleagues have summarised the PIPL Draft Bill here and prepared advice on the collection of employee’s personal information under the PIPL here.         

Class action following ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline

By Cameron Abbott and Jacqueline Patishman

Last week we posted about a ransomware attack on the American Colonial Pipeline Company. This week, the Company has been hit with a class action alleging that a range of US businesses and consumers suffered loss as a result of Colonial Pipeline’s decision to cut its supply of fuel until the ransomware attack was resolved. Meanwhile, the Company is still not entirely back on track – Colonial’s main website is still offline.

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City of Oldsmar, Florida narrowly avoids ‘hot water’ in remote cyberattack on its infrastructure

By Cameron AbbottRob Pulham and Jacqueline Patishman

News reports have surfaced reporting that a hacker in the US gained access to the Oldsmar’s water treatment plant system in an attempt to release a corrosive chemical into the Oldsmar’s water supply.

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500,000 car owner records found on dark web

By Cameron Abbott and Keely O’Dowd

Intelligence experts KELA recently announced that almost 500,000 customer records of different car suppliers were being offered for sale on the dark web by hacking group “KelvinSecurity Team”.

According to reports, almost 400,000 UK based BMW customers’ data is being sold on the online black market. This data includes the initials and surnames of car owners, home addresses, email addresses, the names of dealerships and car-registration information. The data of Mercedes, SEAT, Honda and Hyundai car owners also form part of the compromised customer records.

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Utilize and Protect: 2020 AmCham Tech Panel explores complexities of the Data World

By Cameron Abbott and Max Evans

We all know by now that technology, and the data obtained and analysed through it, has changed the way the world works and in particular, the way we do business. However, at the first American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham) Tech Talk Breakfast for 2020, hosted at K&L Gates by our very own Cameron Abbott, it appears that a large portion of the business world is still lagging in terms of utilising its own data resources, understanding the power of data generally and the need to establish and implement appropriate and comprehensive security protections and processes. 

The four industry leading speakers, Martin Creighan of AT&T, Robert Le Busque of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, Melissa Osborne of Dell Technologies and Matthew Payton of Datacom explored the immense volume of data businesses collect, and the gap in many businesses between their current utilisation and the maximum value held by such data. The speakers noted the importance of having a robust data analysis resource pool with which to effectively analyse the vast amounts of data a business carries in order to maximise the utility of such data in informing ongoing business decisions.

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Taking its Toll: Toll Shuts Down IT Systems Citing Cyber-Security Incident

By Cameron Abbott, Max Evans and Florence Fermanis

We have our first large scale data breach of the decade. Toll, a transport and logistics network which delivers up to 95 million items globally every year, has temporarily shut down a number of its IT systems as a precautionary measure after suffering a cyber-security breach on Friday, according to an article by the SMH.

A spokesperson has indicated that Toll has cybersecurity experts working closely with their IT team on the breach, and is taking careful internal measures so that systems can be brought back up online in a “controlled and secured manner”. Additionally, Toll has initiated business continuity plans to minimise the disturbance brought on by the breach. While any official numbers of affected customers and the exact nature and extent of the breach have not yet been released by Toll, The Register has reported that the breach has reportedly affected customers in Australia, India and the Philippines.

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Is your iPhone spying on you (again)?

By Cameron Abbott and Allison Wallace

In the latest installment of this seemingly ongoing tale, Google uncovered (for the second time in a month) security flaws in Apple’s iOS, which put thousands of users at risk of inadvertently installing spyware on their iPhones. For two years.

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Consumer Data Right Draft Rules – submissions closing soon

By Cameron Abbott, Rob Pulham and Rebecca Gill

The deadline for submissions on the ACCC’s draft Competition and Consumer (Consumer Data) Rules 2019 (Draft Rules) is fast approaching. The ACCC is seeking feedback from community organisations, businesses and consumers on the approach and positions of the Draft Rules for the Consumer Data Right (CDR) regime until this Friday, 10 May 2019.

Key aspects of the Draft Rules (which are available on the ACCC’s website) include:

  • the three ways in which CDR data may be requested;
  • the requirements for consent to collect CDR data;
  • rules relating to the accreditation process; and
  • rules relating to the thirteen privacy safeguards for CDR data.
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