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Rethinking unfair preferences through echoes of the past

Before being placed into voluntary administration, Eliana Construction and Developing Group Pty Ltd (Company) and Mad Brothers Earthmoving Pty Ltd (Mad Brothers) executed a settlement agreement in which the Company agreed to pay Mad Brothers $220,000 for a debt the Company owed Mad Brothers. A payment of $220,000 (Payment) was made to Mad Brothers by Rock Investments Pty Ltd (Rock) from a loan facility Rock had with Nationwide Credit Pty Ltd.  
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Signed, attached and emailed: The court’s take on electronic signatures and recent temporary COVID-19 amendments to the Corporations Act regarding electronic execution

As part of the response to the COVID crisis, temporary measures have been introduced to facilitate the electronic execution of documents. In this blog we consider whether those measures would have changed the decision in the Bendigo Case and the extent to which they are likely to remain temporary.  
Blog

Demise of the Phoenix – new identification requirements for directors

In recent years, the Commonwealth Government has made efforts to deter and penalise phoenix activity in order to protect those who are negatively affected.  One of those efforts is the DIN requirement for directors, which is poised to disrupt phoenixing and deliver additional benefits.
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Bushfires Disaster Emergency Declaration – Privacy Act

In response to recent bushfires, on 20 January 2020 the Attorney-General made the Privacy (Australian Bushfires Disaster) Emergency Declaration (No. 1) 2020 (“Declaration”).   This Declaration was made under section 80J of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (“Privacy Act”). This section allows the Australian government to make a declaration when an emergency or a disaster of national significance affecting Australians has occurred.  
Blog

Can you hear me now? Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have admitted to listening in on users’ conversations.

Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Amazon have admitted to eavesdropping. It was recently revealed the industry giants paid hundreds of contractors to manually transcribe users’ conversations in an attempt to improve speech recognition technology and artificial intelligence algorithms. This revelation has left many users reeling.  
  • 24 Sep 2019

Blog

Grab a copy! Australian Institute of Company Directors publishes its 10th report into governance and performance in the not-for-profit sector

In 2010, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) launched the “not-for-profit governance and performance study” (originally called the “directors social impact study”). The study focused on key trends in the not for profit (NFP) sector and issues affecting NFP directors at that time. Ten years on, the AICD published its most recent findings in the latest edition of the study titled “the 2019 not-for-profit governance and performance study: 10 years on”. The report provides valuable insight into current challenges faced by the sector and its director counterparts.
Blog

All the money in the world! Facebook agrees to pay USD $5 billion for breaches of privacy laws

In a landmark decision, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the US consumer regulator, has announced that Facebook has agreed to pay a USD $5 billion (AUD $7.1 billion) fine for deceiving its 80+ million users about the social medial giant’s ability to protect user’s personal information. The multibillion dollar fine is in addition to a $100 million settlement with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).  
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No need for anonymity or suggestion boxes: NCAT finds complaint records are protected under the GIPA Act

In the matter of DQE v University of Sydney [2019] NSWCATAD 132, DQE (the Applicant) filed a complaint with the University of Sydney (Respondent) alleging he was bullied by an employee of the Respondent referred to as Mr A. The Respondent undertook a preliminary assessment of the complaint and found that there was insufficient evidence to support the allegations. The Applicant was informed of the outcome of the preliminary assessment and following that sought access to all records held by the Respondent in connection with the complaint under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (Cth) (GIPA Act).
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A snapshot of the notifiable data breach scheme over 12 months: trends, lessons learnt and hot tips

Malicious or criminal attacks continue to be the main sources of data breaches with 60% of breaches notified during the Period being attributable to such attacks. Notably, phishing and spear phishing were the most effective methods by which entities were compromised. Human error accounted for 35% of notified breaches and systems fault for 5% of notified breaches. 
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Educators beware: six year old applicant brings privacy complaint against preschool and obtains suppression orders.

A 6 year old girl made a complaint alleging that the private school she attended interfered with her privacy by inappropriately collecting and retaining videos and photos of her and her schoolwork; publishing or displaying images of her publicly; and not providing access to all personal information the school held about her.
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Say bye to 5 year grace periods

As a result of the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into Australia’s intellectual property arrangements, the initial grace period before someone can file a non-use application to remove a registered trade mark has been reduced from 5 years to 3 years.
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Update on the 2017-2018 Annual Report of the Foreign Investment Review Board

On 15 February 2019, the Treasurer presented the Foreign Investment Review Board’s Annual Report for 2017-18.
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How much do you like updating procurement policies? Hopefully a lot: Appeal mechanism to be introduced to Public Works and Procurement Act (NSW) any day now

The NSW Government has recently passed a bill that will give suppliers the power to challenge procurement decisions that are in breach, or potentially, in breach of an ‘enforceable procurement provision’ of the NSW Procurement Board.
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ACCC’s Plan to Tame Tech Giants

On 10 December 2018, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (‘ACCC’) released its proposals on how Australia should respond to the expanding grip of technology giants, like Facebook and Google, on the lives of everyday Australians.
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GIPA: The Role of Commercial Interests in Access Applications

Persons or organisations whose interests will be prejudiced by the disclosure of government information may object to that information being released.

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