Amazon Web Services and Privacy Law

Introduction Amazon Web Services (AWS) is considered by many to be the gold standard for cloud computing. Using AWS’ services may raise privacy law issues because AWS is providing information storage, management and infrastructure to technology businesses. In many cases, businesses use these capabilities to store “personal information”. The key question for businesses is whether…

Privacy Law Essentials with Cloud Services

Introduction Many tech businesses use cloud services providers like Rackspace or AWS to manage their cloud hosting needs. Privacy laws can apply whenever you rely on third parties to manage information for your business. The most pressing issues relate to ‘disclosures’ of personal information. Even very small businesses may need to develop privacy compliance practices…

Data Availability and Retention – Managing Consequential Loss Risks

Introduction In this article, with database technology consultant Rob Nicholson from Nicholson SQL, we examine how consumer guarantees and consequential loss liability applies in the context of data storage, retention, and overall system availability. We’ve written recently about consumer guarantees and consequential loss. In a previous article, we addressed: who counts as a ‘consumer’ (the…

Calculating the consumer guarantee threshold

Introduction Sometimes it is not immediately clear whether a customer is a ‘consumer’ for the purposes of consumer guarantees, particularly in the context of business to business transactions. In certain situations, it can be difficult to know if the amount payable for a good or service triggers the application of consumer guarantees. Generally, if the…

How the Australian Consumer Law Interacts with Exclusions and Limitations of Liability

1. Introduction Exclusions and limitation clauses are a common way to manage and allocate risk in contracts. Exclusion clauses state what obligations a party to a contract can avoid, or what potential costs or losses that party will not cover. Limitation clauses state that the party will only pay for such losses or costs up…

Exclusions and Indemnities

1. Introduction Contracts are legal tools that individuals and organisations use to exchange promises. One function of contracts is to clarify which party pays (or doesn’t pay) for certain eventualities. This can include the cost of losses or liabilities that parties risk by doing business together. The main provisions in contracts that deal with payment…

Moral Rights

Introduction Moral rights have been part of Australian intellectual property law for more than ten years, but they are often poorly understood. Authors and creators of written, coded, visual or audio content often have moral rights in that content. As a result, moral rights issues can arise in almost any kind of business. This article…

Major Privacy Act Reforms Take Effect

On 29 November 2012, the Australian parliament passed the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill (Bill). The Bill made significant changes to the Privacy Act Cth (1988) (Privacy Act), and has rewritten the “National Privacy Principles” as the “Australian Privacy Principles” (APPs). The changes took effect on 12 March 2014. This article will set out…

Serious Liabilities You Can’t Exclude

Under the Australian Consumer Law (found in the Competition and Consumer Act (2010) (Cth)) (ACL), certain “reasonably foreseeable” liabilities from providing goods and services cannot be excluded. The possible liabilities involved in providing goods and services can far outweigh the cost of the goods and services themselves. As a result, a small transaction can carry…

The Information Commissioner on Reasonable Security for Personal Information

In April 2013, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) released the Guide to Information Security (Guide) in relation to Personal Information under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). A summary of the guide is available here. “Reasonable Steps” Depend on the Context What the OAIC considers to be “reasonable steps” for the security of…