Risky Business: Cyber Security, Privacy, Fake News and Hoaxes

26 Oct 2018

Risky Business

Facebook’s reaction to the Australian regulators (ACCC) inquiry into digital platforms was not surprising. The ACCC review could become a global precedent. 

Samantha Knox, Facebook's associate general counsel, recently flew to Australia from the US so this certainly means that Facebook is taking the Australian situation seriously. The competition regulator's digital platforms inquiry will result in a draft report in less than 2 months’ time, and the world will be watching. The report will consider submissions from industry participants (traditional media and online), public forums involving journalists and media stakeholders, and the lobbying activities that have been underway.

It is timely that WA CyberWeek is about to kick off from 17 - 23 November 2018, and Murfett Legal will be supporting this important initiative. We will be hosting a Q&A on Cyber Security with Business Women Australia and the Australian Information Security Association (AISA). This is a good opportunity to consider risk management from a business and individual perspective (event details below).

In a climate where cyber-attacks are now common and data privacy is at the forefront of business risk management, the Facebook experience highlights the importance and wide-reaching ramifications of these issues. A series of disastrous privacy breaches has included the Cambridge Analytica debacle and recent breach that impacted 30 million Facebook users. Similarly, Google has suffered privacy breaches and has been criticised for failing to stop fake news and hoaxes. Our major banks and health agencies are also being hacked, so we know that despite the biggest and best IT teams, any business is potentially vulnerable.

These global companies are likely to be concerned that competition laws (like those overseen by the ACCC) will regulate issues such as privacy, the quality of news or the spread of online hoaxes. Digital, non-traditional media businesses are largely unregulated compared to the media companies they disrupted.

Times have changed, and laws are catching up so international and local eyes will be on the ACCC to see if they can devise a solution to these types of issues, even if the review is really about the impact of global online media companies on legacy media in Australia.

It’s a big deal.

Given the importance of cyber security and privacy in this digital age, Murfett Legal will be hosting a Q&A during WA CyberWeek Security Panel Q&A, together with the Australian Information Security Association (AISA) and Business Women Australia (BWA) on Wednesday 21 November 2018 at 4.45pm - 6.45pm at our offices on Wellington Street, East Perth.

This discussion will dive into the important issues relating to cyber security, including the challenges and digital risks facing organisations in WA. EVERYONE is welcome. Full details and registration via Eventbrite HERE.

For further information or assistance with cyber security and privacy contact Murfett Legal on +61 8 9388 3100.


Author:           Kelly Parker (Director: Business Advisory, Commercial & Insolvency)

Email:              [email protected]

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