Articles and Legal Updates

Regulation of AI in Australia – What next?

This Article provides an overview of Australia’s existing regulatory framework used to regulate AI technologies, the ongoing government consultations and proposed reforms to the laws. Using the failed Robodebt system as a case study, it also showcases the risks associated with failed AI systems, including claims for compensation in the billions of dollars and reputational damage that follows.

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Technology Disputes – Risk Management – April 2024

Digital economy including digital platforms and on-line market-places continue to be compliance and enforcement priorities for regulators in Australia – including ACCC, ASIC and OAIC. This update provides a review of recent Australian technology cases and ensuing compliance and risk management issues.

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ACCC to examine ‘general internet search services’ in Australia

On 18 March, 2024, the ACCC released an issues paper seeking submissions from consumers, businesses and industry participants about their experience and developments in general search services in Australia. The ACCC issues paper is focussing on the impact of regulatory and industry developments; trends in search quality and the emergence of generative AI.

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ASIC steps up surveillance work to shut down scam websites and protect consumers

ASIC’s latest Enforcement and Regulatory Update Report (for the period October to December 2023) reveals ASIC’s focus on protecting consumers and Australians generally by targeting digitally enabled misconduct – including stopping online investment scams at the source and taking down scam websites. This is in addition to ASIC’s continuing focus on strengthening financial market integrity, insurance institution failures, greenwashing and improving regulatory and legal compliance

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OAIC’s Latest Report on Notifiable Data Breaches: Privacy Risk Management Update

Malicious or criminal attacks and human error continue to be the major causes of notifiable data breaches reported to the OAIC during the 6 month period to 30 June 2023 according to the OAIC Notifiable Data Breaches Report – January-June 2023. This Update provides a summary of some key findings and statistics contained in the OAIC’s Report as well as steps which organisations and businesses can take to minimise the risk and harm of privacy data breaches.

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Advertised Delivery Times Matter – Can Your Business Deliver On Time?

Federal Court proceedings recently commenced by the ACCC against national fashion retailer, Mosaic Brands Limited, places businesses on notice to make sure that they can comply with their advertised delivery timeframes and deliver on time – or risk high penalties for making false or misleading representations to consumers in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. Mosaic Brands Limited owns Katies, Noni B and Rivers.

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Trade Mark Registration: Is your trade mark ‘distinctive’ or ‘descriptive’?

A recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia highlights the importance of choosing trade marks that are ‘distinctive’ and not ‘descriptive’. The case serves as a timely reminder to businesses to ensure that your trade mark is distinctive and not merely descriptive, if you wish to secure valuable common law and exclusive rights afforded by its use and registration of a trade mark.

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Changes to Australian Consumer Law introduce high penalties for Use of Unfair Contract Terms – Is your business ready?

Businesses have until 8 November 2023 to review their standard form contracts to ensure they comply with recent changes to the Australian Consumer Law which prohibit unfair contract terms – or risk incurring high financial penalties. This update offers an overview of the changes and provides some guidance on steps that can be implemented to minimise the risk of non-compliance.

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Australian Government publishes interim response on Safe and Responsible AI in Australia

On 17 January 2024, the Australian Government released its Interim Response to consultations held on Safe and Responsible AI in Australia. The Interim Response shows that the Government will be targeting the use of AI in ‘high-risk settings’ with ‘mandatory guardrails’ for the safe AI design, development and deployment in high risk settings being considered in close consultation with industry and the community.

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