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Arrested for giving a bad review

An American who complained on TripAdvisor that a resort hotel in Thailand wanted to charge him a $15 corkage fee for bringing his own bottle of gin to the restaurant was arrested this month and spent a weekend in jail. If convicted of criminal defamation, he faces up to two years in prison. So don't write anything bad about the Sea View Koh Chang resort, which had the charges brought.

After a backlash, the resort had some regrets. “We agree that using a defamation law may be viewed as excessive for this situation,” the hotel acknowledged.

Newspaper head to High Court regarding liability for users' Facebook comments

The newspapers are appealing the decision of the NSW Court of Appeal that decided that media companies can be held responsible for defamatory comments under stories they post on Facebook.

Guardian Article, and discussion of appeal here.   The newspapers are appealing to the High Court.

The Court of Appeal decision is not surprising.  Compare prior cases:

http://www.cyberspac.com/2012/07/smirnoff-responsible-for-comments-of.html

https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/firm-fined-for-testimonials-by-facebook-fans-and-tweeters

Is Facebook carrying on business in Australia

 A recent decision in Australia, concerning whether Facebook could be served in California, was decided by the Federal Court of Australia.  This case arises out of a privacy action brought against Facebook by ACMA in relation to the Cambridge Analytics issues.

"It might be added that the means by which entities carry on business are constantly evolving. Much of the case law in which the concept has been discussed was decided long before the technological advances which underpin many modern forms of commerce. Ultimately, the question whether a particular entity carries on business, and does so in a particular place, is determined by reference to the particular facts. 

The Commissioner submitted that she had established a prima facie case that Facebook Inc carried on business in Australia through a combination of two matters: first, through the agency of Facebook Ireland; and secondly, through certain activities for which Facebook Inc was directly responsible in Australia. ...

Rather, the evidence on this application suggests that, to the extent Facebook Ireland carried on business in Australia, it was carrying on its own businessThe evidence adduced on this application and the inferences available to be drawn do not sufficiently allow for a possible conclusion that Facebook Ireland was also carrying on Facebook Inc’s business to warrant permitting service out of the jurisdiction.

However, for the reasons given next, the Commissioner has established a sufficient prima facie case to warrant exposing Facebook Inc to litigation in Australia on the basis that Facebook Inc directly carried on business in Australia. On its case, a part of Facebook Inc’s business was to provide services to Facebook Ireland, including the processing activities referred to earlier. I am satisfied that there is a prima facie case that Facebook Inc carried out sufficient activity in Australia in its business of providing services to Facebook Ireland for a conclusion to be available that Facebook Inc carried on business in Australia within the meaning of s 5B(3)(b) of the Privacy Act. ...

I am satisfied that the Commissioner has established a prima facie case, in the required sense, that Facebook Inc carried on business in Australia within the meaning of s 5B(3)(b). In summary, the Commissioner has established a sufficient prima facie case that Facebook Inc carried on business in Australia which included providing services to Facebook Ireland."

Australian Information Commissioner v Facebook Inc (No 2) [2020] FCA 1307

Customer does not have property in a telephone number

A recent dispute between two taxi companies confirms that a telephone number is not property and is not owned by the telco customer.

"Relevantly, the terms confirm that the customer does not own or have any legal interest or goodwill in any telephone number issued to the customer. The terms also permit the customer to transfer a telephone number to another person with the prior consent of Telstra."

Manly Warringah Cabs (Trading) Co-operative Limited v Sydney Taxis Pty Ltd, in the matter of Sydney Taxis Pty Ltd (No 2) [2020] FCA 1336

Compare this domain name decision:  Multi-National Concepts Pty Ltd v. 1300 Directory Pty Ltd

Data law released in Australia

The Office of the National Data Commissioner has released an exposure draft of the Data Availability and Transparency Bill for public comment. - https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-16/government-draft-law-share-personal-data-between-agencies/12666792)

 More information and the draft bill is available here: https://www.datacommissioner.gov.au/exposure-draft/dat

 

The objects of this law are to:

(a)  promote better availability of public sector data; and

(b)  enable consistent safeguards for sharing public sector data; and

(c)  enhance integrity and transparency in sharing public sector data; and

(d)  build confidence in the use of public sector data; and

(e)  establish institutional arrangements for sharing public sector data.

The impact of AI on IP

The UK Intellectual Property Office has announced a call for views on artificial intelligence and intellectual property. In particular, the UK IPO wants to hear about the implications that AI might have for IP policy, and, likewise, what impact IP might have on AI. 

See the full consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/artificial-intelligence-and-intellectual-property-call-for-views

The consultation closes on 11 November 2020.

Targeting Social Media Users

On Monday September 7, 2020, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) issued draft Guidelines 8/2020 on the targeting of social media users.

The Draft Guidelines have far-reaching implications for social media platforms, advertisers, and adtech companies, as they will result in a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders, and establish rules for consent.

Article here.

Using Covid registration data for marketing is alleged privacy breach

It was only a matter of time.  The restaurant chain Wagamama has been reported to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for alleged...