Archive for March, 2009
Tuesday, March 31st, 2009
ACMA issues formal warning to Canberra ISP for failing to comply with the TIO Scheme.
The ACMA have issued a formal warning to ByteCard, a Canberra ISP who was allaged to have failed to comply with the TIO Scheme.
The warning comes after allegations that disputes raised with the TIO by customers remained unresolved, as a consequence of this ByteCard’s refusal to comply with the TIO Scheme. According to the ACMA:
Part 6 of the Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 (’the TCPS Act’) imposes obligations on Carriers and CSPs (who are referred to as eligible carriage service providers, as defined by s127) to (among other things):
In this case, the ACMA’s formal warning came about by the alleged failure of ByteCard (who is an eligible carriage service provider) to comply withe TIO Scheme.
Unless a CSP is exempt under s129 of the TCPS Act, they must comply with their obligations under Part 6.
Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Over recent weeks, debate over shonky Premium Services operators has intensified, to the point where there have been public exchanges between the ACCC and CommsAlliance over the adequacy of the industry response.
The latest shots in the debate were fired by ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuels after he criticised the new CommsAlliance C637:2009 Mobile Premium Services Code as not providing enough safeguards for consumers.
In response the CommsAlliance shot back at Mr Samuels criticisms by claiming that the new Code contained:
The argument has over shadowed what is a very important and timely industry response to the growing issues with shonky premium service operators.
As Telecommunications Lawyers we can only wait to see the impact of the Code, and whether it will go far enough to keep the rogue operators in check.
We hope to bring you a more detailed review of the Code shortly, what this space!
Monday, March 16th, 2009
The ACMA today announced that it has issued a formal warning to Westpac for breaches of the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (‘DNCRA’).
The ACMA reported that Westpac was the bank that had the greatest number of complaints made against it to the ACMA concerning alleged breaches of the DNCRA. The ACMA claim that although Westpac had a relationship with its customers, ‘its procedures for recording the withdrawal of consent had failed.’
Westpac was reported to have agreed to and implemented a number of measures to resolve the issue including ‘washing’ their call lists against the Do Not Call Register.
The ACMA report that they have had a total of 40,000 complaints since May 2007 concerning the DNCRA, and noted a significant drop in the number of complaints from 2007 to the end of 2008.
It is evident that the message is getting through, that its not okay to call people on the Do Not Call Register – awareness has been assisted by a number of tools available to businesses to help comply including IP Telephony systems that ‘wash’ numbers before they are dialled.
We previously reported on the ACMA’s crackdown on compliance with the TCP Code, it is interesting to note that the ACMA has cast a wide net in its compliance enforcement activities.
Thursday, March 12th, 2009
Google has announced the beta launch of ‘interest based’ advertising on their partner sites and YouTube. Will this lead to better advertising ?
Interest based advertising is where advertising content is targeted at internet users based on current and past web surfing history. Typically this is achieved by using ‘cookies’, which are small files stored on the user’s computer, which contain browsing history data. This method of serving advertisements differs to Google’s traditional ‘keyword’ or ‘content’ based advertising, which relies on the keywords or website content to target advertising.
Google believes that:
Criticisms of online advertising sometimes arise from poor quality leads due to the deficiencies in reaching an advertisers target audience. Google’s new interest based advertising may lead to higher quality leads for advertisers and more relevant advertisements for web surfers.
No sooner than Google’s announcement, many people have come out criticising interest based advertising as a threat to privacy, as it relies on tracking the websites an end user visits.
Google claims that it has taken 3 important measures to ensure user choice and privacy, these are:
We think Google’s interest based advertising may prove to give advertisers more qualified and better quality leads, while users will now see advertisements which are more relevant to their interests – resulting in a better user experience. Only time will tell, but at least Google has thought through the choice and privacy issues, and it appears to us as IT Lawyers, that they have implemented a sensible and effective process to ensure this.
Tags: Google Advertising, interest based advertising, IT Law, IT Lawyers, online advertising, Privacy, Privacy Law, Privacy Lawyers, technology law
Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
In the shadow of the Victorian bush fires, regulations create a new exception to the use and disclosure offences under Part 13 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.
Part 13 of the Act requires that Carriers, CSPs, their employees and contractors protect the confidentiality of protected information such as the content of communications, the affairs and personal particulars of people and namely the integrated public number database. The offences under this part are contained in sections 276 to 278, and can include a penalty of imprisonment against offenders.
s292(1) of the Act allows regulations to be made that provides for circumstances in which there may be exceptions to the offences under sections 276 to 278.
Although the Act already allows disclosure of documents and information in cases of threat to life or health (s287) in very limited situations, the Telecommunications Amendment Regulations 2009 (No.1) provides for an exception for the purpose of:
The Explanatory Statement to these new Regulations states that:
The Regulations permit disclosure of either (a) the information in an integrated public number database; or (b) a document that consists or relations to information contained in the integrated public number database.
Before disclosure is permitted there are 3 requirements that an authorised person must meet, these are:
There are also a number of safeguards requiring destruction of information when no longer required, and authority for the Privacy Commissioner to monitor the use of the information or documents.
We recently received an emergency communication from the Victoria Police, which we presume took advantage of these new Regulations, by way of an SMS warning of:
This Regulation is a welcome yet long over due regulatory development.
Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009
Paul Twomey CEO and President of ICANN yesterday announced that he would not be seeking to renew his contract with ICANN, at the expiration of its term this year, and will move on at this end of the year.
Twomey made his announcement in front of 1200 delegates at ICANN’s 34th International Public Meeting in Mexico City.
Twomey became CEO and President of ICANN in 2003 after 4 years as Chairman of ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), after a distinguished career.
Monday, March 2nd, 2009
According to the Internet Commerce Association (ICA), the US State of New York has incorporated computers within the definition of gambling devices, in a pre-emptive move to avoid legal uncertainty over the definition of ‘gambling device’ in its own gaming laws.
According to the ICA:
These changes have been prompted by the long running 141 Domain Names case in Kentucky, that we have eagerly been following. As we reported in our last post on this case, the State of Kentucky had ‘appealed the appeal’ after losing.
Cooper Mills IT Lawyers are in close contact with the ICA who was fortunate enough to be heard by the Court, in the interests of its members, even though it was not directly a party to the proceeding. We hope to bring you more on this case as soon as there are further developments.