Mandatory notifiable data breach scheme introduced for NSW government agencies

In a time of significant changes to the privacy landscape, not least the confirmed passing by the Senate yesterday afternoon of the Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement & Other Measures) Bill, 2022 to increase fines and enhance the OAIC powers (see our recent article here), further well overdue changes were also announced for the public sector. […]

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Good news for consumers? New Digital Platform laws to combat fake reviews, scams and unfair practices proposed

Last Friday the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its 5th report of the Digital Platform Services Inquiry. The much anticipated report deals with the competition and consumer issues raised in the Digital Platform Services Inquiry, the Digital Advertising Services Inquiry (2020-2021) and the Digital Platform Inquiry (2017-2019). Digital platforms are online spaces for […]

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Increased competition and consumer law penalties now take effect

The maximum penalties for contraventions of competition law prohibitions in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and offence and civil penalty provisions in the Australian Consumer Law have now markedly increased following the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Act 2022 (Cth) having received the Royal Assent. Of particular note, the maximum penalty for […]

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Date set for ‘unfair contract terms’ to be rendered unlawful: Time to act

Businesses now have less than 12 months to cease using unfair contract terms in their standard form consumer contracts and small business contracts, now that the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Act 2022 has received the Royal Assent. Whereas unfair contract terms can presently be rendered void and unenforceable, the use of unfair contract terms […]

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The Privacy landscape is heating up – but will tougher penalties and an expanded reach have the desired effect?

After a number of significant and high-profile cyber incidents in the last few weeks, it was almost inevitable the Government would take steps to fast-track its privacy reform agenda by seeking to push through headline-grabbing changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act). Following the Attorney’s General (AG)’s foreshadowing on 22 October, 2022, the […]

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‘Greenwashing erodes consumer trust’ – the ACCC tells business to clean up its act on misleading environmental claims

The ACCC has delivered a clear and strong message to businesses in a speech by its Deputy Clair, Delia Rickard, to The Sydney Morning Herald Sustainability Summit on 20 September 2022 – “Environmental claims and sustainability are a current priority for the ACCC”. The ACCC “won’t hesitate to take enforcement action where we see that […]

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Unfair contract terms – Commonwealth government driving major reforms

On 28 September 2022 the Commonwealth government introduced to Parliament a bill that will, if passed, make major changes to the unfair contract terms regime in Australia.  The bill is called the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Bill 2022. The unfair contract terms provisions in the Bill are virtually identical to the provisions […]

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Buy Now Pay Later: Industry awaiting Issues Paper with bated breath

For better or worse, the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) industry has continued to make headlines since our last report. The sector’s meteoric rise has been tempered in recent months by a combination of market saturation, broader macroeconomic factors, and, most recently, a new political climate. The new Labor Government has made clear its intentions […]

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FMCG Express | September 2022 Edition

In the latest edition of FMCG Express, Partner Breanna Davies and the Gadens team bring you the latest developments in the consumer, retail and hospitality sectors in Australia. In this issue, our team delves into the issues surrounding positive obligations to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace; risks and solutions when dealing with commercial contracts […]

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Significant increases to Competition and Consumer Law penalties proposed

Last Friday afternoon, Treasury released exposure draft legislation proposing significant increases to the maximum penalties that apply to various contraventions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by companies and individuals. Interested parties will have to be quick with any comments on the proposed changes, because public consultation […]

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Did Google get off lightly? ACCC v Google and ACL penalty regime changes

The Federal Court has handed down its penalty decision in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Google LLC (No 4) [2022] FCA 942 (ACCC v Google)[1], confirming its landmark findings against the tech giant from late last year[2]. Google LLC (Google US), the parent company of Google Australia Pty Ltd (Google Australia), was ordered to […]

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Embedded networks live on as Victorian reform for residential embedded networks slowly takes shape

New embedded networks in residential apartment buildings will be banned from January 2023 unless 100% of electricity is sourced from renewable energy, with at least 5% being sourced from on-site generation. Existing embedded networks in residential sites, including apartment buildings, retirement villages, social housing and residential/caravan parks, will transition to a new regulatory regime, moving through […]

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