Medibank heads to Court over Data Breach: 5 Tech Things to Know in Australia Today

Medibank heads to Court over Data Breach: 5 Tech Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning. It’s the middle of the weekend, and we’re almost through to the long weekend. Let’s get into the tech news.

1. OAIC Takes Medibank to Court

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is taking Medibank to the Australian Federal Court after its October 2022 data breach where 9.7 million Aussies had their personal information published on the dark web.

The OAIC said from March 2021 to October 2022, Medibank “seriously interfered” with the privacy of 9.7 million Australians by failing to take reasonable steps to protect their personal information from misuse and unauthorised access or disclosure in breach of the Privacy Act 1988.

“The release of personal information on the dark web exposed a large number of Australians to the likelihood of serious harm, including potential emotional distress and the material risk of identity theft, extortion and financial crime,” acting Australian Information Commissioner Elizabeth Tydd said.

“We allege Medibank failed to take reasonable steps to protect personal information it held given its size, resources, the nature and volume of the sensitive and personal information it handled, and the risk of serious harm for an individual in the case of a breach.”

In January, the hacker behind the attack was the first person to be ever hit with Australia’s cyber sanctions.

2. MEAA calls for tougher AI approach

The Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance has called for laws that “stop AI theft”, and appropriately protect workers in the creative sector, and public trust in media organisations.

“Artificial Intelligence presents the most profound change in the relationship between work and production since the advent of the Internet,” MEAA Federal President Michael Balk said. “If left unchecked, the increased use of AI tools poses a profound threat to the credibility and authenticity of artistic and media content presented to audiences, undermining public trust, along with the loss of jobs and the degradation of conditions in creative and journalistic work.”

MEAA is calling for laws that require AIs to disclose any data used to train large language models, with creatives able to consent to having their work used to train generative AI, and be appropriately compensated for it.

3. Speaking of AI

Current and former employees of ChatGPT maker OpenAI and Google’s DeepMind division have come together to pen a letter, calling for protection from retaliation from said companies when publically sharing the risks of generative AI.

“AI companies possess substantial non-public information about the capabilities and limitations of their systems, the adequacy of their protective measures, and the risk levels of different kinds of harm. However, they currently have only weak obligations to share some of this information with governments, and none with civil society. We do not think they can all be relied upon to share it voluntarily,” the letter reads.

“So long as there is no effective government oversight of these corporations, current and former employees are among the few people who can hold them accountable to the public. Yet broad confidentiality agreements block us from voicing our concerns, except to the very companies that may be failing to address these issues.”

Six former OpenAI and Google DeepMind employees and one current Deepimind employee signed the open letter, with six anonymous signatures from current and former workers.

4. Yoink!

Once again speaking about the hottest topic in the room, CNBC reports that Elon Musk has emailed Nvidia, asking that shipments of processors be sent to his latest venture, xAI, ahead of electric carmaker Tesla. With Musk attempting to pivot Tesla to being more of an AI company, this latest move will push the carmaker’s order of $500 million in processors back several months.

5. TikTok talks cyberattack

A cyberattack disclosed by TikTok attempted to take control of high-profile accounts on the platform, including those belonging to CNN and Paris Hilton. Per AP, TikTok spokesperson Jason Grosse said in a statement that “Our security team was recently alerted to malicious actors targeting CNN’s TikTok account,” and that “a very small number of accounts were compromised.” While Hilton’s account was not compromised, CNN’s was, and the company is now working with the media organisation on taking back control.

BONUS ITEM: [Mission Impossible theme plays].

Have a lovely day.

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