June 4, 2021: The Australian Human Rights Commission final report on human rights and technology, released on April 27, 2021, deals with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in decision-making, and how people with disabilities experience digital communication technologies.
February 8, 2021: A Senate Inquiry heard last week that Google’s Singapore subsidiary could allow it to use a controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision in the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement to demand millions in compensation over proposed Australian regulation for payment of news content.
December 18, 2020: The Guardian reports that Clive Palmer’s Singapore-based company, established only in 2019, has acted on his threat to sue the Commonwealth Government for billions of dollars using the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (SDS) clauses in the Singapore-Australia free trade agreement.
December 9, 2020: The Report 192 of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) Inquiry on the Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement was quietly tabled in Parliament on the night of Tuesday December 8. The government has a majority on the Committee.
September 18, 2020: AFTINET's submission to the JSCOT review of the Singapore Digital Economy agreement is here. The submission notes that this is the most deregulatory agreement on digital trade the Australia has signed, and it is not clear that the exceptions preserve enough regulatory space to protect consumers and the public interest in a rapidly changing digital environment.
August 26, 2020: The Melbourne Age has reported that Clive Palmer’s Singapore-based company, established in 2019, could use foreign investor rights in the Singapore-Australia free trade agreement to claim billions in compensation because the WA government passed legislation terminating a legal dispute over an iron ore project, which had been running since 2012.
August 25, 2020: The Australia-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement was signed on August 6 and the text was tabled in Parliament on August 24, which triggers an inquiry by the joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT).
July 20, 2020: The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on July 16 that EU data agencies must suspend data transfers to any country where the EU standards for data privacy cannot be met. It ruled that one particular arrangement, the US Privacy Shield, failed to meet the standards, and this has a direct impact on Facebook.
April 30, 2020: Australia’s Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has issued a directive about the new COVID-19 tracing app to reassure users that their privacy will be protected, and their data will not be abused.
The government claims that the Biosecurity (Human Biosecurity Emergency) Determination 2020, Section 7 states that the data must be stored in Australia.