OzTech: Deakin Uni breached; AI for NSW roads; Retailers’ facial recognition probed; First CDR penalty; $23.7B in IoT spending

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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Deakin University breached, data from 47,000 students downloaded

Deakin University revealed a data breach occurred that could have affected the data of close to 10,000 current students and 37,000 former students. Deakin said in a statement it became aware on 10 July 2022 of a staff member’s username and password being used by an unauthorised person to access data held by a third-party provider.

The hacker used the information accessed to send a phishing SMS as if from Deakin to 9,997 students informing of a parcel arrival, of all things. The person or group behind the breach also downloaded contact details of 46,980 current and former Deakin students, the university said.

Deakin has taken action to stop any further SMS messages being sent to students, and an investigation into the data breach was immediately commenced. It also reported the incident to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

NSW government uses AI to predict deterioration of roads

The New South Wales government is putting $2.9 million in a project named Asset AI that will have 32 sensors installed on 32 public transport buses across the Greater Sydney area to help predict the rate of road deterioration using artificial intelligence (AI). This will be done by combining the information gathered by the sensors with local weather observations to streamline how road asset maintenance is planned.

Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said the technology assesses the captured footage and logs any road defects detected into a database in near real time.

Data is also being collected outside of the city with a utility vehicle mounted with cameras scanning 100km of rural roads, across regional NSW, according to Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway. This includes the Great Western Highway between Lithgow and Bathurst, the Sturt Highway near Wagga Wagga, and around Spring Ridge in the Upper Hunter.

Retailers under investigation over use of facial recognition technology

Retailers Bunnings and Kmart are under investigation by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) following a report from consumer advocate Choice that both were using facial recognition technology. The OAIC investigation will focus on the companies’ handling practices in the use of customers’ personal information.

The OAIC has also commenced inquiries with Good Guys, which was also reported using facial recognition technology but has since paused its use.

In October 2021, the OAIC found that 7-Eleven interfered with customers’ privacy by collecting sensitive biometric information that was not reasonably necessary for its functions and without adequate notice or consent.

Bank of Queensland was not ready for CDR rules

The Bank of Queensland has paid a $133,200 penalty after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued it with an infringement notice for allegedly breaching the consumer data right (CDR) rules.

Under the CDR rules, smaller banks were required to be ready to share certain data by 1 July 2021, but according to ACCC the Bank of Queensland did not have these available until 13 December 2021.

The CDR is an economy-wide data sharing program that enables Australians to use the data businesses hold about them for their own benefit. 

IoT spending to surpass $23 billion in 2022

Spending on internet of things (IoT) products and services in Australia and New Zealand is forecasted to exceed $23.7 billion in 2022, an increase of 13% from 2021, according to research firm IDC. The growth is expected as a result of increasing 5G deployment, surging currency rates, and maturing adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud, and big data.

Industries such as manufacturing, utilities, and transportation collectively account for more than half of all IoT spending. IoT services will be the largest technology group in 2022, according to IDC.

By 2026, IDC expects spending in IoT to reach $36 billion.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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