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News in brief: Ethics study; KPMG action; Cyber spies

News in brief: Ethics study; KPMG action; Cyber spies

Law firms, experts, open ethics study; Carneys files action over KPMG; Law expert raises ethics questions over cyber spies

Law firms, experts, open ethics study

With outrage over executive pay, job losses, and accountability for the global financial crisis, it’s no wonder someone is seeking answers. The St James Ethics Centre and Beaton Consulting will launch a national study into business ethics next week to reveal the findings of a study into the attitudes of more than 15,000 individuals in professional business roles over business ethics. Speakers include Simon Longstaff and Rosemary Sainty from the St James Ethics Centre, George Beaton from Beaton Consulting, Paul Quinn, practice director at Allens Arthur Robinson, and John Colvin, CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Carneys files action over KPMG

Sydney law firm Carneys has filed an action in the Federal Court seeking $1 billion from auditor KPMG and the former MFS Investment Management, now Wellington Investment Management Ltd, on behalf of about 10,000 unit holders. The action represents people who bought into the MFS Premium Income Fund from January 2007 until the group collapsed “and who suffered loss or damage by reason of the conduct of the respondents”, The Australian reports.  

Law expert raises ethics questions over cyber spies

No more must a private investigator have a long camera lense, dark glasses and a trench coat. Large companies and government departments are employing a new Sydney-based company to dig up dirt on staff by spying on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube. SR7 specialises in “online risk and reputation management” and monitors social networking sites for employers. But David Vaile, executive director of UNSW’s Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre, believes SR7 may be acting unethically. He said companies might be using the muck raked from social networking sites as an excuse to fire people during the challenging economic climate. 

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