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#SouthernSaas20 - Negotiating SaaS contracts & how the Privacy Act 2020 affects SaaS businesses

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This article was published on 20 November 2020

As part of Week 2 of #SouthernSaaS20, we were honoured to have Ed Lim and Lisa Paz from boutique technology, media, and intellectual property (IP) law firm Hudson Gavin Martin speaking to attendees about contract negotiation, data security, and what the updated Privacy Act 2020 means for SaaS businesses in New Zealand. 

This was an in-depth and informative session which offered valuable insights to the legal frameworks relevant to SaaS businesses. Ed and Lisa dived into terms and conditions, IP warranties, and navigating patents and infringements in the United States – where they’re “really into patents!” 

“Data is not the new oil, but data is valuable,” said Lisa. “The value increases as the data becomes structured into insights and ultimately products and services.” Ed and Lisa spent time discussing the fascinating question of ‘who owns data?’ “There is no default owner of data. You can’t own raw and unorganised facts.” 

“Different rights attach to data. They often overlap and can be contradictory – privacy rights, copyright, trade secrets and confidential data. This can be really complicated in the context of big data, IoT (‘internet of things’) and artificial intelligence.” 

To counter this complexity, Ed and Lisa advocate for writing up a robust contract. “As the law is often lagging behind tech, contracts are your best bet,” said Ed. “Customers prefer to ‘own’ their own data. Vendors should also have a right to use it for the purpose of delivering the service solution.” 

The new Privacy Act 2020 was a hot topic of the session, with Ed and Lisa laying out what the new provisions mean for SaaS businesses. “It overhauls the Privacy Act 1993 and brings New Zealand in line with other jurisdictions that have updated privacy laws like Australia, the UK, and Japan. It’s better suited for today’s digital and data landscape.” The new principle in the 2020 Act requires agencies to make sure that when personal information is transferred overseas, it is protected by comparable data schemes. 

“What does this mean for you?” Ed asked. “Your business will need to review its compliance with the 2020 Act. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner has some really useful tools.” Practical, simple, useful advice – thanks Ed and Lisa! 

Thanks to all who took part in the first two weeks of #SouthernSaaS20. We’re approaching the final week of Southern SaaS 2020, made for software-as-a-service (SaaS) professionals in New Zealand’s growing digital product looking to upskill, connect, and be inspired. Week 3 is focused on 1:1 appointments with SaaS experts, so make sure you book in!

Join our Kiwi SaaS community for valuable connections, capability opportunities, and advice from industry experts.

Southern SaaS 2020 is a virtual conference arranged by New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation, for software-as-a-service (SaaS) professionals looking to network, upskill, and inspire in New Zealand’s growing digital product sector.

Southern SaaS 2020 Digital setup