Australia Looks at Privacy (again)

With the recent phone hacking scandals in the UK, politicians in Australia are asking ‘can it happen here?’ – and it is highlighting the lack of rights individuals have with respect to privacy in Australia along with the lack of powers that the Privacy Commissioner has.

Whilst there has been an increase in the number of reported data breaches, there is no legislative requirement for companies to report breaches – hence a lot of breaches are not reported.  The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) have made a number of recommendations on Data Breach legislation that have (largely) not been acted on by the Federal Government.

For more details, please see the following article:

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/thousands-of-privacy-breaches-going-unreported-20110727-1hzes.html

Privacy PodCast

This is an excellent podcast on many aspects of privacy in the modern world. – Enjoy! From the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) Radio National.

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2010/2896235.htm

National Crime Database Raises Privacy Concerns

The (quiet) introduction of a National Police Reference System in Australia has raised concerns on the impact on privacy.  The database (run by CRIMTRAC has millions of records – including DNA and fingerprints) and is able to be accessed by all Australian law enforcement officers.  There are up to 80,000 accesses to the data per day.

For more detail, please see http://www.smh.com.au/national/privacy-fears-growing-as-police-tighten-national-grip-20100117-mecr.html.

Facebook used to screen NFL draft

Potential draftees  (and employees) are being  screened by Face Book ‘ghosts’ to gain access to personal information

It is also used by recruitment agencies, insurance companies even law enforcement.

For more information see http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/how-social-networking-created-a-legal-and-ethical-minefield-20100115-mcgu.html

Sex text prompts ruling on privacy – USA

WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court is to rule on whether employees have a right to privacy when they send text messages on electronic devices supplied by their emloyers. 

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/enterprise/sex-text-prompts-ruling-on-privacy-20091215-kuoo.html