Election Challenge – 2007

The Australian Privacy Foundation challenges Parties and candidates participating in the 2007 Federal Election to make clear their positions on the following 8 critical matters.

8. Withdraw the Access Card Proposal, Make Appropriate Use of Smartcards

The 'Access Card' project has been shown up as an attempt to impose a national identification scheme and an ill-conceived waste of taxpayers' money. The project must be abandoned. A new project should be commenced to upgrade the Medicare card, using smartcards to protect privacy as well as to assist agencies' operations and support their social control objectives.

7. Strengthen Controls over Telemarketing

The valuable Do Not Call Register initiative has been seriously weakened by government compliance with lobbying by industry and by political parties. These weaknesses must be overcome.

6. Establish an Open Appointment Process for the Privacy Commissioner

Successive Privacy Commissioners have been appointed in secret by the Attorney-General. They have been captured by the bureaucracy and by industry associations. The position must be openly advertised, appointment criteria must be transparent, the selection committee must be representative of the public rather than of the organisations the appointee is meant to regulate, and the appointee must be attuned to the interests of the public rather than those of government and business.

5. Prevent the Inappropriate Export of Personal Data

Many countries have even less protection for personal data than Australia. There is supposed to be a prohibition against the export of personal data to such countries. Yet corporations and government agencies are releasing data to places like India and the USA. The Government and the Privacy Commissioner must fulfil their responsibility to get those data flows back under control.

4. Establish Standards and Guidelines for Public Consultation

Many major government initiatives have substantial negative impacts on privacy and other interests. But agencies are avoiding the involvement of the public in their conception, design and implementation. Authoritative documents need to be negotiated that set minimum standards, and that guide the more enlightened agencies in the conduct of effective consultation processes.

3. Declare a Moratorium on All Biometrics and RFID-Tagging of Humans

The Biometrics industry is immature, is plagued by high error-rates and misinformation, and is creating profound risks for the future of personal information security. A significant number of grossly intrusive projects are in progress. They need to be halted, pending public information and consultation processes, followed by enactment of strong and enforceable laws regulating the use of all such technologies by all agencies and corporations.

2. Cancel the 'KYC' Requirements Imposed on Businesses

Under the guise of anti-money-laundering provisions, so-called AML-CTF legislation is about to come into effect. It substantially widens and deepens requirements of business enterprises to 'Know Your Customer', far beyond the ‘100-point check’. The enlistment of companies as State informers is not consistent with a free and open society, but rather with East Germany under the Stasi.

1. Rollback all of the Unjustified 'Counter-Terrorism' Provisions

Many privacy-hostile measures have been enacted, on the pretext that they are somehow necessary to protect public security. Changes are needed. All accesses by all agencies, including all national security and law enforcement agencies, require prior justification and a judicial warrant.

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