The Australian government is importing spyware – Is that legal?

An Australian Tax Office (ATO) staffer recently leaked on LinkedIn a step-by-step guide to hacking a smartphone.
The documents, which have since been removed, indicate that the ATO has access to Universal Forensic Extraction software made by the Israeli company Cellebrite. This technology is part of a commercial industry that profits from bypassing the security features of devices to gain access to private data. Read More

Should Business be Free to Ignore Consumer Consent and Privacy??

The catch-cry that Zuckerberg used to justify his end-run around privacy protections was ‘the default is social’.
During the last few years, Australian business has been lobbying for the economic potential of all data to be unlocked, not just social media data.
That requires that the already-weak privacy protections be dismantled, to implement the business catch-cry of ‘the default is economic exploitation’.
The chosen vehicle for empowering business is the Productivity Commission. Read More

Privacy in Australasia Gets a Boost

The Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) turns 30 in July 2017.
APF, the oldest privacy advocacy body in the world, is delighted to welcome the youngest.
The Privacy Foundation of New Zealand (PFNZ) launched on Monday 8 May 2017.
PFNZ comprises a body of professionals who have individually made substantial contributions to privacy protection. The organisation has declared as its mission: independent, informed and fair public comment on privacy Read More

There’s a Bully in Town … and it’s perfectly legal

The Australian Government is legislating to use your personal information to silence any dissent to its policies. It will be starting with veterans’ information if it passes the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Digital Readiness and Other Measures) Bill 2016 (Cth).
Australian citizen have to deal with the national government. The young, old, unemployed, disabled or those who have served this country in the defence forces must provide their personal information to one or more government agencies. There is no choice: no information means no entitlements. If done properly it is a good thing and should harm no one. But it has to be done properly. Read More

Not Worth the Paper It’s Printed On? Time to Talk About Protecting Human Rights

Your privacy is being eroded by Big Brother and Big Sister day by day.
The Australian Privacy Foundation – the nation’s civil society privacy body – commends moves in Queensland and Tasmania to introduce human rights legislation.
The Foundation says, however, that the legislation in those states and the Commonwealth needs to have teeth if it is to meaningfully protect the privacy and other rights of all Australians. Read More

Federal Court Decision Guts the Privacy Act

The judgment of the Federal Court of Australia, in Privacy Commissioner v Telstra Corporation Pty Ltd, that key metadata is not “personal information” is “disastrous for ordinary Australians and misunderstands how a digital footprint identifies person”, the Australian Privacy Foundation said today.
This decision will severely impair the Privacy Commissioner in regulating privacy on line. Read More

The Imminent Threat of Automated Government

Centrelink has recently delegated decision-making about people’s entitlements to a computer.

And, surprise, surprise, neither the data nor the software are good enough to support the process.

As a result, thousands of people have received demands for copies of old documents, and have been wrongly subjected to ham-fisted actions by commercial debt-collectors. Read More