Defending your right to control your personal information

News and Updates

The Australian Information Commissioner has issued a very significant determination resulting from a Commissioner initiated investigation into 7-Eleven, where she found that the company had breached Australian Privacy Principle (APP) 3 and 5 of the Privacy Act 1988.

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The Victorian government acts in haste to pass health database law, the community will repent at leisure. The Victorian government’s “Health Legislation Amendment (Information Sharing) Bill 2021” was hurried through its first Parliamentary vote last week.1 The Bill links all patient medical and health information through a single portal, to be shared between authorised end-users,… Read More

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We value the idea that our medical information is private and subject to special protection and that our doctor can’t freely share it with others. Yet suddenly, it seems we might be asked to hand over information about our vaccination status in many different situations.
It might be so we can keep doing our job, go into shops and restaurants or travel. It might make us uneasy. But can we refuse to tell others our vaccination status on privacy grounds? What does the law in Australia say about who can ask for it, and why, and what they can do with it?

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The Australian Privacy Foundation enjoys the support of many leading Australians across many walks of life. We routinely draw attention to the standing of the APF’s Patrons and Advisory Panel members when we make submissions.
The APF’s policy positions have always been based on research and careful argument, and we believe that the quality of the Panel reinforces that positioning. We’re delighted to announce a tranche of new members of that Panel.

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South Australia has begun a trial of a new COVID app to monitor arrivals into the state. SA Premier Steven Marshall claimed “every South Australian should feel pretty proud that we are the national pilot for the home-based quarantine app”. But why are we developing such home-quarantine apps in the first place, when we already have a cheap technology to do this? If we want to monitor that people are at home (and that’s a big if), wouldn’t one of the ankle tags already used by our corrective services for home detention be much simpler, safer and more robust? There are many reasons to be concerned about home-quarantine apps.

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The Australian Information Commissioner this week called for a ban on police accessing QR code check-in data, unless for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes. State police have already accessed this data on at least six occasions for unrelated criminal investigations. We need cooperation and clarity regarding how COVID surveillance data is handled, to protect people’s privacy and maintain public trust in surveillance measures. We propose more detailed and consistent laws to be enacted throughout Australia, covering all COVID surveillance.

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