APF Newsletter 1 December 2015


Vice-Chairs’ Report

Since the last AGM, the APF has continued its proud tradition of working to protect the privacy rights of Australians. In this 12 month period, the Foundation has made more than 40 submissions on diverse matters including in relation to the new data retention law, the use of encryption in digital communications, sperm donor anonymity, privacy implications of the NSW Transport Opal cards and the deeply flawed “opt out” eHealth regulatory regime. Other policy-related activities have continued unabated, including the submissions, the Foundation
has made more than 50 interventions in the past twelve months. One strong and obvious focus of the APF’s activities has been the highly privacy-intrusive and disproportionate suite of counter-terrorism measures introduced by the current Government. The increasingly trans-border nature of threats to privacy is well illustrated by the APF’s endorsement of important international initiatives, as well as submissions to international and transnational entities including the UN Human Rights Council, the European Commission and APEC.

As a voluntary organisation, the APF depends entirely on the initiatives and activities of its Board and members, all of whom have busy professional lives. Accordingly, in the past year, the extent to which the policy workload has been shared among established and newer APF Board members has been pleasing. The last AGM saw the resignation of Dr Roger Clarke as Chair of the APF, after having served in that role for 8 years. Roger has, however, continued to serve as a Board member and advisor, and maintains a prodigious level of activity. The three Vice-Chairs are grateful for his continued activism and support.

In March 2015, the Board noted with regret the passing of long standing advisory panel member and supporter, the Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser AC CH. The privacy and broader community is the poorer for this loss.

The reporting period has also seen the resignation of two valued Board members. In April 2015, Matthew Watts resigned as Board member, after serving on the Board from 2008-2015, including as Secretary from 2008-2013 and as Treasurer from 2012-2014. The Board is most appreciative of the efforts of Matthew, who will continue as a life member of the APF. In November 2015, the board accepted Andrew Roffey’s resignation. Andrew has been a Board member since 2014. The Board is grateful for Andrew’s work with the Foundation, especially with his policy work on online copyright infringement. We wish Matthew and Andrew all the best with their future endeavours.

Subject to approval by the members at the AGM, in 2016 the Board will continue to be constituted by 16 members with 3 Vice-Chairs. As such, the composition of the Board reflects the diversity of backgrounds and interests of those committed to campaigning for the right to privacy, and is well-placed to maintain and expand its activities in the face of the ongoing threats to privacy.

You can complement the work of the Board by making your own contributions to the APF’s work, in a variety of ways. The Life Membership Fee has remained unchanged for more than a decade, at $275.

Kat Lane, David Lindsay; David Vaile – Vice-Chairs, APF