Australian Privacy Foundation

Released 9 November 1998, 12 p.m.

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Today's launch of the direct marketing code of conduct has exposed the Howard Government,s failure to protect the privacy of Australians, the Australian Privacy Foundation said today.

"The Government,s strategy of leaving privacy protection to industry has failed to deliver those safeguards," Privacy Foundation Director, Tim Dixon, said today.

"This code is a dud. It was developed without consultation, it has gaping holes, and it gives no assurances to consumers about privacy safeguards.

"Rather, it will give the Government,s rubber stamp to a new onslaught of privacy intrusions by marketers."

The Privacy Foundation was responding to the launch of the Australian Direct Marketing Association's code of conduct by the Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Allan Fels, today.

Key issues highlighted by the Privacy Foundation were that:

"You cannot protect people,s privacy by letting businesses write their own rules," Mr Dixon said. "The direct marketing code shows this clearly."

"If any industry should know how to get self-regulation right, ADMA should. They have been dealing with privacy concerns for many years. They know that most Australians object to their activities. Around 60% of people surveyed by reputable researchers think that their activities? calling people at home without their consent, selling database lists and so forth, are not right."

"The failure of the ADMA code underlines what the Government must understand: self-regulation will not give adequate privacy protection to Australians. Consumers know this. Business knows this. Other countries do as well. Canada, one of the only countries without privacy laws for businesses, introduced its privacy legislation just last month.

"Why won't the Australian government give its people the same kind of privacy safeguards which the people of other nations can rely upon. Don't Australian consumers have a right to control their personal information?"

Release 9 November 1998, 12 p.m. For further information, contact:

Tim Dixon, Director, 02-9231 4949 or 0411-114411, TimDixon

Prof. Graham Greenleaf, 02-9569 5310 or 9385-2233, Graham Greenleaf


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Created: 10 November 1998

Last Amended: 20 December 1998


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