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The Winners were announced at events in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra, on the evening of Wednesday 20 April 2011. The Winners of the 2011 Orwells were:

On the positive side, one Smith Award was made:

Further information is in the Media Release. If you have any questions, email

Further details about the Awards and the BBA Process are below.

Timetable for the 2011 Big Brother Awards

1 Oct 2010 – Nominations open

30 Nov 2010 – Nomination close

10 Feb 2011 – Assessment by the APF Board complete, information to nominees

8 Apr 2011 – Responses due from nominees

20 Apr 2011 – Judging events

The Awards That Will Be Voted On


For a corporation that has shown a blatant disregard for privacy


For a government agency or official that has shown a blatant disregard for privacy


For a technology that is particularly privacy invasive


For the ‘best’ (most appalling!) quote on a privacy-related topic


For a meritorious act of privacy protection or defence


For outstanding services to privacy protection

The Process

1. Nominations (by Tue 30 Nov 2010) – NOW CLOSED

Nominations for the above awards are solicited from APF members and the public.

The name of the person who makes the nomination and the seconder are not published. A person may submit more than one nomination for any category.

Nomination is straightforward:

  1. Chose your nominee
  2. Check the facts, collect evidence and provide the following information:
    • Clear identification of the nominee
    • Evidence of the behaviour, including authoritative documentation about the nominee, references to public coverage of the relevant act, e.g. URLs or copies of media reports
    • Any public statements that explained or justifyied the behaviour
  3. Complete the Nomination Form: [ RTF ] [ PDF ]
  4. Email the Nomination Form to, before 30 November 2010

2. Assessment (by Thu 10 Feb 2011) – NOW COMPLETED

Each nomination will be considered by the APF, to ensure that there is sufficient evidence to support the nomination.

3. Opportunity for Comment by Nominees (by Tue 8 Apr 2011) – NOW COMPLETED

The APF will endeavour to contact the nominee, and provide them with :

  • information about the award, the process and the associated media release
  • the fact that they have been nominated
  • the opportunity to provide a response, particularly on the factual basis and justification provided
  • the opportunity to attend and participate in an Awards Event

If the nominee does not reply or declines to make any comment this is recorded with the nomination.

4. Judging and Award Presentation (Wed 20 Apr 2011)

APF members will be invited to vote for the winners from 10-17 April.

Votes will be collated and the final winners for each Category announced on Wed 20 April 2011.

5. Delivery of Awards

It is intended that winners will be invited to an Awards Presentation on Wed 20 Apr 2011. Awards that cannot be presented in person will be delivered after that date.

About The Big Brother Awards

The annual Australian Big Brother Awards for privacy intruders are conducted by the Australian Privacy Foundation (APF). Among the categories for bad deeds, there are also two positive awards for good works in the service of protection of privacy called the “Smiths”.

The awards are in the nature of a spoof “Oscars”. The Big Brother Awards have become affectionately known as the “Orwells”, after George Orwell, the author of 1984, in which Big Brother first appeared. They are in a spirit of fun, incorporating humour, popular participation and audio visual support.

Award winners will be presented with an award certificate to commemorate their achievement upon request.

NB: Winners may also be eligible for special nomination to the international ‘Stupid Security Award’.


Since 1998, over 50 Big Brother Awards ceremonies have been held in 16 countries. They are presented around the world by the national members and affiliated organisations of Privacy International to corporations, public officials and governments that have shown a blatant disregard for privacy, those who have done the most to threaten personal privacy in their countries. (See below for more details.) The awards also feature categories for individuals and organisations who have made a major positive contribution to protecting the privacy of Australians.

The Australian Big Brother Awards, hosted by the Australian Privacy Foundation, were established in 2003.

See 2006’s Winners for details and background

The Big Brother Awards (BBA) have no relationship with the TV series ‘Big Brother’.

The first BBA was held in 1998, whereas the first broadcast of the TV show was in the Netherlands in 1999. However, the first Australian BBA was held in 2003, two years after the TV show was first franchised to the Australian channel, TEN.

Previous BBAs in Australia


See the 2009 winners of the Australian Big Brother Awards, with details.


See the 2006 winners of the Australian Big Brother Awards, with details


Here are the results of the 2005 Australian Big Brother Awards.


Here are the winners of the 2004 Australian Big Brother Awards for privacy intrusion, hosted by the Australian Privacy Foundation. (See also the Media Release for more details)

  • Lifetime Menace: Carl Scully, NSW Minister for Roads
  • People’s choice: Queensland Smartcard Drivers Licence
  • Greatest corporate invader: Major political parties, for abuses around elections
  • Worst Public Agency or Official: Bob Debus, NSW Attorney-General
  • Most invasive technology: Biometric passports

And, awards on the side of privacy protectors (‘The Smiths’ , after Orwell’s Winston Smith):

  • Best Privacy Guardian : John Pane, Australia Post’s Chief Privacy Officer


The first Australian BBA awards in September 2003 were held in conjunction with related events including the 25th International Privacy Commissioners’ conference, the “Surveillance and Privacy 2003: Terrorist and Watchdogs” conference, and the formation of the Asia-Pacific Privacy Charter Council.

The winners were:

  • Attorney General Darryl Williams (lifetime menace)
  • the Internet Industry Association (greatest corporate invader)
  • the TICA Default Tenancy Control (most invasive technology)
  • Senator Chris Ellison (worst public official).

Australia was also a winner in the related 2003 international competition for the Most Egregiously Stupid Security Measure.

BBAs around the world

Here is the BBA International Homepage. This shows that 109 events have been held in 20 countries prior to BBA (Oz) 2011, with 5 of the previous events held in Australia.

These Privacy International awards have been staged in about 20 countries, including (in alphabetical order) Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Generally, BBA events are held at a national level, with judges and nominees drawn from the relevant country.

The first BBA was held in London, England, on October 26, 1998. This inaugural UK event attracted an audience of around 250 civil rights activists, privacy advocates, academics and media.

The inaugural US awards were staged in Washington DC on April 7, 1999, during the 9th Computers Freedom and Privacy (CFP) conference. Around 500 people attended the event, which was extensively reported by media.

The first Australian BBA was held in 2003.

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