The Federal government calls it a ‘Human Services Access Card’
We call it for what it is: a National ID Card System
Frequently Asked Question No. 6
What does the Federal Privacy Commissioner say about it?
Submission re the first Access Card Bill – January 2007 – rather bureaucratic in style, and government-friendly, but it does identify some of the serious deficiencies with the Bill
Media Release 8 November 2006: a pleasant and positive response, even though “the Taskforce and the Government have not taken up all of my recommendations … I am committed to working constructively with the Government”
Media Release 26 April 2006: “it is essential that appropriate privacy protections are built in early, particularly into the system design of the access card and registration process, rather than trying to ‘bolt’ these on later. … I encourage the Government to give close consideration to privacy issues and undertake privacy impact assessments as the proposal is progressed”
The Privacy Commissioner is not a watchdog for the public interest. Rather:
- the Privacy Commissioner is merely the administrator of one particular statute
- that statute was weak in 1988
- that statute has been progressively weakened over the years, as agencies have arranged ever more exemptions and exceptions for themselves
- the Privacy Commissioner is not funded by the Parliament, but by the single person in the Government that most need to be controlled – the Attorney-General
- unless the Privacy Commissioner is seen by the Attorney-General to be of good behaviour, funding and re-appointment can be, and is, withheld
So don’t expect any dramatic pro-privacy stances from the Privacy Commissioner.
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