If you want to do something about the protection of privacy in Australia, here are our suggestions:
- Inform Yourself
- Inform Others
- Contribute to the APF’s Work
- Influence Change
- Conduct Research
- Conduct Research and Advocacy with the A.P.F.
If you’re concerned about a specific campaign, issue or proposal, you can make a donation to the APF, and specify which activity you are supporting. We have no government or other direct funding, and rely on membership subscriptions and donations to cover the expenses of running a not-for-profit public interest association, of research, of preparing submissions and providing oral evidence, and of conducting campaigns.
Keep your eyes and ears open to privacy-related issues in your community, workplace, and school.
Monitor the media for privacy-related stories.
Become familiar with:
- privacy fundamentals
- current privacy laws at federal level
- relevant laws of your State or Territory.
- international instruments that underlie privacy law.
Post important news and sources of information to the the privacy discussion list.
Take opportunities to talk with your friends and workmates about privacy, and draw their attention to issues, to important news about issues, and to sources of information.
Nominate privacy-invaders for the APF’s annual Big Brother Awards. These include:
- mainly ‘The Orwells’, for privacy invaders
- but also the ‘Smith’ Awards, for privacy defenders
Propose enhancements to the APF’s web-site, especially:
Volunteer your time and expertise by serving on APF committees, task forces and working groups. In particular, assist the APF Board with Campaigns.
Make a donation to the Australian Privacy Foundation, or seek donations for APF activities.
Recruit members to the APF.
Join and contribute to other organisations concerned about privacy matters, e.g.
- organisations in particular States, regions or cities
- organisations that focus on particular sectors (e.g. health, the workplace)
- organisations that focus on particular issues (e.g. video-surveillance, tele-marketing, drivers’ licences, identification cards)
Get involved with government reviews of laws that have an impact on privacy.
Get involved in Talk-Back Radio programmes. (But don’t behave as badly as the host and the other guests. Messages get through better if you stay calm and reasonably polite).
Write a letter to your local, city, regional or national newspaper. Here is your paper’s email address for letters-to-the-editor.
Let your federal MP or Senator know what you think. Here are lists for:
Write to your State or Territory MP(s):
- N.S.W. Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
- Victorian Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
- Queensland Legislative Assembly
- Western Australian Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
- South Australian Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council
- Tasmanian House of Assembly and Legislative Council
- Northern Territory Legislative Assembly
Write to your local Mayor or Council. See the ALGA’s Index of Council Web-Sites.
Submit complaints about privacy-abusive activities. The APF provides guidance in relation to:
- how to go about making a complaint
- how to go about making a complaint to the Federal Privacy Commissioner
- organisations that handle privacy-related complaints:
- re Commonwealth government agencies
- re business enterprises generally
- re business enterprises in particular industry sectors
- re government agencies and business enterprises operating in each State and Territory:
Make submissions to Parliamentary and Government Committees.
Conduct research into a Privacy-Intrusive Technology (which we refer to as ‘the PITs’).
Conduct research into a Privacy-Enhancing Technology (‘PETs’).
Conduct research into proposals to apply PITs or PETs.
Conduct research into the people and organisations responsible for a proposal to apply PITs or PETs (i.e. politicians, government agencies, corporations, industry associations, technology-providers).
Document the media coverage of a proposal to apply PITs or PETs.
The APF provides access to many resources to assist in the conduct of research.
Of course, the whole point of conducting research is to influence change, so you then need to:
- have the results of your research reviewed by suitable people
- post an outline of your results to the the privacy discussion list
- submit the results of your research to organisations who need to know about it, such as:
- Parliamentary Committees
- government agencies
- industry associations
- publish the results of your research more widely, e.g.:
- through formal channels such as journal articles and monographs
- by submitting it to the APF for possible publication on this web-site
- in the media
The APF is a volunteer organisation, and depends on its members for expertise, and for energy. The APF very much welcomes participation by all of its Members.
But there are a couple of provisos.
The APF has been conducting research, and advocating the public interest, since 1987. It has published a lot of submissions, given oral evidence to many Parliamentary committees, and established a lot of policies. The APF’s papers are indexed chronologically, and also by policy-topic.
We therefore have a substantial reputation to protect. We contribute effectively to public debate by making sure that our public statements and submissions are based on careful research.
So we need the people who work on Research and Advocacy to have the following qualities:
- concern about privacy
- knowledge about privacy generally, or the ability to develop such knowledge
- knowledge about areas in which privacy issues arise, such as information technology, health care, telecommunications, road transport, industrial law, privacy law, etc., or the ability to develop such knowledge
- expertise in research, or the ability to develop such expertise
- expertise in the written and verbal presentation of carefully researched arguments to parliaments, official committees, government agencies, industry associations, and corporations
- the energy to study documents, prepare working papers, draft and review position papers, negotiate with organisations, and participate in media campaigns
- responsibility and steadiness in dealing with corporations, government agencies and the media
- the patience to coax and cajole organisations towards a better understanding of privacy concerns
If this sounds like you, and you would like to be involved in APF’s Research and Advocacy activities, we’d be delighted to hear from you via the association’s contact points.
If you want to contribute by assisting with a submission, please read the Submission Guidelines.