This week’s editorial comes from Australia with a small shout out to Hollywood. "Good Wife" fans will appreciate this week’s episode which provides yet more evidence that modern privacy issues dominate popular culture. The episode centres around a drone owned by a woman who flies it around her neighbourhood to conduct security sweeps. She’s being sued by a therapist concerned about the lack of confidentiality for his patients. There is something both surreal and fantastic in hearing one’s favourite TV characters talk about intrusion upon seclusion introduced by technologies and debating whether intrusion by drone is justified when balanced against the public interest in preventing crime.
Also on the topic of surveillance, this year I will be thinking very carefully about whether I am a Jedi Knight for the purposes of Australia’s census. Australia’s Bureau of Statistics has quietly reengineered its terms allowing it to keep the names and addresses of every person in Australia from the 2016 census onwards. It will allow the ABS to build up a rich and deep picture of every Australian’s life, in an identifiable form.
For me, it is impossible to forget the significance that nationally held religion data played under Hitler’s regime and ABS has itself acknowledged the risk it faces of function creep: that in the future, “name and address information from responses to the 2016 census may be used for purposes beyond what is currently contemplated by the ABS”. I urge Australian readers to find out more about how this change has been allowed to happen without public scrutiny and to let the ABS know of your concerns before the August census commences.
Finally, next week, a delegation from the iappANZ Board will attend the Summit in Washington. Please keep an eye out for the team and if you’d like to make contact, please do so via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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