“Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.” — Hermann Hesse
The digital economy depends on increasingly larger and faster transactions of information. This week there are fears about how that information is collected and used by governments. Concerning indeed, given that it would be near impossible to have clarity about how all your information is being used, and autonomy is essentially about the ability to control ourselves and our personal information. According to Prof. Fred Cate, privacy “is not simply an absence of information about us in the minds of others; rather, it is the control we have over information about ourselves.” And it is hard to imagine how anyone could control this information given the imbalance of power in some of these reports.
There is a trial of the controversial mygovlogin for consideration of its use also for voting, and it seems that once again there is talk of an Australian identity card. This suggestion surprisingly comes out of a report on the proposed opt-out system for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record. The Australian Privacy Foundation says there are so many problems with the record that the only justification would be to introduce an “Australia card by stealth.”
And once again, there is talk of laws that are slated to stamp out piracy, which at the same time appear to be stomping on privacy. But if information is not being captured in that arena, it will almost certainly be captured for ASIO if controversial new laws are passed whereby ISPs and telcos will be forced to store private communication data of everyone for two years—just in case.
New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards talks about the value of good data management in respect of the New Zealand Data Futures Forum report. This, of course, goes to the heart of the matter: Have governments the wisdom—or systems—to manage all this data?
Enjoy the new month and the summertime weather.
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