Twelve million Australians have a lot more time on Thursdays now that “The Bachelor” has ended: a staggering capital city watch of 7.44 million and 12.6 million online video viewers of one of the most privacy-unfriendly shows on earth. As Katarina Kroslakova from The Australian Financial Review reported, “Those 15 minutes of fame ain’t what they’re cracked up to be: you crave it until you have a taste of it, and then it’s too late to get your privacy back once you hand it over.” Having suffered embarrassment on “Spicks and Specks,” where the equivalent of 10 capacity MCGs watched and laughed at her, she should know. With privacy, as so much else, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.
And so we segue into the campaign against mandatory data retention by Thomas Davis, who bears an uncanny physical resemblance to “our Bach,” except of course he sports a brain and purpose—beyond tallying up the number of girls who fall for him, that is. This is a hot topic this week, and PwC has been enlisted to start quantifying the cost of the requirement should it come to pass, whilst a show on the ABC, which lacked the frocks, false promises and ratings of our reality favourite, gave us some substance in “Privacy Lost—How Governments Use Internet Providers To Spy on You.”
Elsewhere, the focus has been on section 35P of the National Security Legislation Amendment Bill and what could be a severe impact on the freedom of press. The Twitter case against the U.S. government also brings to a head the importance of transparency and the public right to know—the allegation is that the Justice Department and the FBI are violating the company’s First Amendment rights by limiting its ability to disclose the scope of the government’s requests for user data. Interesting parallels, and even within Australia the governments display different approaches, as the Victorian government beefs up its freedom-of-information role whilst the commonwealth government scraps its function.
This was also a bumper week for health privacy. We have stories on big data and mining the “e-patient,” a warning for our own health minister from the Huffington Post with a strong argument against creating big targets for hackers in health as well as some more on opt-out as a process for GPs in the UK. New Zealand has also released its Electronic Shared Care Records Review: Elements of Trust report, a review of electronic systems used by three health agencies.
As you wind down for the weekend, think of doing something useful over a quiet drink this Friday. There are two surveys looking for your input: In New Zealand, the privacy impact assessment guide is being improved and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner would love you to give it some feedback, and in New South Wales, the privacy commissioner wants just five minutes of your time to help her with feedback for the report to Parliament on supporting the protection of personal information under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. Think of your concerns over privacy and give it a go. You can bet it will make you feel better than watching Bach reruns online. The survey closes on Halloween, 31 October.
Finally, as we are all about connecting privacy professionals—or matchmaking, as New Zealand’s Russell Burnard may put it—lodge your application to be on the NZ privacy professionals’ directory, or for the Australian Directory, email our GM Emma Heath with your profile if you wish it to be published on the iappANZ website.
Enjoy Oktoberfest if you live in Brisbane—ignore the Ocsober banners as you cross the Story Bridge—and the long daylight-savings evenings everywhere else.
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