Another glorious spring week full of thought-provoking privacy stories, new legislation and ideas. Bruce Schneier was interviewed on ABC about breaking up the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and said, “50 years from now people will look back at today and look at the way we ignored privacy in the same way that we look back at child labour laws and workplace conditions and all of those things that we say, my God, how did we do that, how could we be that immoral? Privacy really is that important.”
Schneier goes on to say that he believes we will figure out how to deal with it. One of the approaches that came to mind this week was the shift of onus from the individual to the larger organization. An article from The Conversation suggesting that we make companies pay for failing to prevent employee fraud seemed much the same approach suggested by the Microsoft whitepaper on privacy and consent—and one that would certainly grab the attention of business. And talking of interesting (but unlikely) scenarios for our region, the Tim Berners-Lee call for an Internet Bill of Privacy Rights raises interesting discussions for privacy professionals over their coffee this weekend. I don’t envisage that is likely to hit our Parliament any time soon. But the Freedom of Information Amendment (New Arrangements) Bill 2014 was introduced into the Australian House of Representatives and read for the first time with the second reading moved. It will disband the OAIC and makes new provisions for the privacy commissioner, including reappointment, and there is a new section 95D of the Privacy Act that makes an offence of unauthorized dealing with information.
There is a clear statement from the OAIC about what will happen if the bill is passed and, importantly for all of us, it's “Business as usual for privacy.”
Despite all the disruption, the privacy commissioner continues to provide Australians with warnings, and this week urged organisations to be vigilant in protecting their systems against the Bourne Again Shell (Bash) vulnerability. The commissioner recommended the OAIC Guide to Information Security, and CERT Australia has also released tips for organisations on its website.
In health, there have been some privacy breaches in New Zealand, and concern over the security of mobile health devices rises as cyber-threats and the appeal of health records to hackers grows. In November, we will have Dr. Libby Morris, clinical head for the successful Scottish shared electronic health record, talking to us at our Summit as a great opportunity for Australia to learn how eHealth can be implemented successfully and embraced by patients and clinicians, unlike the billion-dollar PCEHR in Australia.
Vodafone is in the news this week, and Vodafone Global Chief Privacy Officer Stephen Deadman is another of our keynotes at the Summit. Not to be missed.
A weekend full of Rugby finals—may your team win!
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