back to article Oz government wants much more personal data sharing

Australia's Productivity Commission has kicked off an inquiry to work out how to spread individuals' data far and wide, sprinkled with the magic unicorn-dust of a privacy benchmark. In an announcement mostly swamped by the government launching into an election campaign, the commission says the inquiry is designed to “ …

  1. MrDamage Silver badge

    Business Opportuniy

    >>whether there's a business opportunity for organisations to act as “intermediaries to assist >>consumers in making use of their data”

    Wonder if there is a business opportunity to be had either poisoning the well, or emptying it altogether.

  2. dan1980

    "The inquiry is couched primarily as a cost-benefit analysis, looking at laws that “unnecessarily restrict the availability and linking of data”."

    Yes, well here's the problem with all such measures that might impact privacy - whether it's surveillance or regulations for industry or new 'initiatives': the phrase "unnecessarily restrict".

    Our government, and indeed most "leading jurisdictions", simply don't view personal privacy as important at all. This sees them prioritising other concerns/goals and being willing - often eager - to sacrifice the privacy of their citizens for even the most questionable, unproven or meager benefits.

    In other words, they tend to view privacy as "unnecessarily restrict[ing] the availability and linking of data". They also view security and concerns of efficacy or about the actual economic benefit as just 'red tape' and, therefore also "unnecessarily restrict[ing]".

    If police officers had to actually make a case that they needed access to your private data or get a request approved first then that would "unnecessarily restrict" their ability to catch witches commies paedophiles and terrorists.

    That's why the new online, 'eHealth' record 'trials' are opt-out and why they are going ahead despite the still numerous unresolved concerns about privacy and security.

    I hear spokespeople on the radio and TV barely stopping short of announcing it as a panacea to all that ails the medical system - It'll be efficient and effective and secure and everyone will love it, don't you know? In fact, they are so sure you'll love it that they'll even go ahead and sign you up for it automatically.

    After all, who could possibly be opposed to having U2's amazing new album forcibly inserted into their collection having their personal and private medical information uploaded to shared database?

    And this will be no different - we'll hear all about the 'ideas boom'* and how we 'have to change' and something, something, something 'economy' and 'clever' this and 'smarter' that, and all the concerns about security and privacy will be waved away and all the questions about the benefits ignored our politicians' customary blend of ignorance, exaggeration and out-right lies.

    What else can we expect from people geared toward valuing self-interest and short-term political gain over solutions and long-term benefits to society?

    * - A phrase that already prompts me to take a few deep breaths and quietly count to ten.

  3. Oengus
    Thumb Down

    "National Innovation and Science Hidden Agenda " FTFY

    This from the same government that effectively destroyed any advantage the NBN may have given.

    It looks like carte blanche to me to provide a legal framework for increased spying on all Australians.

    The sharing of private data hald by businesses should be made "opt-in". Private data, held by the government, should never be made available outside the government and should not be available to "lower" levels of government or to private organisations.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not THEIR data

    Always worth remembering that it's not THEIR data, it's YOUR data they propose to slosh around freely. It should be your judgement call on how your data is handed out, not their judgement call on your behalf.

    Look at this one, the UKs implementation of this which was 'revealed' to everyone last year.:

    "The Agencies use Bulk Personal Datasets -- large databases containing personal information about a wide range of people -- to identify individuals in the course of investigations, to establish links, and as a means of verifying information obtained through other sources. These datasets are an increasingly important investigative tool for the Agencies....

    "Until the publication of this Report, the capability was not publicly acknowledged, and there had been no public or Parliamentary consideration of the related privacy considerations and safeguards.

    "The legislation does not set out any restrictions on the acquisition, storage, retention, sharing and destruction of Bulk Personal Datasets, and no legal penalties exist for misuse of this information.

    "Access to the datasets -- which may include significant quantities of personal information about British citizens -- is authorised internally within the Agencies without Ministerial approval."


    So the police created this massive database by grabbing everyone's data, its available to any hi-viz officer, it can be used to used for random fishing expeditions, it has no legal basis and no checks and balances.

    And now they want to add Internet records to it using Theresa Mays Snoopers Charter. Only we also had a case where the police cautioned people who downloaded a DDOS program, that it might break the law if they used it. Which indicated they ALREADY had access to the UK Internet logs outside of crime investigation.

    So if the Aussie government is proposing bulk sharing, they probably have ALREADY done it, and the group involved will be testing the water with a report to see which politicians coming up for election will support it.

    I'm sure they would never abuse all this private data they have to help their choice of politicians into power. R-I-G-H-T. Because they're all heroes-in-hi-viz, while the rest of us citizens are threats to be watched 24/7.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    Peter Dutton?


    Commercial interests?


    Our data is doomed.

  6. Colin Tree

    too much data

    NSA in the good old US of A has a problem with too much data.

    They have data on 2/3s of the worlds population.

    A simple search returns too much data.

    The same will happen here.

    So the answer is to give them more and more, drown them with data.

    Computer resources cost money, it's an inescapable fact.


    I proposed a long time ago to hold your own data, so it can be accessed,

    but licensed so you have to give permission for limited access to parts of your data.

    No more filling in online forms, but rather allowing controlled access to your data.

    Your license could also involve a cost in using your data.

    It also gives you legal ownership of your data,

    with associated protection against misuse.

    You keep the data up to date, you maintain a log of who accesses what data.

    You can sue for misuse.

    Once you publish something with an attached license it becomes protected.

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