IO98 to Focus Debate Over E-Commerce
Sun, 25 Oct 1998 15:58:00 +1100
AUSTRALIAN COMPUTER SOCIETY MEDIA RELEASE
IO'98 to Focus Debate Over E-Commerce Security
Sunday 25 October 1998 - Corporate and government representatives, privacy
advocates and security experts look set to engage in a heated debate over
e-commerce security when the IO'98 Conference takes place in Canberra next
The 1998 Information Industry Outlook Conference (IO'98), to be held at the
Australian National University on 7 November 1998, will concentrate on
electronic commerce and security issues. Hosted by the Canberra Branch of
the Australian Computer Society in cooperation with the Department of
Industry, Science and Tourism (DIST), the conference will operate under the
banner, "IO'98 - Net Benefit for Australia?".
The release of selected conference papers on the Internet this week has
already sparked discussion, with Stephen Wilson, Senior Manager, KPMG
Certification Authority, using his exposition to dismiss privacy concerns
and criticise Government policy.
Wilson's paper, "Current Issues in the rollout of a National Authentication
Framework", criticises the 'policy vacuum' affecting public key
authentication and derides moves by Government to enshrine 100 point
identification checks for issuing of digital identity certificates.
"For business-to-business electronic commerce, this is unnecessary and
invasive," said Wilson. "Even in retail e-commerce, it's hard to justify.
It's very rare for anyone to need that degree of identification in the paper
world, but we've all been sucked into an 'electronic passport' sort of
mentality," he said.
Wilson has also criticised the Federal Government for failing to move on
"The Attorney General's Electronic Commerce Expert Group wrote a lengthy
report that demonstrated the Australian legal system was already able to
cope with most e-commerce issues, but Government has failed to promote this
position. It comes across as a do-nothing policy - it's been a
disaster," he said.
Wilson also censored the Government on its failure to show leadership in the
area of public key authentication, saying the industry has called
unanimously for a peak licensing body but the Government is refusing to act.
Meanwhile, he said, the debate over privacy had blown out of all proportion.
"The privacy lobby has got into a spin over public key issues, with some
people confusing public key frameworks with central control. At times I
think it gets wrapped up in utopian arguments that 'business is bad for
the Internet'. In fact, an authentication framework promotes
decentralisation of personal data, which makes it very good for privacy," he
With leading government and industry figures in attendance, the IO'98 debate
promises to be lively.
Roger Clarke, Visiting Fellow, Faculty of Engineering and Information
Technology at the Australian National University and a leading privacy
advocate will chair the conference round table while Tom Worthington, the
Defence Department's Internet policy adviser and a member of the Federal
Government's "FedLink" secure intranet working party is acting as Conference
Conference papers, speaker biographies and registration details are on
the web at: http://www.acs.org.au/president/1998/past/io98/ or from the
ACS Canberra Branch office on Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: (02)
This media release is located on the ACS Web site at
PS: You are invited to drinks at the Internet Reality Check, 5:30pm Friday,
30 October 1998, Bar & Board Room, National Press Club, Canberra with
speakers at the 1998 Information Industry Outlook Conference:
Tom Worthington http://www.acslink.net.au/~tomw PO Box 13
Immediate Past President Belconnen ACT 2617
Australian Computer Society email@example.com
Debate Over E-Commerce Security: http://www.acs.org.au/news/io98b.htm