[LINK] 'Public' may still be private [was: Google StreetView Launched in Oz]
jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Tue Aug 5 13:28:11 EST 2008
At 01:09 PM 5/08/2008, Stephen Wilson wrote:
>But we digress. My point was to explore whether or not "public" data can
>still be counted as private?
Roger will need to jump in here because I believe the distinction
isn't 'public' data versus 'private' data, but simply personally
identifiable data. We are required to provide personal data to
government agencies that are then required to make it publicly
available by law -- all the registers, real property transactions,
legal as in court information. Those are still personal information
collections. The collecting organisation must comply with the privacy
law UNLESS it is superceded by a different law. That's one of the
reasons our privacy laws are weak. They can easily be overridden and
the individual has a false sense of privacy as a result unless they
are aware that another law has given permission to the entity that
has that information to behave outside the privacy principles. That's
one of the reasons some government projects require special
legislation or else they couldn't do what they want to do. It
requires that Parliament go on record as allowing/supporting the
Unfortunately, the definition of privacy in the Privacy Act 1988
primarily deals with information, not the broad range of privacy we
as individuals would like to think we have. There was a case of using
the law against trespass to allow a civil action for privacy, but I
don't think that succeeded. I may be wrong. The government can give
its agencies privacy invasive activities at the stroke of a pen. ASIO
and other LEAs have powers because of that. We just trust that they
won't abuse those powers.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
"No Longer Anonymous, of Berwick"
Writing Lesson #54:
Learn to love revision. Think of it as polishing the silver for
guests. - JW, May, 2007
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