[LINK] OzIT: 'Call for action on privacy' [Reprise]
Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Tue Aug 12 09:10:30 EST 2008
[The Australian IT Section runs an 'IT reflections' segment, which
re-prints articles from its early years as the main computer industry
[Today's is timely, but from 40 years ago.
Call for action on privacy
Tuesday 13 August 1968
As full-scale computerised public databanks are now in the course of
implementation in Australia, there is a vital need for a definition
of an individual's right to privacy.
So said IBM marketing instructor Mr P.N. Rose at a Sydney University
Law Faculty Seminar titled Computers and the Lawyer.
Mr Rose, a member of the databanks committee of the Australian
Computer Society, said that once the individual's right to privacy of
information were adequately defined the computerised databank, and
the computer professional, as a team, would be able to provide
greater privacy protection than presently existed.
It was apparent that uncontrolled growth and use of general data
banks could lead to significant impairment of personal privacy.
Safeguards could not be built into a system once it was fully
designed and operational.
Mr Rose said that since large scale databank systems were being
implemented in Australia, there was only a matter of months in which
to get this matter settled, other than by ad hoc decision to ignore
any such right.
[Poignant, isn't it - with big government running rampant over a
worn-out and subverted 1988 statute, business protected by the
anti-privacy statute of 2000, and business (probably successfully)
resisting further privacy protections, and even rolling back some of
the protections that exist, such as the 1989 credit reporting
[I don't recognise Mr P.N. Rose. I got involved in ACS matters a few
years later, from about 1972. In 1973, Uni of Sydney's Law Prof
Morison published his report, and in 1973-74 then NSW
Attorney-General Madison was preparing legislation to regulate the
still-fledgling computer industry.
[My role as Chair of the ACS Privacy Committee was to support
legislation - for the reasons that Mr Rose put forward - but to
ensure that it wasn't unduly harmful to the industry and profession.
[I sometimes wake up wondering if the limp measures that were
enacted, and the 20-year delay before the federal Parliament did
*any*thing, and the depradations of the following 20 years, were all
*my* fault ...]
Roger Clarke http://www.anu.edu.au/people/Roger.Clarke/
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng Australian National University
Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program University of Hong Kong
Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
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