[LINK] privacy protection for phone number database

Stephen Loosley stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Oct 20 02:03:08 AEST 2006

One imagines for start-up VoIP providers, customer information
might be their most valuable asset, (especially if they have IPND
access?) thus, strongish laws in this area may appear advisable.

Phone security tightened
Correspondents in Canberra
OCTOBER 19, 2006 

THE government is toughening privacy protection for Australia's phone number database.

 Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran told parliament today an amendment to the Telecommunications Act would ensure information from the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND) was not misused. 

The IPND contains all residential and business phone numbers, listed and unlisted, and associated customer information. 

It was established and is run by Telstra and other phone companies must provide it with their customer information. 

Mr McGauran said there'd been reports of customer information on the IPND being wrongly used for marketing databases and debt collection. 

This raised privacy concerns as customers were unlikely to be aware of, or to have consented to, the use of their personal information beyond permitted uses by emergency services and law enforcement. 

Mr McGauran said the intention was to limit IPND information to the production of genuine phone directories. 

However the communications minister could authorise the use of the data for research in the public interest, for example health and medical research. 

"The bill sets out a comprehensive approach to balancing the privacy needs of Australian telecommunication subscribers in relation to the use of their personal information to produce commercial directory products with the needs of the research community to conduct social research of benefit to the public," Mr McGauran said.  Debate was adjourned.

Regards all ..
Stephen Loosley
Melbourne, Australia

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