[LINK] The cost of losing yourself

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Sun Nov 16 15:40:47 AEDT 2008

> The lapses came at a rate of one a week: hundreds of credit card 
> receipts from a Bondi Junction chemist are strewn across Mascot Oval; 
> names and dates of birth for 3500 customers of a Sydney restaurant are 
> inadvertently attached to a mass email; detailed financial records for 
> Aussie Home Loans customers are dumped in an unsecured bin; and, most 
> worrying, a Tax Office CD of documents about 3122 taxpayers vanishes ...
> The biggest causes: lost laptop computers and mobile phones, and human 
> error.
> Since it began monitoring breaches in 2005, the Privacy Rights 
> Clearinghouse has tallied more than 245 million compromised records.
> Bill Hay, a Queensland detective superintendent and expert on computer 
> crime, says Australia is no safer and that "it's going to get worse". ...
> Data losses have grown exponentially as technologies have made more 
> things possible.
> ... the great concern of businesses is the loss of reputation. That 
> is, they fear their customers will go elsewhere if news of a breach 
> becomes public.

> Against this backdrop, the Australian Law Reform Commission released 
> recommendations in August for an overhaul of the Privacy Act ...

> The commission's report - all three volumes, 2700 pages, 74 chapters 
> and 4.8 kilograms - contains a call for mandatory notification of lost 
> personal information. ...
> The report indicates that pre-emptive shots have been fired across the 
> bow to defend parts of the business world from inclusion. Banks, for 
> instance, ... have sought exemption.
> Excluded from this first round of legislation is mandatory 
> notification of privacy breaches.
>  "... we've been very lucky in Australia. To date there haven't been 
> large-scale breaches," ... "That we know of."
David Boxall                         | "Cheer up" they said.
                                     | "Things could be worse."
                                     | So I cheered up and,
                                     | Sure enough, things got worse.
                                     |              --Murphy's musing

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