[LINK] RFC: Submission re Online Privacy

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Tue Nov 30 11:17:21 AEDT 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of 
> stephen at melbpc.org.au
> Sent: Tuesday, 30 November 2010 4:10 AM
> To: link at anu.edu.au; Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] RFC: Submission re Online Privacy
> Roger writes,
> > I've drafted a supplementary submission to the Senate Online Privacy
> > Inquiry, which I'm giving evidence to on Wednesday, on 
> behalf of the 
> > APF. 
> http://www.privacy.org.au/Papers/Sen-OLP-Sub2-101129.pdf  Senator 
> > Scott Ludlum is on the Committee .. he may be able to focus 
> some energy
> Good on you for this work, Roger .. and, here's my three 
> suggestions ...

>and, 3: Please give existing and future privacy legislation some teeth

> http://www.privacy.gov.au/complaints

>"The Office has complaint handling responsibilities under the Privacy
>1988. Individuals can complain if they believe their privacy has been 
>interfered with by an Australian or ACT government agency, or a private

>sector organisation covered by the Act. The information in this section

>tells you how to make a complaint, and explains the complaints process 
>generally. .. (snip) .. . There are no fines set out in the Act. 
>Complaints are generally resolved through conciliation."
>No fines? No teeth?  So .. who cares?

Stephen makes an interesting point.
A piece of oversight legislation that ensures that no Government
department or Government employee is at fault, 
is merely an attempt at appearing to be open Government whilst behind
closed doors, it's business as usual.

The concept that Government can do no wrong therefore no fines a
necessary is clearly a self serving old school model that has no place
in today's Internet powered community.

Government can and does do wrong on a regular basis.
Taking them to task in the past was virtually impossible for a person of
means without considerable backlash.
Backlash that can't be righted through the Court system with Supreme
Court Justices ignoring and making rulings against their own practice
notes MO.

Therefore for Privacy Legislation to have any meaning, Government
departments, and individuals need to be as accountable as corporations
and companies otherwise the concept of transparency and honest and open
Government is out the window; irrespective of the flowery rhetoric that
assures the average voter that Open Government is what they are voting

2011 may well be the year that the election we will probably have to
have again will be fought on issues of integrity, openness and

The Internet is giving Government less choices for secrecy and Pontius
Pilate hand-washing.

Public Servant Bloggers and whistle blowers appear to be popping up
everywhere and this trend appears to be increasing.
To prevent people from hiding behind pseudonyms and "anonymous",
Government needs to treat everyone equally.

The people can now "talk" to each other, and popular memes are
individually started by average persons, not media barons.

The question that every politician has to ask about any piece of
legislation that they are asked to vote on is :

Does this pass the Animal Farm smell test.





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