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Arson Database Inflames Privacy Concerns

PERSONAL PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

November 1, 2011

Attorney General Robert McClelland announced, on Monday, that a national arson database is up and running, causing civil liberties groups to criticize the office's consultation practices, reports IT Wire. The National Arson Notification Capability adds warning flags to records in the National Police Reference System. It was originally proposed by a forum of police, fire and rescue representatives after fires broke out in Victoria in 2009. Australia Privacy Forum Chair Roger Clarke says while arson is a serious problem, questions remain about how the database will operate, what qualifies a citizen for registry in it, who will have access to it and how citizens get access to their records.
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