ANZ Dashboard Digest

A new approach to notice and consent has been around for at least a couple of years now. The Microsoft whitepaper was released late 2012, and several subsequent books by privacy thought-leaders have developed this theme, which makes sense. Individuals ought to be given the opportunity to shape their profiles and to have a role in transactions involving their data, and notice and consent will no longer suffice. Equally, entities that stand to benefit from the information should protect their source if they wish to guarantee the future supply of valuable data.

If this approach is accepted, some of the stories this week indicate that there is still a long journey ahead. Whilst many entities still appear to treat privacy as a compliance issue, and one where boundaries should be pressed, others continue to succeed based on adoption of the new approach. It will be interesting to see how this divide plays out in terms of commercial success. That other old chestnut of balancing the right to information against the right to privacy also gets some play this week in the opinion piece titled “Privacy starts to bite.” To hear all about it and ask your own questions of the experts, make sure you book your place at our Privacy Awareness Week breakfast discussion on 6 May as debate on the Australian Law Reform Commission paper on serious invasions to privacy in a digital age continues.

A safe and very Happy Easter to you all,

Emma Hossack
President
IAPP ANZ

Top Australia and New Zealand Privacy News

DATA PROTECTION—MALAYSIA

Commission To Be Established by January (June 30, 2010)

The Star reports that a personal data commission will be created by January of next year. The commission's establishment follows the passage of The Personal Data Protection Bill in April, which will also establish a code of practice to regulate dealings with personal information and require credit agencies to apply to the commissioner's office to store personal data. The Information, Communication and Culture minister says his department is now in talks with the Public Service Department on manpower needs and other requirements for the commission. "The commissioner is not just anybody. He has to be trained in interrogations, cross-examinations in court proceedings and others," said the minister.
Full Story

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Getting Divorced? Watch What You Post Online (June 29, 2010)

All those details social network users share online can add up to an abundance of evidence in divorce cases, the Associated Press reports. According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81 percent of its members have used or faced evidence found on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites in the past five years alone. "You're finding information that you just never get in the normal discovery process--ever," said one divorce attorney. "People are just blabbing things all over Facebook. People don't yet quite connect what they're saying in their divorce cases is completely different from what they're saying on Facebook. It doesn't even occur to them that they'd be found out."
Full Story

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Privacy vs. Oversharing in a TMI World (June 28, 2010)

Many "social networking companies with business models hungry for personal data" are encouraging users to "overshare" without comprehending the consequences, the Mercury News reports. With the dangers of sharing too much information ranging from embarrassment to loss of employment to abuse by stalkers or scammers, consumer advocates and legislators are turning their attention to requiring companies to protect their users, the report states. At issue, according to some scholars, is the gap between what people say and what they do. "People report in studies that they care deeply about privacy," said Ryan Calo of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society, "but then people don't seem to act in a way that protects their privacy."
Full Story

PRIVACY LAW—NEW ZEALAND

Shroff to Law Commission: Federal CPO Needed (June 25, 2010)

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff has called for the creation of a federal chief privacy officer position. In a hundred-page submission to the Law Commission, Shroff said a federal CPO would provide "leadership, expertise and help create a culture of respect for privacy across government." The submission was in response to the Law Commission's proposed changes to the Privacy Act. In it, Shroff largely backed the commission's proposed changes, saying that while the act is fundamentally sound, there are areas where it is ineffective. Shroff also called for the creation of "anonymity," "openness" and "accountability" principles in accordance with international data protection statutes.  
Full Story

PRIVACY LAW—AUSTRALIA

Ludwig Releases Draft of Privacy Principles (June 24, 2010)

Yesterday, Sen. Joe Ludwig released a draft of new Australian Privacy Principles to a senate committee for consultation. According to a release, the principles are intended to take the place of two existing sets of principles that currently govern the handling of personal information. The new principles, outlined last October, will be released in stages. "Each stage will be referred to a senate committee..." said Ludwig, "This way, we can build the blocks to reform with as much input and discussion with experts and stakeholders as possible. We have started by releasing the first and fundamental building block--the Privacy Principles."
Full Story

FINANCIAL PRIVACY—NEW ZEALAND

Banks: Increasing Credit Information Collection Reduces Risks (June 24, 2010)

Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff's announcement of proposed amendments to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code of 2004 is being met with support from banks and credit reporting agencies that see an increase in information helping to reduce lending risks, The New Zealand Herald reports. The Privacy Commission's proposal would expand the information collected beyond credit defaults, judgments and bankruptcies to include information on the type of credit account a person has, the limit on each account, who is providing the credit and the status of the account, the report states. John Scott of Dun and Bradstreet said a move to sharing positive data was a good step but that it will be important to ensure people are comfortable with the information available about them.
Full Story

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

PM Gillard’s e-Health Policies (June 24, 2010)

Australia's new prime minister, Julia Gillard, has in the past spoken out on e-health initiatives, and this has medical professionals and privacy advocates weighing in on how her administration will move forward, reports The Australian. Gillard has said a national e-health system is more than a decade away, saying there are a lot of missing pieces, including "no current means of accurately identifying healthcare providers or patients and no systems to ensure the privacy of shared e-health records." One health IT blogger says Gillard "gets" e-health and will work to move the agenda along, while the Australia Privacy Foundation hopes she will be the one to address their long-standing privacy concerns.
Full Story

GENETIC PRIVACY—NEW ZEALAND

DNA Sampling Could Spur Investigation (June 24, 2010)

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is alleging New Zealand police have targeted Maori youths and improperly obtained their DNA, The New Zealand Herald reports, saying he will support those involved if the wish is to file formal complaints with the Independent Police Conduct Authority. Voluntary DNA samples for those between the ages of 14 and 17 can only be taken with the consent of the suspect and a parent, the report states. While Harawira said police did not force youths to give DNA samples, he contends they have improperly persuaded them. Police Minister Judith Collins, who has said she is unaware of any improper behaviour, encouraged Harawira to pursue any complaint through the proper channels.
Full Story

TRAVELLERS’ PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

Passenger Database Coming Soon to an Airport Near You (June 24, 2010)

The Australian Council for Civil Liberties is voicing concern over a newly enhanced database to be implemented this summer that aims to help customs, law enforcement and intelligence agencies keep terrorists and international criminals out of Australia, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. Enhanced passenger assessment and clearance (EPAC) is comprised of a database that will search for and flag high-risk passengers, giving officials the option of refusing them permission to enter the country. Terry O'Gorman, president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties said, "What the minister's announcement doesn't say is how he's going to address the privacy consequences of this massively expanded amount of data being used to decide who might come to Australia."
Full Story

PRIVACY

Despite Privacy Policy Updates, Legislators Concerned (June 24, 2010)

Apple has updated its iTunes privacy policy to let users opt out of its iAd platform, eWeek reports. The updated privacy section includes options to let users choose not to receive targeted advertising, according to the policy, which notes that those who choose to opt out of the tailored advertising campaigns "will continue to receive the same number of mobile ads, but they may be less relevant because they will not be based on your interests." While Apple has also announced changes to its privacy policy related to location-based services, members of the U.S. House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus sent a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Thursday asking about the updated privacy policies and raising concerns about the use and collection of geographic location information.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

Senate Inquiry Into Privacy Laws (June 24, 2010)

The senate will soon begin an inquiry into the adequacy of privacy laws at the request of Green Sen. Scott Ludlam. Sparked by recent online privacy controversies, the inquiry will examine privacy protections and data collection on social networking sites and the data collection activities of private companies and government agencies, reports The Age. Ludlam says that because of advances in technology and a change in the way people use the Internet, "it is time for the parliament to update itself on what's actually occurring and whether privacy is being adequately defended." A report will be delivered by October 20.
Full Story

PRIVACY LAW—MALAYSIA

Commission Clarifies Data Protection Rules (June 24, 2010)

The Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has clarified its consumer code governing the sharing of personal information, The Star reports. The General Consumer Code governs all communication service providers and requires that they not disclose customers' personal information to third parties without consent and that they meet Fair Information Principles on data collection and retention. The report also states that a personal data commissioner and an advisory committee will be appointed to enforce the Personal Data Protection Bill 2009, passed by parliament last April.
Full Story

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Facebook Creating Location-Based Service (June 24, 2010)

The world's largest social networking site is "pretty close" to providing location-based services, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday at an event in Cannes, France. The service would allow marketers to deliver personalized ads to Facebook users based on their locations, Bloomberg reports. Attendees at last week's Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference, meanwhile, have released a 14-point Social Networking Users' Bill of Rights focused on privacy enhancements and user control. For his part, Zuckerberg spoke of recent privacy complaints against the site at the Cannes event, noting, "With almost a half-billion users, we're making a transition. Our challenge is to make a safe, secure environment for users to share."
Full Story

CHILDREN’S PRIVACY

Survey: Teens Engage in Risky Behaviors Online (June 23, 2010)

USA Today reports on survey results that indicate teenagers often participate in risky behaviors online. Released this week, The Harris Interactive survey, commissioned by McAfee and titled "The Secret Online Lives of Teens," polled 955 teens ages 13-17. Of those polled, 69 percent said they divulged their physical location while online and 28 percent said they chatted with strangers. Girls often were more willing to divulge information than boys, with 32 percent saying that they chat with strangers online compared with 24 percent of male respondents. "This is a wake-up call to the real dangers our teens face when they make themselves vulnerable online," said McAfee's chief cyber security mom.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA & U.S.

Preliminary Review: Google WiFi Collection Not So Bad (June 22, 2010)

Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis shared preliminary comments with The Sydney Morning Herald on Google's collection of data from unsecured wireless networks, rejecting the idea that banking transactions could have been captured because financial institutions use secure Internet connections. "At this stage, it appears payload data that has been collected comprises only fragments--0.2-second snatches," she said, adding that her office has not examined the data and has told Google not to review it. Curtis said her office is working with its international counterparts as the investigation continues. In the U.S., meanwhile, as many as 30 states are considering taking part in a joint investigation led by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to determine whether any laws were broken when the data was collected.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY

Certifier: Business Model Switch Levels Playing Field (June 22, 2010)
online privacy, daily dashboard

ONLINE PRIVACY

Privacy Startups Gain Funding Support (June 21, 2010)

Venture capitalists are seeing the value of investing in privacy-related startups--to the tune of millions of dollars, The Wall Street Journal reports. Among recently funded startups such as ReputationDefender and SafetyWeb and former nonprofit Truste, a key focus is giving consumers tools to defend their privacy, the report states. Those three companies alone have raised about $35 million in new venture funding, according to the report. "Privacy is a big issue and it's going to get bigger because people realize it can be used against you," said Ted Schlein, a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins and a ReputationDefender board member. "That spells market opportunity." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
Full Story

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Facebook Rebuts Privacy Advocates’ Open Letter (June 21, 2010)

Facebook has released its response to an open letter from privacy advocates asking the company to address "outstanding privacy problems," saying it has already created measures to protect user privacy. Meanwhile, a privacy law expert has said the advocates' expectations are unrealistic. PCWorld reports on Facebook's response that the information third-parties receive from the site is the same that can be viewed by accessing users' public information. "We do not use (the information) for ad targeting nor do we sell it to third parties," the response states. "That information cannot be sold or shared with others or used in any way other than to improve the experience of Facebook users visiting their site."
Full Story

DATA RETENTION—AUSTRALIA

Senator Questioned About Gov’t Plans (June 21, 2010)

Greens communications spokesperson Scott Ludlam questioned Senator Penny Wong today about federal government plans to require Internet service providers to retain Australians' Web browsing, e-mail and telephone activity for the purpose of fighting crime and terrorism, ZDNet reports. In response, Wong said, "I understand the Attorney-General's Department has been consulting with industry in relation to continuing availability of telecommunications data with reference to law enforcement purposes." She added that any move in this direction would need to balance privacy concerns. Wong also said that the Attorney-General's Department has been consulting with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner on the issue.
Full Story

PRIVACY LAW—AUSTRALIA

Fines Imposed for Breaching Do Not Call List (June 18, 2010)

Beginning in August, direct marketers will be fined $2,200 for sending faxes or calling emergency and government numbers listed on the national Do Not Call Register, reports The Herald Sun. Direct marketers will have until 31 August to comply with the new rules, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). Those who breach the new rules before the August date will be sent information packs, and forums will be held next month to educate the more than 15,000 Australian fax marketers. "We'll monitor the companies. If we find they haven't established proper procedures, we'll take stronger action," said an ACMA spokeswoman. Legislation was passed last month expanding the list of forbidden numbers, the report states.
Full Story

INFORMATION ACCESS—AUSTRALIA

Information Commissioner Act Effective 1 November (June 18, 2010)

The federal government has announced that the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 will take effect on 1 November, Government News reports. The law will see the start of Professor John McMillan as the country's first information commissioner, the report states. "The Rudd Government is committed to driving a cultural shift across the bureaucracy and the opening of this new independent office and the government's enhancement of the FOI Act fulfill that," said Sen. Joe Ludwig. McMillan said the new office marks "historic change in Australian democratic practice."
Full Story

PRIVACY

Kirby Awarded 2010 Justice Prize (June 18, 2010)

The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation has awarded former High Court Judge Michael Kirby with its 2010 Justice Prize, reports Adelaide Now. Kirby, who retired from the High Court bench last year, was named one of five award recipients by the U.S.-based foundation because of his work in law reform and promotion of human rights in Australia and abroad, the report states. "He has played a prominent role in the development of international human rights law, including, in particular, law relating to privacy, data security, bioethics and HIV/AIDS," said a citation. Kirby previously won EPIC's 2010 International Privacy Champion Award for his role in the development of the OECD Privacy Guidelines of 1980.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY

Data Miners: “Prospect At Your Own Peril” (June 18, 2010)

The negative reactions to recent high-profile incidents involving social networking site Facebook's privacy settings and Google's collection of personal data through unsecured WiFi networks should serve as warnings to data miners, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Information provided to Web sites--whether social networks, merchants or loyalty rewards programs--can be "sifted and sorted" by companies and online marketers. While describing life in the digital era as "one big data collection opportunity," the report focuses on the response from individuals who, whether they share information voluntarily online or not, are uncomfortable "having the intimate details of their lives shared with third parties."
Full Story

DATA PROTECTION

Survey: More Than Half of Small-Medium Businesses Faced Security Threats (June 18, 2010)

A recent survey found that more than half of polled small or medium businesses have experienced a security threat over the last year, News.com.au reports. The Symantec survey also showed that 52 percent of participants said malware created by cybercriminals was the most likely security threat to their business, the report states. Symantec executive Steve Martin said that in the past year, his firm has noticed an emerging trend called spear phishing, which involves cyber criminals using social networks to gather personal information about individuals. "Typically someone sends out an e-mail to a million or so respondents or to a targeted audience and hopes to get a small percentage of those people responding to the phishing attack," he said.
Full Story

DATA RETENTION—AUSTRALIA

ISP Data Storage Proposal Raises Concerns (June 17, 2010)

Australia's Attorney-General's Department is considering a plan to require ISPs to store users' Internet activity--whether or not they are suspected of crimes--and that is spurring criticism from advocates and industry experts, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The Attorney-General's Department has said it is in the process of determining whether a plan similar to the European Directive on Data Retention would be appropriate for Australia, but such groups as the Internet Industry Association and Electronic Frontiers Australia are criticizing the plan as a "fishing expedition" for data. Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis, meanwhile, has issued a statement in reaction to the discussions, noting her office will expect any proposed legislation to have "the appropriate privacy safeguards built in."
Full Story

EMPLOYEE PRIVACY

Staff Surveillance: Part of the IT Job (June 17, 2010)

As more corporate infractions such as leaking intellectual property, sharing trade secrets and violating regulatory requirements are occurring via the Internet, Computerworld reports that organizations are increasingly monitoring what their employees are doing online--at home as well as during work hours. Often, the report states, it is the IT department that is tasked with filtering Web sites, scanning e-mails, watching what employees post on social networks, collecting mobile phone calls and messages and, in some cases, even tracking employees' physical locations using GPS features on smartphones. Some estimates indicate such monitoring uses up more than 20 percent of an average IT manager's workday.
Full Story

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Advocates: Facebook Needs More Privacy Changes (June 17, 2010)

In an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a group of privacy advocates acknowledges the social network has made some positive changes but calls on the company to do more to address "outstanding privacy problems." V3.co.uk reports that the group, which includes the American Civil Liberties Union, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, PrivacyActivism, Privacy Lives and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, has made six recommendations to Facebook,
including giving users the choice of opting in to the site's "instant personalization" feature rather than opting out. The letter urges Facebook to give users "control over how and with whom they share" their information--including their names,
gender, profile pictures and networks.
Full Story

FINANCIAL PRIVACY—NEW ZEALAND

Commissioner Proposes Changes to Credit Reporting (June 16, 2010)

New Zealand's privacy commissioner has announced proposals that would change the way credit information is reported, The New Zealand Herald reports. Proposed amendments to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code of 2004 would allow credit agencies to collect more data about a consumer's history than currently permitted and would allow for the use of drivers' licenses to verify information. The proposals aim to provide a more complete picture of a consumer and may help detect identity theft and fraud, but "the collection and reporting of more personal information creates increased risks of inaccuracy and misuse," the Privacy Commission said in an information paper on the amendments. It proposes safeguards to mitigate risk. The commissioner will accept comments on the proposals through August 13.  
Full Story

GEO PRIVACY

Make Maximum Privacy Default (June 16, 2010)

The International Business Times reports that as location-based services become more common, so do privacy and security concerns. Stored locational data could be misused or used in civil lawsuits such as divorce cases, said Peter Eckersley of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He added that unless the company providing the service specifically states how long the data is kept, chances are it is forever. "Privacy is hard to figure out. It's hard to anticipate in advance the kind of privacy you're going to need," he said, adding that the solution is to design applications to provide maximum privacy as the default. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
Full Story

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Whitepaper: Five Risks CIOs Must Consider (June 15, 2010)

Companies should embrace social media while encouraging employees to make themselves aware of the risks involved. That's according to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), which this week released a whitepaper on social networking risks CIOs should be aware of, CIO reports. "Companies should embrace it, not block it," said ISACA Vice President Robert Stroud. "But they also need to empower their employees with knowledge to implement sound social media governance." The whitepaper cites viruses and malware, brand hijacking, lack of control over content, unrealistic consumer expectations of "Internet-speed" service and noncompliance with records management regulations as the top five risks.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY

Cloud Computing Study Portends Ubiquity, Big Breaches (June 14, 2010)

A Pew Internet survey has revealed most experts agree that cloud computing will be ubiquitous by the year 2020, Ars Technica reports. But some also caution that a massive data breach will cause a rethink on that move. "Expect a major news event involving a cloud catastrophe (security breach or lost data) to drive a reversion of these critical resources back to dedicated computing," said the Mozilla Foundation's Nathaniel James in the Pew report, which reflects widespread unease about the cloud. "Trust not the cloud for reliability, security, privacy," said University of Toronto Professor Barry Wellman.
Full Story

PRIVACY LAW—AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Criminal Investigations of WiFi Data Collection Announced (June 11, 2010)

Criminal investigations are underway in Australia, New Zealand and across the globe to determine whether Google's collection of personal data over unsecured wireless networks was illegal, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Following the announcement by New Zealand Police of the privacy commissioner's request for an investigation there, a Google New Zealand spokeswoman said the company will work with all relevant authorities. On Thursday, UK-based advocacy group Privacy International called for a criminal investigation, alleging a third-party review of the data collection establishes the interception was intentional. An Electronic Frontiers Australia spokesman, meanwhile, said there is no proof that was the case, but added, it remains to be seen whether or not Google's intent matters. "If I drive 140 in a 100 zone, I still get booked," he said.
Full Story

STUDENT PRIVACY—SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Education Department Will Track Children (June 11, 2010)

The Education Department will soon be tracking every child in South Australia from birth through the age of eight, Adelaide Now reports. The department will use a data-sharing system aimed at identifying children in need in order to help improve their development by gathering information on birth statistics, emergency department records, school census data and dental and child health records to compare the effects of characteristics such as low birth weight, having a disability or growing up in a single-parent household. While the move is raising questions about privacy, Education Minister Jay Weatherill said the collection will remain anonymous and that key safeguards have been put in place. Only public policy makers and researchers will have access to the data, the report states.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

National Cyber Security Awareness Week Continues (June 11, 2010)

As National Cyber Security Awareness Week continues, Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis is hailing the government initiative as an opportunity for government organizations, industry and community groups to work together to promote smart online practices. "The number of ways that people can connect, shop and do business online is increasing all the time," Curtis said in a statement issued on Monday. "However, with this convenience also comes risk, and so people need to make sure that their online security is protected." The week focuses on simple ways to improve online security, including updating security software and being careful about sharing personal information across the Internet.
Full Story

PERSONAL PRIVACY—NEW ZEALAND

Commissioner Investigating Data-Sharing Practice (June 11, 2010)

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner is investigating a complaint by an Auckland homeowner who was inundated with mail advertisements after filing building consent applications to have his roof repaired, The New Zealand Herald reports. The application information is released by local councils as required by law, the report states, but the practice is now coming under review by both the privacy commissioner's and ombudsman's offices. Tony Graham of Whats On Report, a company that compiles and sells consent lists based on the application data, said homeowners' phone and e-mail contact information are not passed on, and he is working with the New Zealand Marketing Association to exclude residents on the do not mail list.
Full Story

PERSONAL PRIVACY—VICTORIA

Versey Warns ESC About Smart Meters’ Privacy Risks (June 11, 2010)

Victoria Privacy Commissioner Helen Versey is warning that citizens' privacy must be taken into consideration as power companies implement smart meters across the state, reports the Herald Sun. "Smart meters have the potential to impact severely upon the privacy of individuals," Versey said in comments submitted to the Essential Services Commission. They "collect detailed usage data in an area which is usually 'off-limits'--a person's home." All Victorian households will be outfitted with smart meters by the end of 2013, according to the report. The meters will collect electricity usage data for utility companies. Versey says smart meter regulations should ensure that the collection and sharing of such data is kept to a minimum.
Full Story

DATA LOSS—AUSTRALIA

Office Equipment Disposal Poses Risks (June 11, 2010)

Such common office equipment as photocopiers, faxes and large printers can put companies at risk of data losses, Adelaide Now reports. When such items are disposed of without the built-in hard drives being wiped clean, companies are at risk of security breaches, experts warn. Phil Kernick, director of technical assurance at CQR Consulting, uses as an example his recent purchase of a used virtual private network (VPN) remote access device that still contained sensitive information such as passwords from a large Queensland-based company. He cautions that while many organisations are careful to clear computer hard drives, they may overlook other equipment such as routers, firewalls or copy machines.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

Program Aims to Give Teachers Cyber Safety Knowledge (June 11, 2010)

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has launched a program designed to help pre-service teachers effectively teach students about staying safe online. The "Cybersafety Outreach--Professional Development for Educators" program aims to give teachers skills and knowledge on topics such as cyberbullying, sexting, safe social networking, e-security and identity protection, according to an ACMA press release. "There is a real need for a structured program for pre-service teachers to give them skills in addressing a range of cybersafety issues in their new schools and to better prepare them to face the challenges of education in a technology-rich world," said Chris Chapman, ACMA chairman.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

Opinion: The Threats of Data Mining (June 11, 2010)

With technological developments making data gathering more efficient, "privacy and personal liberty are under constant assault." That's according to an editorial published Thursday in Adelaide Now. Governments, law enforcement officials and corporations can now "track all kinds of details about our daily lives...via our mobile phones, credit cards, and hundreds--heading towards thousands--of closed-circuit TV cameras," the editorial notes. While information technology can benefit consumers when used properly, the editors caution that such moves as government databases to gather information are sure to raise privacy concerns, adding, "These concerns must be addressed."
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY

Cyber Safety vs. Internet Freedom (June 10, 2010)

Concerns about the potential for nations to use the Internet to secretly declare "cyberwar" on each other are bringing to light the challenge of balancing online privacy with public safety. NPR reports that while security experts focus on the "attribution problem" of identifying and tracking down the source of cyberattacks, privacy advocates fear the loss of anonymity for Internet users. Security experts suggest that deterrence in the form of knowing where an attack comes from is needed to prevent countries from secretly using the Internet to disable their rivals' power grids, telecommunications, transportation and banking systems. Privacy advocates, meanwhile, question whether the security benefits will justify the cost to privacy, especially in countries where dissidents depend on anonymity to raise awareness of human rights issues.
Full Story

SOCIAL NETWORKING—NEW ZEALAND

Commissioner Seeks Input on Facebook Privacy Changes (June 4, 2010)

The Privacy Commission is seeking input from New Zealanders on Facebook's new privacy settings, The New Zealand Herald reports. Assistant Privacy Commissioner Katrine Evans said Wednesday it is "disappointing" that the world's largest social networking site has taken so long to act on privacy problems, adding that "good privacy is good business." The commission is gathering input on the changes via e-mail. Evans said time alone will tell whether users approve of the changes. "We are in touch with other overseas privacy commissioners and will be working with them on this," Evans said. "A multinational response is the best way to deal with multinational issues."
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ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

Cars Grounded, Probes Underway (June 4, 2010)

Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis says that because Google Australia has pledged to ground its Street View cars, she will not implement a ban, The Australian reports. The commissioner is investigating Google following last month's revelation that vehicles used to collect photography for the company's Street View mapping feature were also collecting personal data from unsecured WiFi networks. Data protection regulators worldwide have undertaken probes and authorities in Germany, France and Spain have asked the company to hand over hard drives containing the data collected. The company said it would respond to some of the concerns raised this week.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

Opinion: Opposing Views on Facebook, Google and Gov’t (June 4, 2010)

In an op-ed for The Sydney Morning Herald, Chris Berg suggests that despite privacy mistakes at Google and Facebook, Australians have more reason to be concerned with what he describes as governmental threats to privacy, including healthcare identifiers and the push for a CrimTrac database of drivers' licences, birth registries and passport photos from law-abiding citizens. In a report for The Australian, meanwhile, Geoff Elliott offers a different view, suggesting Google's collection of personal data from WiFi networks all over the globe and Facebook's practice of making user information available across the Internet "breach individuals' intellectual property around the world." Berg, however, contends that while users can quit social networking sites or stop using search engines, "If a government department abuses your trust or compromises your privacy, you can't do anything."
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SOCIAL NETWORKING

Opinion: Web Interactions Have Real Life Ramifications (June 4, 2010)

For better or worse, Internet profiles and postings have an effect on reputations in the real world, Leslie Cannold writes in an op-ed piece for The Sydney Morning Herald. "Broadcast mediums come and go but the principle remains the same," she suggests, as "it's all in the public domain. And if you say it, you must own it, along with any downstream consequences." When it comes to online interactions and privacy, Cannold writes that the key is that people "must understand the risks and benefits the choice entails...that the snail trail of their online life can be matched, mashed, collated, broadcast and rebroadcast by anybody, in any context, for any reason, for many years into the future."
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ONLINE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

Opinion: We’ve Failed on Internet Safety, Time for Change (June 4, 2010)

The Australian interviews Alastair MacGibbon, inaugural chief of the Australian High Tech Crime Centre and managing partner of Surete Group, a safety and trust consulting firm. MacGibbon describes why Internet safety has historically been back burnered and how to handle it moving forward. The "increased blurring" of the online and offline worlds, says MacGibbon, means that "we need to make sure our laws are written in such a way that an individual offline is treated the same way online." MacGibbon also discusses online banking, social networking, and why Australia needs data breach notification.
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PRIVACY LAW—AUSTRALIA

Gov’t Amends Health ID Bill (June 3, 2010)

The federal government has amended its Healthcare Identifiers Bill to address privacy and data security concerns, Computerworld reports. The bill would see the storage of all Australians' health records in a national database and has been controversial due to what some have described as a lack of data protection considerations. The new amendments are designed to address those concerns. The bill now includes a right-of-review provision and streamlined requirements around monitoring for unauthorized access to healthcare records, the report states. Health and ageing minister Nicola Roxon said the amendments will make the legislation safer and more secure.
Full Story

SOCIAL NETWORKING

Yahoo Urges Users to Review Privacy Settings (June 3, 2010)

In preparation for unveiling its new social networking option to its users, Yahoo is advising its 280 million e-mail accountholders to review their privacy settings, the Associated Press reports. Yahoo has posted a privacy reminder in connection with its plans for a new service that will share e-mail users' online activities and interests with their saved contacts unless they disable the feature. Yahoo is trying to avoid a privacy backlash by providing a one-click option for opting out of its new social features.
Full Story

ONLINE PRIVACY

New Companies Bank on Privacy (June 1, 2010)

In the wake of recent backlash against Facebook and Google over their handling of user information, The San Francisco Chronicle reports that "a slate of ambitious online startups are aiming to squeeze into the fields of social networking and search by touting a stronger focus on privacy." In such privacy-focused social networking projects as Diaspora, Appleseed and OneSocialWeb as well as search engines like Yauba, Ixquick and Duck Duck, a strong focus on privacy is included as part of the package, the report states. And while market analysts do not see privacy as the sole factor to draw users from one service to another, Ryan Calo, whose company reviews Web applications based on privacy, security and openness, believes companies have begun to use privacy as a business differentiator.
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