Issues 71, June 2005, Privacy
Privacy and New Technology
New technologies can be used to enhance our privacy as well as invade it. Sometimes the same technology can work both ways. A range of approaches, including legislation, is needed if we don’t want to end up living in a reality TV program.
Have We Learnt To Love Big Brother?
Privacy advocates are rightly concerned about visual monitoring of people’s behaviour, but data surveillance is an even bigger worry.
Diamonds Are Privacy’s Best Friends
Privacy and Government Inaction
Many new technologies have the potential to threaten our privacy. The government is doing little to protect us, and the community does not seem as worried as it should be.
The Right to Privacy
Privacy law in Australia has evolved largely as a response to specific problems and pressure from the European Union in the form of trading agreements. The idea of a fundamental right to privacy has received much discussion, but is badly protected in legislation.
You and Your (Private) Genes
The human genome is now on the web, but who do your genes belong to? Will the knowledge be used to protect your health or to discriminate? What are the risks and benefits from your DNA?
Genetic technologies have raised new questions about the right to privacy. When the knowledge that one person has a hereditary disease can be used to save the lives of their relatives, the old rules about confidentiality of medical information need to be adjusted.
Iceland, Biotech, Ownership and Consent
Labelled for Life
A principle of privacy law is that individuals should be entitled to have incorrect data kept about them corrected. This principle, among others just as critical, is flouted by Victoria’s public child and adolescent mental health services. Diagnoses on children as young as a few months remain forever on their records, even when they have been found inaccurate. This article suggests how rights can be safeguarded by splitting the database without losing its usefulness in planning services.
Keeping an Eye on Privacy in the Workplace
It is now a lot cheaper and more practical for employers to watch their workers. But how much observation is appropriate, and what is just a breach of privacy?
Privacy in the Workplace
Privacy is important, but sometimes compromises need to be made in the workplace to ensure safety, fair treatment of customers and other employees, and improve business efficiency.
Victorian Trades Hall Council
Power in the workplace is usually unequal, favouring the employer. Any discussion of workplace privacy needs to acknowledge this, and attempt to ensure that this uneven relationship is not abused.
The Direct Marketer’s View
Direct marketers are often accused of leading the invasion of privacy. The Australian Direct Marketing Association believes privacy can be protected without intrusive government regulation, and welcomes recent developments in this area.
Privacy Is a Major Emerging Industry
Privacy is a concern for many people, making it both a problem for business and an opportunity for those who can find ways to better protect consumers’ privacy.
Transport, Privacy and the Law
Knowing where people are going is an important part of any attempt to invade their privacy. Many new technologies associated with transport carry the side-effect, and sometimes the deliberate intent, of reducing privacy.
Are biometric passports a technological triumph that will help keep us safe from terrorism, or a technique for invading privacy that will give us a false sense of security?
What progress has been made in the introduction of biometrics to Australian passports?