Australian senate slaps data retention proposals
Also proposes 'do not track' for Aussies online
An Australian Senate Committee has raised concerns about the government’s plans to implement a data retention regime (which would be required should this country endorse the European Convention on Cybercrime).
The Environment and Communications and References Committee’s report, The adequacy of protections for the privacy of Australians online, has asked that the government “justify the collection and retention of personal data by demonstrating the necessity of that data to law enforcement agencies”.
Indicating, perhaps, the presence of Liberal Party members on the committee, the report asks for a cost-benefit analysis of the data retention proposals, and more pertinently says the government should both quantify and justify the likely compliance expenses to ISPs.
Australians, the report says, should also be assured of the accountability and monitoring mechanisms that would surround a data retention regime.
The committee’s recommendations went far beyond the data retention regime, however. It has also recommended overhauls to several aspects of Australia’s privacy regime, including:
* Revisiting small business exemptions that currently exist, on the basis that even small businesses can hold large databases of personal information; * Ensuring the protection of personal data if it’s transferred overseas; * The creation of a “do not track” model for privacy protection.
The committee has also noticed the loophole that allows data to be collected from Australians by overseas companies, without protection. It says the Privacy Act should be amended so that data collected from Australians, even from overseas companies, be covered by the same protections that would apply if the data was collected by an Australian company.
@Mike007, worldwide jurisdiction?
"good luck trying to get a (for example) UK company to comply with Australian law"
They might have a bit more luck with this than you think. The loophole they speak of is an Australian company passing data they have collected onto a foreign company, who is then as not nearly as constrained as the Australian company would be. It's a loophole big enough to drive a truck through.
I think it's there because of Australian companies are saying behind closed doors it is simply impossible for them to control what a labourer in India might do. That is bullshit of course, but I imagine it would be a PITA because it would require them to negotiate new contractual arrangements that would probably be more expensive, and it would effect a lot of large business because outsourcing our data processing to foreigners is as common in Australia as it is anywhere in the OECD. That would be those same big businesses who have the money to spend on getting a word or two into the governments ear.
As for the article suggesting it was liberals wanting a cost justification - you've gotta be kidding me. That would be the same liberals who are saying they will pay the polluters to stop polluting, rather than penalise or taxing them for polluting. They are no better economic rationalists that the Republicans in the US - the ones who put the US in its current hole by fighting two wars at the same time, and paying for it by dropping interest rates to 0. It was the green senators who want to wanted to look at the economic arguments, but I doubt they care about the economics either.
Gawd, the older I get, the more I loath politicians.
I'll probably break just like the Do Not Call Register did.
I'll bet they'll have enough exemptions in the thing that it won't make a squat of difference.
I wouldn't get too excited
They only decided to to do a cost benefit analysis. We know which way that is going to go. It will just provide some manufactured "justification" and traceability for doing it.
Mine is the one with the cost benefit analysis for purchasing a coat in case of rain.