Senate Inquiry into Online Privacy
28 June 2010 at 12:58 pm
The Australian Greens have secured a Senate inquiry into online privacy in Australia that will seek the views of the community sector.
The move follows recent concerns over privacy breaches and plans by the Commonwealth to force Internet Service Providers to store web browsing histories of all Australian internet users.
The inquiry will examine online privacy protection and data collection on social networking sites, as well as the data collection activities of private companies and Government agencies.
Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam says recent events have proven that Australians face a multitude of challenges in protecting their privacy online: whether it be social networking sites and search engines harvesting personal data to sell to advertisers, or Government agencies snooping for their own obscure purposes.
The terms of reference for the inquiry are:
That the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communication and the Arts inquire into and report by 20 October 2010, on:
The adequacy of protections for the privacy of Australians online, with regard to:
- Privacy protections and data collection on social networking sites
- Data collection activities of private companies
- Data collection activities of Government agencies
- Other related issues
The Australian Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis has welcomed the release of an exposure draft of new Australian Privacy Principles saying her Office will participate in the Senate Committee Inquiry into online privacy.
Curtis says the online environment is increasingly challenging the capacity to protect personal information.
She says she is looking forward to hearing what others in the community have to say to the Committee about this significant issue.
She says in formulating recommendations to deal with online privacy, it will be important that the Senate Committee consider the extensive work already undertaken in this area, including by her Office, the ALRC, and the Australian Government.
For more information go to www.aph.gov.au