Friday, 06 October 2017 07:11

Privacy groups slam COAG over face recognition database

By

Major privacy organisations in Australia have condemned the decision by the Council of Australian Governments to agree to hand over drivers' licence photos for the creation of a national facial recognition database.

A joint statement from the Australian Privacy Foundation, Digital Rights Watch, Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, NSW Council for Civil Liberties, Liberty Victoria, South Australian Council for Civil Liberties and Electronic Frontiers Australia came down hard on the decision, announced yesterday.

There has been an estimate that setting up such a system would cost hundreds of millions of dollars or even billions.

Australian Privacy Foundation chairman David Vaile said: “This government has proven it is blind and deaf to privacy and personal information security threats. Make no mistake – this database will affect all Australians, even the most conscientious and law-abiding.

"It will likely generate massive ‘false positive’ lists that will flood our very effective police and security services with useless distractions. We’ve already seen calls for ‘scope creep’ to cover welfare enforcement, and there’s every reason to expect this capability will come to be used to identify people with unpaid fines and other minor issues that have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

Tim Singleton Norton, chairman of Digital Rights Watch said, “This is a gross overreach into the privacy of everyday Australian citizens, and will have huge impacts on the trust in government to manage this database.

"What is urgently needed is proper consultation, evidence and debate - in parliament, with civil society and the public themselves. Whilst we of course must ensure that our law enforcement agencies have the tools necessary to undertake their important work, this should not come at the expense of citizen’s rights to privacy.”

Angus Murray, vice-president of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, said, “The protection of the Australian community is fundamentally important – however, this also includes the protection of Australians’ civil liberties and privacy.

"The agreement, and this continued scope creep, clearly highlights the need for the introduction of a tort of serious invasions of privacy and enforceable Human Rights legislation.

"It is incumbent on the Parliament to ensure that the COAG agreement on the National Facial Biometric Matching Capability is demonstrably necessary, adequate and proportionate, and subject to proper public scrutiny.”

Stephen Blanks, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, said, "The community does not yet understand the real implications of facial recognition technology and how fundamentally the way people can access public spaces like airports, sporting facilities and shopping centres will change. When they understand the realities of this technology, people will be very concerned."

Jon Lawrence, executive officer of Electronic Frontiers Australia, said, “This decision is nothing less than a complete betrayal of a fundamental civil liberty of all Australians. If implemented, it will ensure that the presumption of innocence no longer has any effective meaning in this country. Such an untargeted, mass surveillance database is just the latest attempt by governments to categorise everyone as potential suspects, not citizens.”

The statement said the organisations collectively called on "all Australians concerned about this initiative to contact both their state/territory and federal parliamentarians to help them understand that this initiative is an example of government overreach that is simply unacceptable".


Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments