Privacy Articles

June 1, 2012 |

There have been a range of privacy related articles in the week or so.

In Two cheers for privacy law reform? Let’s wait and see in hte Conversation Bruce Arnold provides a standard overview of the Act. He is mildly supportive and optimistic.  The problem is that the expanded powers given to the Privacy Commissioner mean little if the Commissioner does not use them sensibly.  The Privacy Commissioner’s office has not been the most pro active or determined protector of privacy.  Damages for breaches of privacy (based on determinations to date) have been at best modest.

In Gene test results to be passed on without consent the State Government is reported:

PEOPLE tested for predisposition to a genetic disease will no longer have a say in whether their results are given to their close relatives, under proposed changes to NSW laws.

The NSW Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, has introduced legislation to allow doctors to inform a patient’s blood relatives they are at risk of having or developing a serious illness. Such tests can be used to identify whether people are at increased risk of cancer or heart disease.

Professor Ron Trent, a genetics expert from the University of Sydney, said in most cases people were willing to share information with relatives, but some refused to disclose private information.

The Age’s article Hoarding privacy jewels does not expose an anomaly but merely highlights a long standing one that exists in the Priavcy Act; that it exempts political parties.  It also exempts the media.

In Trade war up in the clouds the Canberra Times looks at the privacy issues involved in storing data in the cloud.

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