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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Critics dominate national access card submissions

The National Access Card website has posted submissions received following release in December of the draft Human Services (Enhanced Service Delivery) Bill.

There are plenty of criticisms, including the decision to float the draft in December and close off the process in January - not exactly the best time of the year in Australia to encourage serious debate.

Issues raised in many submissions indicate that the Government has a long way to go in convincing privacy experts that they have nothing to worry about. Those who have the expertise and the time to examine the detail are pretty clear that the card, as foreshadowed in the draft Bill, is a national ID card in the making, despite Government claims to the contrary.

The Australian Privacy Foundation and others suggest that the piece-meal approach reflected in the draft's failure to address a range of important issues, means that there is serious doubt about the Government's interest in ascertaining public views, and what is to be gained from engaging in further consultative processes.

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