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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

No stopping big brother

The Federal Government claimed a "saving" of $1.2 billion over four years in last week's budget for ditching (last December) the Howard Government's National Access Card, but there is no stopping exploration of the wonders of technology, ie data matching. Minister for Human Services Joe Ludwig has provided details of a plan to spend $138 million on a program to enable Centrelink to cross check information about welfare recipients through direct access to their bank accounts, in addition to tax records. Any recipient is fair game-no need to show reasonable suspicion of fraud, before this intrusion on what we once regarded as part of life involving some degree of privacy."Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" advocates might want to keep an eye on the next function creep step that technology enables government to take in accessing potentially handy data about the citizenry.

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