Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Say it isn't so, Minister Faulkner.

Peter van Onselen of Edith Cowan University had a long opinion piece in The Sunday Telegraph this week ( no link available) "Why party databases should concern us all", about the extraordinary detail held about us by the major political parties that might throw light on our voting intentions, concluding with the comment about how the laws made by political leaders suit their own purposes:
"So, party databases operate outside the law and there is nothing we, as citizens, can do about it. We're not allowed to access our files and parties can write anything they want about us in those files -- defamation laws are not applicable, either."
Van Onselen lamented that the databases were outside the scope of the Freedom of Information Act, but didn't mention that the Australian Law Reform Commission has recommended removal of the exemption for political parties from the Privacy Act, which would result in a right to access and correct personal information held. Or that Senator Faulkner has said this recommendation is to be considered in the second tranche of reforms- the first of the 295 recommendations will be acted upon in 12-18 months-with the rest to follow sometime in the unspecified future.So any consideration of reform is a long way down the track.

But van Onselen speaks for many in saying "I suspect self-interest will prevent Labor reviewing the rules by which such database software operates."

Say it isn't so Senator Faulkner.

No comments:

Post a comment