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Friday, March 14, 2008

BOTPA strikes often

"Because of the Privacy Act" gets a workout frequently in all sorts of contexts to explain why something can't be done, sometimes with good reason, sometimes not. There has been a bit of an outbreak in "BOTPA" today:
  • In South Australia, details of all members of parliament traffic offences cannot be released because of privacy laws, but a Liberal Party member has fessed up to four speeding offences that led to the loss of his license.
  • The Police Association in Victoria says that a policy requirement that police provide routine disclosure of information about "improper" friends, families and associates to the Police Service, would breach privacy and human rights laws. Hullo?
  • With Dr. Patel sitting in a cell in Oregon, the Federal Government has halted a review of checks on foreign doctors visas after state health departments challenged the Immigration Department's right to check records held by state medical boards. The NSW Health Minister cites privacy considerations as a stumbling block. Hullo again?
But the Privacy Act isn't a problem for Australian sports doping authorities who have been checking the Medicare prescription records of athletes to see if they have been taking banned substances. Now that's a relief!

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