Search This Blog

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Experts think ALRC privacy recommendations may not go far enough

This article in today's AustralianIT indicates that quite a few speakers at last week's conference on ALRC proposals for privacy reform gave the Commission's recommendations a good but not good enough assessment.

The Oz article is peppered with quotes from experts outside government along the lines that the report failed to recommend the"fundamental rebuild that will be necessary in future"; the proposed law will collapse under its own complexity -- and with it consumer trust"; "missed opportunity"; many of the most critical issues are not resolved; the proposals still leave huge gaps in protection, and create endless complications for victims seeking help; and so on.

Waters and Vaile see the need for a shift from the light touch regulatory model:
"Above all, they say, the new challenges require a more vigorous approach to promoting respect for privacy, based on recognised principles of responsive regulation. "This means not only real teeth for the watchdog but also greater willingness to bite than successive privacy commissioners have displayed," Waters and Vaile say. "Preventing us from sleepwalking into a surveillance society, as Britain's Information Commissioner has warned, requires taking on some powerful vested interests, not just business as usual."
Some additional papers, (but not all and nothing of note from the session on the proposed cause of action for breach of privacy) are now on this website.

On the cause of action front here is an interesting comment on what in the UK are emerging issues about a celebrity's reasonable expectation of privacy (in this case Sienna Miller) , and the possible distinction the court made law might make between an expectation while lying topless on a public beach or a boat near the shore, and the expectation doing the same thing on a boat miles off-shore only to be captured by a telephoto lens.

No comments:

Post a Comment