Sep 212012
 September 21, 2012  Posted by  Featured News, Laws, Non-U.S.

One argument I often hear against privacy reform is that it will stifle innovation or commerce. In Australia, proposed reform would almost certainly do that. Jane Lee and Georgia Wilkins report:

The Coalition has joined big banks and telcos in their fight against proposed laws that aim to prevent them from sharing personal information about customers with companies overseas.

Government amendments to the Privacy Act would restrict companies from sending valuable information about customers’ credit-worthiness offshore – unless the receiver was formed in, or controlled from, Australia.

This would affect companies that outsource information to international call centres, data-processing centres and data stored in the cloud.

Read more on The Age.

  2 Responses to “AU: Coalition joins fight against privacy law reform”

  1. I do understand what you are saying and also that Australia doesn’t have the same types of data centres as exist overseas. However, there is no guarantee that all risks of transferring, data in transit, or stored in foreign countries can be dealt with by way of contractual measures to ensure that such data isn’t subject to other countries’ laws. This includes government access and subpoenas by LEAs. A foreign owned cloud vendor. If the vendor were to be subpoenaed by a foreign law enforcement agency for access to data belonging to the vendor’s customers, the vendor may even be legally prohibited from notifying their customers of the subpoena.

  2. I agree with your point which is why I’ve also argued repeatedly that U.S. laws need to be updated and revised to be consistent with a warrant standard (which would provide judicial oversight). And customers generally should be notified except in cases of terrorism where such notification could seriously damage an investigation or law enforcement action. I just think that AU’s proposal is going to hurt AU economy and citizens more than help. It’s like telling the citizenry, “Hey, you can’t enjoy social media networks that everyone else enjoys because that network doesn’t have a headquarters here.” That’s not a real solution, in my opinion.

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