Agencies may access IDs

Government agencies could get approved access to part of the Commonwealth's newly proposed facial recognition program.

The Facial Verification Service, part of the federal government's new "Capability" program, would be accessible by departments such as the Department of Human Services or the Australian Taxation Office.

The system would be used to provide a one-for-one match from a person's existing photo with any other government-issued identities they may hold, rather than returning multiple potential matches.

The Attorney-General's Department said government agencies and private businesses would have to complete a privacy impact statement before given access.

"Organisations using the service would need to demonstrate their lawful basis to do so under the Privacy Act, and could only use the FVS where they gain a person's consent to use their images," a spokesman said.

Surveillance expert Professor Katina Michael of the University of Wollongong said access should only be granted on a case-by-case basis, concerned that Capability could be linked to a person's metadata or even tax file number.

"What I can't understand is it's open at all times indefinitely," Professor Michael said. "That is not professional. It's warrantless searching."

She also raised concerns about the private sector having access to the system.

"It's going to be bidirectional. This is a lovely symbiosis between government and industry. This is the only way that government can crawl their way into the data sets of Facebook and Google."

When originally launched in November, the FVS used photos captured by the Australian Border Force from passports or citizenship photos, and was only available to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade or the Australian Federal Police.

Earlier this month, the federal government announced it would establish the national facial recognition system drawing on issued identification from all Australian jurisdictions allowing FVS users to access state or territory databases.

The Capability now comprises three parts, the Document Verification Service, the FVS and the Facial Identification Service.

The FIS allows law enforcement to scan photos of unknown persons and match them with multiple government records.

"For example, it can be used to identify a suspected paedophile from child exploitation material, or to identify an armed offender from a still image taken from CCTV footage," a spokesman said. There were no current plans to expand access to the FIS.

But Professor Michael was concerned the FIS would eventually be opened up to other agencies and the private sector.

Finbar O'Mallon, October 15, 2017, "Agencies may access IDs", Canberra Times, p. 8.

Personal Information Entrusted to Government Leaked to the Public

Podcast available here 

Centrelink and Veterans Leak Sources:

Summary

https://theconversation.com/how-the-law-allows-governments-to-publish-your-private-information-74304

Robo-Debt

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-21/how-centrelink-can-win-back-trust-after-the-robo-debt-debacle/8372788

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/centrelink-robodebt-government-pledges-fairer-deal-after-backlash-20170214-gucz6t.html

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/centrelinks-robodebt-creating-a-climate-of-fear-20170307-gut1z7.html

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/not-good-enough-labor-slams-centrelink-robodebt-changes-20170215-guda4r.html

Centrelink Leak

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-28/watchdog-inquiries-after-centrelink-leaked-personal-information/8310034

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-03/centrelink-debt:-senate-concerned-about-impact-of-dhs-releases/8321478

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-01/centrelink-clients-advised-personal-information-no-longer-safe/8313924

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-17/labor-calls-for-suspension-of-centrelink-debt-recovery-program/8187934

https://www.businessinsider.com.au/centrelinks-crude-new-data-matching-system-falsely-claims-people-owe-large-amounts-of-money-2017-1

Veterans Leak

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/labor-backs-law-on-veteran-information/news-story/3b639743bd77dc5cb83337e075e30fd8http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-03-02/government-wants-new-power-to-release-veterans-personal-info/8320268

http://www.news.com.au/national/politics/personal-medical-and-financial-documents-leaked-by-vets-affairs/news-story/bcdd3410b497f4175bb02faa77f9616e

http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/4519232/veterans-anger-over-personal-information-laws-prompt-privacy-review/?cs=12

Laws

Privacy Act 1998 Overview https://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy-law/privacy-act/

Privacy Act 1998 Quick Ref. https://www.oaic.gov.au/agencies-and-organisations/guides/app-quick-reference-tool#toc

Social Security Act 1991 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ssa1991186/

Veterans Affairs Legislation Amendment (Digital Readiness and Other Measures Bill 2017) http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r5771

Data matching program: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/co050-200710-1105en.pdf

Australian Privacy Principles include:

APP 1 — Open and transparent management of personal information

APP 2 — Anonymity and pseudonymity

APP 3 — Collection of solicited personal information

APP 4 — Dealing with unsolicited personal information

APP 5 — Notification of the collection of personal information

APP 6 — Use or disclosure of personal information

APP 7 — Direct marketing

APP 8 — Cross-border disclosure of personal information

APP 9 — Adoption, use or disclosure of government related identifiers

APP 10 — Quality of personal information

APP 11 — Security of personal information

APP 12 — Access to personal information

APP 13 — Correction of personal information

 

Citation: Katina Michael speaks with Trevor Chappell "The release of personal files from Centrelink and Veterans Affairs to journalists recently and some of the ramifications of this", ABC Radio - Overnights http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/overnights/. Producer Michael Pavlich. 4.20am-5am, 22 March 2017.

ANALYSIS: Human Microchipping Poses Dangers to Health, Privacy

WASHINGTON, April 30 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova – Although hardly a
novel idea, microchipping humans arouses justified concerns about risks to health and
privacy, experts told RIA Novosti Wednesday.

“Along with the potential risks to health, there is a real risk to freedom and privacy, one
of the key purposes of RFID is the tracking technology. Besides, numbering people is
very dehumanizing. It turns you into a barcode on the package of meat that’s get
tracked like inventory,” said Dr. Katherine Albrecht, an RFID microchip and consumer
privacy expert.

Katina Michael, an associate professor at the University of Wollongong, echoed the
opinion, stating that implanting automatic identification technology for non-medical
purposes could entail the total loss of the right to privacy.

“There is a grave danger in it, as someone who gets an implant does not have control
over bodily privacy. They cannot remove the implant on their own accord. They do not
know when someone is attempting to hack into their device, no matter how proprietary
the code that is stored on the device, and no matter whether the implant has built-in
encryption,” Michael told RIA Novosti.

In 2007 Albrecht and Associated Press Reporter Todd Lewan revealed to the public
studies that showed microchips cause cancer when they are implanted into laboratory
animals. The finding led to the suspension the VeriChip company’s work.
“In our research we found that between one and ten percent of laboratory animals
implanted with radio frequency microchips developed cancer adjacent to and even
surrounding the microchips,” Albrecht said.

“Pacemakers can also cause cancer, but in a case of a pacemaker where the alternative
is literally dying, it is worth the risk. However, in a case of something like an
identification microchip or dosages of drugs being delivered to the body, that does not
make any sense. Most people would prefer to simply take those drugs themselves than
run the risk of an implant,” she added.

Dr. Michael also explained that implanting microchips is not new in the health industry,
as society has already adopted implantables for a variety of uses. However, implantables
for medical applications or for the identification of animals have a number of
documented health side effects in line with Dr. Albrecht’s opinion.

“People with microstimulators have described … varying levels of neurological response
that were not as prescribed, … or health implications such as infection, or even ongoing
stress,” said Michael, adding that there are a whole gambit of health issues that no one is
really studying properly.

The expert claimed that these kinds of technologies are being tested already, but have
not yet been approved by the FDA for use as medical devices.

However, Albrecht said that the FDA appears to have never looked at the studies
pointing to the dangers.

“One of the things I learned is that the FDA relies on the company that’s looking for the
approval to provide the evidence of the safety and of the danger of the product. They
don’t do independent research, and I think there is a very serious potential to having the
companies be the ones that determine the safety of their own product,” she said.

The VeriChip Corporation implanted identification microchips into diabetic and
Alzheimer's patients as a trial with Blue Cross Blue Shield in 2007. The trial was stopped
due to cancer risks.

In recent years, advocates of the technology have promised neural implants that could stimulate the brain to help people with depression, implants that would deliver certain
amounts of medication which may be remote controllable. The technologies involved
are not new, and neither is the argument on their appropriateness.

Tags: microchipping, privacy, technology

Lyudmila Chernova, April 30, 2014, "ANALYSIS: Human Microchipping Poses Dangers to Health, Privacy", Ria Novosti [РИА Новости], http://en.ria.ru/business/20140430/189481760/ANALYSIS-Human-Microchipping-Poses-Dangers-to-Health-Privacy.html

Your credit history could soon be up for sale

Abstract

credhistory.jpg

While marketing executives may be excited by the prospect of more highly-targeted campaigns, the issue has provoked the ire of civil libertarians and privacy advocates. "On-selling consumer data without their consent is illegal," Australian Privacy Foundation board member Katina Michael told ninemsn. Dr Michael said that when consumers enter into agreements to use credit cards they are not consenting to their personal details being on-sold to third parties. She added that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned that their data is traded by third parties and many are demanding that their personal information be stored in a secure manner and not passed on.

Keywords: credit card, Mastercard, consent, privacy, onsell, terms and conditions

Citation: Martin A Zavan and Katina Michael. "Your credit history could soon be up for sale" ninemsn.com.au | Finance (2011) Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kmichael/240/