Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
Compiled by Graham Greenleaf
Standards Australia has published a draft standard for Information security and personal privacy protection in healthcare information systems (DR 94277), covering all forms of health information whether held by private or public sector organisations. It is proposed as a Joint Australian/NZ Standard. Copies can be obtained from the National Sales Centre, tel (02) 746 4600
Mark Diamond and Daniel Reidpath in ''Are students really human - Observations on Institutional Ethics Committees' Australian Psychologist Vol 29 No 2, 145- 146, July 1994 conclude from surveys in 1991 and 1994 that in almost half of all Australian University psychology departments coercion (penalties or subject- related inducements) is used to obtain students as research subjects. They argue that this breaches the ethical guidelines of both the NHMRC and the Australian Psychological Society, and occurs despite the existence of Institutional Ethics Committees (IECs) in each institution. ''Furthermore, the APS and NHMRC have themselves been idle and, in being idle, appear tacitly to approve the institutional policy'. They encourage students to bring complaints against individual investigators, and for NHMRC to audit IECs and withdraw funds from offending institutions
The Australian Rights Congress (see (1994) 1 PLPR 120) has been postponed to 16-18 February 1995, due to lack of enrolments 1 PLPR 120) has been postponed to 16-18 February 1995, due to lack of enrolments
The Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) s82 establishes a Privacy Advisory Committee consisting of the Privacy Commissioner and up to six part-time members. Theirfunctions (s83) include advising the Commissioner, community education, and recommending material for inclusion in the Commissioner's guidelines. Five appointees must represent specific community sectors, and they are at present Dr June Factor (civil liberties), Professor Alan Underwood (data processing), John Rome (social welfare), Stephen Skehill (public administration), and Jane Nicholls (trade unions). The sixth appointee is James Humphreys of DSS
IIR's conference will be held at the Sydney Boulevard Hotel on 2-3 November 1994. Included among a wide range of potentially interesting presentations will be those by Commissioners O'Conner and Slane on extending privacy laws to the private sector, Peter Bayne on the FOI/privacy interface, and Jim Nolan on workplace privacy. IIR can be contacted on (tel) (02) 954 5844 and (02) 959 4684
A task force comprised of representatives of the Labour Council of NSW, the Council for Civil Liberties and the Law Society of NSW has recently been established to examine the issue of the use of surveillance and monitoring equipment in the workplace. The privacy committee is an observer. The task force is preparing a policy document which is likely to address such issues as the circumstances where the use of surveillance equipment may be justified; where its use should be prohibited; and the need for greater consultation with employees before surveillance equipment is installed. The task force is expected to report before the end of the year.