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Privacy Law and Policy Reporter

Privacy Law and Policy Reporter (PLPR)
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Greenleaf, Graham --- "Private Parts" [1996] PrivLawPRpr 45; (1996) 3(4) Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 80

Private Parts

compiled by Graham Greenleaf

FEDERAL PRIVACY HANDBOOK RELEASE 5

A very substantial new release for the Australian Privacy Commissioner's Federal Privacy Handbook includes much valuable material, such as a consolidated reprint of the Privacy Act 1988, the modifications of the Act relevant to the ACT, the text of The Use of Data-matching in Commonwealth Administration Guidelines (November 1995), the two Complaint Determinations, amended versions of both the Credit Reporting Code of Conduct and the exceptionally valuable Credit Reporting Advice Summaries (to reflect changes to March 1995), extracts from the important High Court cases affecting privacy -- Johns v ASC and Coco v the Queen -- and even the full text of the EU Privacy Directive! The extensive index has also been updated.

OVERHEARD AT THE IIR CONFERENCE

IIR's `Information Privacy' Conference in Sydney on 12-13 August produced more than its fair share of `quotables' in the conference presentations.

Privacy Commissioner Kevin O'Connor made clear what he thought was the best way to extend privacy protection to the private sector.

As to the most desirable way to provide Australians with comprehensive privacy protection, my preferred option is to expand the jurisdiction of the federal Privacy Act, to the limit of federal constitutional power so far as business, banking and the private sector generally is concerned.

Steve Orlowski of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department security division explained that much of the governmental thinking in the encryption area was headed in the direction that the private keys used for secrecy/privacy purposes should be separate from the private keys used for authentication/digital signatures. The reason (obvious when explained) is that although governments have a considerable interest in obtaining access to keys which allow them to decrypt the content of messages, it is fatal to any prosecution for the government to have access to any keys which are used for authentication, because any access immediately prejudices (probably destroys) the evidentiary value of any messages ostensibly sent by a person from the date that the government obtained the capacity to create forgeries.

Telstra's Michael Pickering, in answer to a question, confirmed that Telstra is suing one of providers of `reverse telephone directories' on CD-ROM, for alleged breach of copyright (see <1 PLPR 37> for background). The problem is that they are defending the action.


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