Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
‘Bundled consents are not good privacy or business practices and are totally contrary to the spirit of the Privacy Act,’ said Malcolm Crompton, Australian Federal Privacy Commissioner, in a media release issued on 23 May. Crompton has warned businesses that it is not acceptable to put customers in the position of having to agree to a wide range of secondary uses in order to obtain goods and services. While it is not clear that such practices contravene NPP 1, the Commissioner is putting businesses on notice that they should give individuals a meaningful choice about secondary uses such as direct marketing. ‘If this issue isn’t resolved through discussions it could become a matter for consideration during the two year review of the Privacy Act,’ said Crompton.
Source: OFPC Media release <www.privacy.gov.au/news/media/02_8.html>
The NSW Government has introduced a Health Records and Information Privacy Bill. Privacy NSW has released a position paper setting out the Privacy Commissioner’s view of the Bill.
The Commissioner is disappointed at the lack of protection for all employees and for customers of businesses with less than a $3 million turnover, as a result of exemptions borrowed from the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth). He would like to see an additional test for related uses to give individuals more control, and he wants to see the criteria for new linkage of health records to apply in some form to existing linkages. Finally, he argues for the inclusion of DNA data used for identification purposes within the provisions of the legislation.
See <www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/pc.nsf/pages/hripcomment> and the Bill on the NSW Parliament web site at <www.parliament.nsw.gov.au>
In May 2002, Victorian Privacy Commissioner Paul Chadwick released the first part of a series of Guidelines on the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) in the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic). Guidelines Part 1 includes an overview and then covers collection (including of sensitive information), use and disclosure (IPPs 1, 10 and 2).
The Federal Privacy Commissioner received an application in June from ACHA Health for a public interest determination (PID) under Pt VII of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). The application concerns the common practice of recording family medical history during diagnosis and treatment of patients, and requests a waiver from the requirements to seek consent (NPP 10.1) and to give notice of the matters listed in NPP 1.3 (NPP 1.5).
Submissions are invited by 19 July 2002. The PID, if granted, will be an indefinite replacement for the temporary determination to the same effect granted by the Commissioner to ACHA Health in December 2002 for 12 months from 21 December. The Commissioner also simultaneously issued a temporary determination applying the waiver generally to all health service providers.
Source: OFPC Media release <www.privacy.gov.au/news/media/02_13.html>.