Privacy Law and Policy Reporter
Workplace Surveillance in NSW to be regulated from October
The NSW Workplace Surveillance Act will commence on 7 October. Earlier plans to phase in commencement have been abandoned as likely to confuse. The most immediate effect is that notice will have to be given to employees 14 days prior to the commencement date for surveillance to qualify as overt, and therefore not require a magistrate’s warrant (it must also meet the other conditions in the Act).
Source: NSW Attorney-General’s Department
Views invited on unauthorised use of photographs on the internet
On 9 August, the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General released a discussion paper Unauthorised Photographs on the Internet And Ancillary Privacy Issues (see http://www.ag.gov.au/ ). Submissions are invited by 14 October.
Source: Cwth Attorney-General Media Release 144/2005
ACMA due to finalise binding Standard on Telephone Directory Data
The long drawn out issue of regulation of telephone directory data is about to be partially resolved. In May, the Australian Communications Authority (now ACMA) issued a draft Industry Standard on the Integrated Number Data Base (IPND). When finally issued later this year, the Standard will regulate the use of data in and derived from the IPND, which is currently compiled by Telstra as the contracted IPND Manager. This will however result in an uneven playing field in that Telstra’s Sensis Directories which are sourced directly from carriers will not be subject to the Standard, leaving competitor directory publishers at a disadvantage. ACMA has cited jurisdictional limits on its ability to achieve a more comprehensive solution through a Standard, but it is clear that other complementary regulatory action will be required.
Identity Cards and Surveillance cameras on the agenda
Remarks by Queensland Premier Peter Beatty in July set off a flurry of speculation about the possible introduction of a national identity card. The federal government appeared to encourage debate without providing any clear indication of its view, and as a result even coalition Ministers gave very different reactions. It seems an ID card, along with greater use of surveillance cameras, will be on the agenda for the summit of federal and state premiers expected to be held in late August.
For a critical perspective on the ID card issue, but also a comprehensive set of factual resources, see http://www.privacy.org.au/Campaigns/ID_cards/
Federal Commissioner’s workload stabilises
End of financial year figures from the OFPC show that complaints received at 1275 were almost identical to 2003-04 (1276), while telephone hotline enquiries were only slightly up at 21,108 – a similar volume to the two previous years. Written enquiries, at 2094 continue a downward trend.
European Commission to prosecute Germany for inadequate data protection
On July 5th, the European Commission wrote to the German Federal Government informing them that it would begin legal proceedings in the European Court of Justice against Germany.
Although this letter has not yet been published, Privacy Laws & Business has learned from Dr. Alexander Dix, Berlin’s Data Protection and Freedom of Information Commissioner that the basis of the proceedings is the European Commission’s view that the 16 Land (state) Data Protection Commissioners lack the independent status required by Art. 28.1 of the EU Data Protection Directive. This article states that these supervisory authorities “shall act with complete independence in exercising the functions entrusted to them.”
A fuller report will be published in the next issue of the Privacy Laws & Business International Newsletter (http://www.privacylaws.com/newsletters.international.html).
Source: Stewart Dresner, Chief Executive, Privacy Laws & Business