Australian Greens call out

For greater privacy protection.

The Senate has supported an Australian Greens motion today calling for Australia to adopt stronger privacy protections in line with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), acknowledging it as current world best practice.

Privacy spokesperson , Western Australia Senator Jordon Steele-John said in the wake of the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, it was crucial that Australia took immediate action to improve privacy protections online.

“Our privacy laws are woefully inadequate and the argument that Australians don’t care and are agreeing to sign away their privacy simply by engaging in online interactions is simply not good enough.”

Under current Australian law, the government’s agenda of surveillance, and the rise of surveillance capitalism, young people might never be able to exercise their right to privacy and live their lives free from surveillance and communications interference, he said.

“I am heartened that the Senate has now back-flipped on their earlier position and supported, in principle, a move towards the European standard of online privacy protection and current world best practice. There is need for urgent review of privacy regulations in Australia, including the collection, storage, and use of personal information by government, corporations and other entities particularly with respect to its impact on the integrity of our democracy.”

In March, the Senate opposed a motion calling for amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 to ensure individuals have rights of access, erasure and transfer of their personal data online.

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