The conjurer's new card trick and the illusion of privacy: a discussion of the privacy and transparency issues associated with the proposed Australian Government Health and Social Services Access Card

Article


Hart, Caroline. 2008. "The conjurer's new card trick and the illusion of privacy: a discussion of the privacy and transparency issues associated with the proposed Australian Government Health and Social Services Access Card." University of Tasmania Law Review. 25 (1), pp. 5-43.
Article Title

The conjurer's new card trick and the illusion of privacy: a discussion of the privacy and transparency issues associated with the proposed Australian Government Health and Social Services Access Card

ERA Journal ID34056
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorHart, Caroline
Journal TitleUniversity of Tasmania Law Review
Journal Citation25 (1), pp. 5-43
Number of Pages39
Year2008
Place of PublicationHobart, Australia
ISSN0082-2108
Web Address (URL)http://www.lawreview.law.utas.edu.au/
Abstract

On 7 February 2007, the Human Services (Enhanced Service Delivery) Bill 2007 was introduced into the Federal Parliament by the Minister for Human Services. The purpose of the Bill was to introduce a Health and Social Services Access Card (the 'Access Card') by 2008 using smart card technology. Registration for the card was to be required by all Australian citizens seeking entitlement to health and social service benefits. The introduction of the Access Card would be within an Australian Government-controlled framework of interoperable smart cards. This structure may not necessarily have been accessed under the Human Services (Enhanced Service Delivery) Bill 2007, but it is certainly available for current and future government smartcard use.
The Bill, passed by the House of Representatives on 28 February, and then introduced into the Senate on the same day, was adjourned and later withdrawn that same day.
The Access Card and the Register (the database that supports the Access Card) both have the potential to permanently erode the established rights of Australian citizens to information privacy currently secured by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). This paper analyses the detrimental impact of the Access Card on privacy with respect to three concerns: the potential for function creep; that it is in all respects a quasi-identity card; and that it provides the opportunity for increased identity fraud and identity theft.

KeywordsHealth and Social Services Access Card; privacy issues; transparency issues
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020460599. Data management and data science not elsewhere classified
440709. Public policy
480701. Administrative law
Public Notes

PDF supplied by, and deposited with the permission of the Editors. Authors retain copyright.

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Law
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