The relentless attacks on fundamental rights of privacy and freedom online through 2018 has shown that an Australian digital rights watchdog is so necessary.
The fight for encrypted communications was a major point of work for us, with the introduction of the Assistance and Access Bill. In response, we built alliances across civil society, human rights activists, telecommunication providers and industry. Ignoring the widespread criticisms of the Bill from all walks of life, both major parties pushed through these deeply flawed laws with very little change.
Despite this, we have seen some big positives. We welcomed the introduction of Australia’s data breach notification scheme. We lobbied the government to acknowledge privacy concerns amids the My Health Record system, resulting in a backdown from the Health Minister.
Our flagship State of Digital Rights report brought together experts in a range of fields to produce a comprehensive list of the many ways that Australians’ rights are being eroded online.
We’re extremely grateful for the support of many other organisations, individuals and networks, with whom we have enjoyed working collaboratively.
In 2019, we are preparing to have an even bigger impact on digital rights – largely in part to the support of Australian Progress Labs, who have helped us hone our vision and plan for the future.