Doctors, Lawyers, and Privacy Experts Denounce Sharing Patient Health Data for Secondary Use

Following the HealthEngine scandal in 2018, and the recent use of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) data to assist recruitment into research on Bipolar disorder, a Twitter user on Friday 23 August shared a SMS message attempting to recruit him into a clinical trial.   This appears to have occurred through the use of a health data platform. Research by digital rights …

Digital rights meetup

If you are interested in privacy and digital rights, join us at the Mitre Tavern on 15 August for an informal meetup. Everyone is welcome to come along, meet the Digital Rights Watch team and discuss the issues currently facing the digital rights world. Where: Mitre Tavern, 5 Bank Place, MelbourneWhen: 5:30pm, Thursday 15 August Further details

Australians are increasingly concerned about expansion of surveillance powers

Pic: iStock.com/fatido

New polling shows that Australians have a high level of concern over legislation that has made it easier for the Government and law enforcement agencies to access their private personal digital information. The polling, commissioned by Digital Rights Watch and undertaken by Essential Research, has revealed:      76% of people expressed concern that telecommunication companies retain data on every Australian. …

Sticker competition

We’re running a sticker design competition and we want your designs!

Facial recognition expansion requires urgent review

Photo by timothy muza on Unsplash

Following reports that individuals are being forced to use facial recognition software in order to access government solar rebates, Digital Rights Watch have called for an urgent review of the rapid expansion of the controversial software. Victorians are being required to use Service Victoria’s new facial recognition system as an alternative to the traditional 100-point paper-based identity check, to prove …

Sweeping metadata laws must be scaled back

Amidst reports last week of the extraordinarily high rate at which the Australian Federal Police accessed the communications history of journalists, the Human Right Law Centre, Digital Rights Watch and Access Now have called on the Morrison Government to urgently reform metadata laws. The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is conducting a review of controversial metadata retention laws …

Submission to PJCIS review of mandatory metadata retention regime

The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security is conducting a review of controversial metadata retention laws that require telecommunication companies to retain records of every single person’s calls, texts, and internet browsing history for at least two years. Human Right Law Centre, Digital Rights Watch and Access Now have called on the Morrison Government to urgently reform metadata laws …

XConf Australia

XConf is a one-day showcase of the latest thinking from ThoughtWorks’ tech community and provides a platform for passionate technologists who are looking for inspiration and a chance to network with peers. We’re extremely grateful to Thoughtworks, who are donating all ticket proceeds to Digital Rights Watch. Find out more about XConf here

Submission to PJCIS on the Review of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Act 2018

Digital Rights Watch worked with a number of civil society partners in providing a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) Review of the Telecommunications and Other Legislation (Assistance and Access) Act 2018 (TOLA). Our key recommendations: Repeal of the TOLA Act in its entirety. The introduction of an enforceable federal human rights framework. Enshrine robust …

Bipartisan Approaches to National Security Bring a Decrease in Rights

The dust has settled on the federal election, and advocates from all sectors are either crowing over their wins or licking their wounds. On the battleground for the internet, there is a much darker spectre looming. Over the coming year, Australia will rapidly be relegated to the backwaters of the global digital world. We will no longer have a functioning …

A guide for defending encryption

In June 2019, Lizzie O’Shea was named as a Human Rights Hero by Access Now and received the award from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. This is an edited version of her acceptance speech. Thanks so much to Access Now for this wonderful award. It’s such a great initiative to support activists in the field doing …

Australian cities for digital rights

The internet has become inseparable from our daily lives. Yet, every day, there are new cases of digital rights abuse, misuse and misinformation and concentration of power around the world. We are seeing a real-world effect of technology creep on the privacy rights of Australian cities through the rapid expansion of surveillance technology in public spaces – often those directly …

Digital security for journalists

A free press is a cornerstone of any democracy, with journalism playing an integral role in the transparency and debate that is so important to protecting and maintaining society. Increasingly, we are seeing journalists forced to comply with authoritarian government orders, and repressive regimes of secrecy and gagging designed to hamper the freedoms of the Third Estate. As technology becomes …

Spies should focus on foreign threats rather than journalists

Federal police going through Ms Smethurst’s home

We have witnessed two shocking raids by the Australian Federal Police on news outlets, both under the guise of protecting our national security. Let’s call the raids what they are: dangerous police overreach that could intimidate and curtail our free press. Media freedom is a cornerstone of any democracy — it shines a light on the darkest corners and helps …

Lizzie O’Shea declared “Hero” for mobilizing the Australian public against the government’s anti-encryption legislation

Today, Access Now announces its selection of Lizzie O’Shea, an Australian human rights lawyer, broadcaster, and writer, as a recipient of this year’s Human Rights Heroes Award. O’Shea is recognized for leading work to highlight, analyze, and protest expansive surveillance laws in Australia. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will present the award to O’Shea, as well as …

Statement on AFP raid of journalist’s home

“It’s incredibly worrying to see AFP officers carry out a raid on the home of a political journalist working to reveal an important public interest issue – a potential massive expansion of domestic capacity in Australian spy agencies. We fear that the powers given to the AFP to seize and search Annika Smethurst’s digital footprint represent a considerable risk to …

Political parties are targeting you

This election, you may have noticed that you’ve been inundated with targeted adverts from political parties, interest groups and individual candidates, who are all using Facebook microtargeting in their strategies to influence voters. For the past week, we’ve been running our own advertising campaign, to draw attention to this practice, to educate people that it is happening, and quite frankly, …

Technology Is as Biased as Its Makers

From exploding Ford Pintos to racist algorithms, all harmful technologies are a product of unethical design. And yet, like car companies in the ’70s, today’s tech companies would rather blame the user. Read the rest of this article on Long Reads This article is an excerpt adapted from Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Teach …