I used to be a Medibank ‘Personal’ buyer. Let me inform you about my vasectomy earlier than they do

It might be within the pursuits of nationwide safety or combating organised crime – together with networks at the moment exploiting our system – however it’s also straightforward to disregard the results. This “powerful on cyber crime” response performs into the arms of highly effective pursuits who surf the harder laws and penalties to create recent market alternatives.


There’s the burgeoning cybersecurity trade that serves the nationwide curiosity whereas charging a truckload to construct stronger and extra resilient programs in organisations that deal with our knowledge. Perversely, this raises the stakes and drives the proliferation of lone wolves, felony cartels and state-sponsored networks of evil geniuses devoted to discovering new methods to extract and exploit our most intimate of secrets and techniques.

The speedy improvement of quantum computing and its super-powers of encryption will inevitably make these safety partitions concurrently stronger and but extra weak. The identical know-how that protects us can also be utilized by those that would assault us, making a cybersecurity arms race by which we’re the last word losers.

How can we discover safer oceans to swim in? That’s the place the privateness reform agenda, attributable to be introduced ahead by federal Legal professional-Common Mark Dreyfus earlier than the top of the yr, looms massive. The poposed reforms, 40 years overdue, would replace definitions, evaluation exemptions and create enforceable rights for residents when their knowledge is misused. It could shift the stability from knowledge abundance to knowledge austerity, making a proper to be forgotten, which might have ensured my particulars have been not on the Optus mainframe.

However there may be an much more basic dialogue available. If there are, certainly, public pursuits in proving our id – and we should be actually clear what these are – then we have to discover a higher approach of managing them. At the moment, once we open a checking account, take out a mortgage, apply for an insurance coverage coverage, purchase a cellphone or conduct many different mundane transactions, we have to show who we’re.

We do that by offering OUR data – driver’s licence, passport. And that lets THEM not solely maintain OUR data however use it in any approach we’ve agreed to within the consent field we ticked with out studying.

This might embrace constructing a profile of us primarily based on our buy historical past, our internet use, the place we’ve travelled, after which discovering methods of monetising this through promoting, third-party entry and even promoting to a different enterprise. Absolutely, there are safer waters.

One strategy can be to permit the federal government to vouch for our id, establishing safe protocols whereby third events may, with our permission, achieve entry to confirm our id – however with out capturing all our particulars.

The final time this was prompt was the ill-fated Australia Card, which the Hawke authorities withdrew within the face of cries of “civil liberty”. However 4 many years on, when a lot of our privateness is already being shared insidiously amongst industrial pursuits, I think our attitudes could have modified.

Or if authorities ID is a bridge too far, we may embrace new protocols designed to present us private management of our identities. That is the mannequin web pioneer Tim Berners-Lee is championing although his Internet 3.0 initiative to present us all a private “pod” that we’d have unique management over. Slightly than giving up our id, an organisation would have entry for a one-off scan into our private ecosystem that sits on our cell phone. A bit just like the outdated days of exhibiting your driver’s licence after which placing it again in your pockets.


The pushback right here is, as at the moment constituted, the administration of those pods requires a degree of tech literacy past the attain of most of us, who will, let’s face it, go on clicking the consent field with out studying it.

There could also be a center floor, the place we set up public curiosity co-operatives to handle and management entry to our data, an trade super-style fund for our knowledge with a authorized requirement to behave in our curiosity.

None of those options are easy, however the time is quick working out earlier than our private privateness is completely washed up. For all of us who’re breached as, the information establishment is not tenable.

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