Posted March 02, 2020 16:11:50In an unusual move, the Federal Government has announced plans to scrap Australia’s internet data protection laws.
The Federal Government will be able to unilaterally withdraw these laws from the Federal Register, with the Attorney-General and Communications Minister telling Parliament on Tuesday the Government has the legal authority to do so.
The announcement comes as the Federal Court is considering a request from internet service providers (ISPs) to overturn a Federal Court order last year that prevented them from collecting the personal information of Australian internet users.
Under the Telecommunications Act 1992, ISPs are allowed to collect and use data on the internet for the purpose of “improving or enhancing the user experience”.
The Privacy Act 2015 requires ISPs to obtain a warrant to access and store users’ personal information.
The Attorney-general and Communications minister have both said that they will review the laws to determine if it is in the national interest to scrap them.
“Under the Communications Act the Minister can withdraw the law, and the Attorney General can withdraw it,” the Minister for Communications and Media, Stephen Conroy, said in a statement.
“I have made clear that this will be done to ensure that the law is not abused.”
We have a duty to protect the privacy of all Australians, and I will work with the Government to ensure the law remains the law of the land.
“The Attorney General said the Government will “look at” the issue.”
The Attorney Generals decision to withdraw the Telecommunications Privacy Act is not a decision I will make lightly.
The Attorney General will consider the matter carefully and make a decision when it is appropriate,” he said.
However, the Minister has told the Federal Parliament the Government can not withdraw the Communications Privacy Act.”
To repeal the Telecommunications Protection Act, we must first consider whether there is a better and fairer way to safeguard Australians’ personal data,” he told the House of Representatives on Tuesday.”
But I will not be making any decisions on this until the matter is properly considered and subject to the approval of the Australian Parliament.
“Mr Conroy said the Attorney Generations decision to revoke the Communications Protection Act would “not affect the Australian Privacy Principles”.”
It is a change of Government policy, and it is a move that will have no effect on the privacy provisions of the Communications (Privacy) Act,” he added.”
It will have nothing to do with the Australian Government’s approach to the privacy issue, or the privacy measures of the Government’s legislation.
“Internet users will have to wait another two weeks before their personal data is returned to them.
Topics:government-and-politics,government-institutions,internet-technology,internet,internet security,data-protection,privacy-and–privacy,law-crime-and‑justice,australia,canberra-2600,sydney-2000,port-lincoln-2046More stories from Victoria