Our privacy protections need a reboot
When our privacy laws were written in the 1980s, most businesses weren’t collecting much more personal information than what you could find in the phonebook. But things have changed a lot since then. From email addresses and IP addresses to shopping behaviour, browsing history, and even biometric data like facial features and genetic code, businesses are now collecting so much data they could have a phonebook's worth for every user.
All this information gives businesses a massive amount of power over us – they can manipulate us into spending more, exclude people from goods and services based on personal characteristics, and track and analyse our private values, beliefs, and activities. And from secretive on-selling of information to the risk of security breaches, it’s impossible for many of us to even know who has access to our personal data.
After decades of our privacy laws lagging behind, we finally have an opportunity to change this. Right now, the government is considering what changes they’ll make to give the Privacy Act a much-needed update. But resetting this power imbalance to create a fairer and safer system won’t be easy.
Big businesses are already pushing back hard on any changes that would hold them accountable for how they use your data, which is why together, we need to make our voices as loud as possible. Will you sign the petition to show the government you support strong privacy laws that create an even playing field between people and businesses?