26 Privacy

20200514 Privacy is a fundamental human right according to the Australian Government’s Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith have also stated the same principle on many occasions.

Without privacy we live in a state of fear, fear that anything we say may be overheard, or anything we do may lead to retribution or other inappropriate consequences. It severely constrains us, even though we do nothing wrong or illegal.

Privacy is thus essential to our freedom.

Unfortunately, Governments and Business in reality see it differently. The Morrison Government in Australia, commonly considered the worst government in Australia’s history, provides a worrying example. A government minister believed he had the right to breach the privacy of individuals by releasing “protected personal information” to his politically aligned right wing journalists in 2016/2017. These individuals, ordinary citizens, spoke up against illegal government activities in debt collection, that allegedly lead to a number of suicides, as disclosed during a Royal Commission and reported upon in the respected The Saturday Paper.

Citizens need to take care of their own privacy and Governments must support them, and today with some care our technology can help us.

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