Friday, May 05, 2017
This Is Yet Another Reason To Be Wary Giving The Government Any More Information Than Is Actually Required.
This appeared a few days ago
Published: April 28 2017 - 5:06PM
The Australian Federal Police illegally obtained a journalist's phone records under the Turnbull government's new metadata retention regime, the agency announced on Friday.
The breach took place as part of an investigation into a leak of confidential police material - and the incident will now be investigated by the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin said the police officers investigating the leak did not realise they were required to obtain a warrant to access the journalist's metadata.
"This was human error. It should not have occurred. The AFP takes it very seriously and we take full responsibility for breaching the Act," Mr Colvin said.
"There was no ill will or malice or bad intent by the officers involved who breached the Act. But simply it was a mistake."
The journalist in question had not been informed their data had been accessed, Mr Colvin said, due to sensitivities around the ongoing investigation into the leak.
The breach occurred "earlier this year" and was reported to the Ombudsman on Wednesday.
Under the revised data retention regime, police are required to obtain a warrant from a judge to seek metadata from a journalist.
"The vulnerability is the investigator needs to understand that that's their requirement," Mr Colvin said on Friday. "On this occasion, the investigator didn't."
The phone records in question were relevant to the investigation, Mr Colvin said, but "what was improper was that the right steps weren't taken to gain access to it".
The breach is the first such incident that has come to light under the government's new metadata retention regime, which requires service providers to store their customers' data for two years.
Lots more found here:
The bottom line here is that information in Government hands can potentially be access by all sorts of people for all sorts of reasons.
Realizing this it is up to each individual to make their own decisions about what they disclose voluntarily and to think through the potential consequences.
Especially when it comes to the myHR a conscious decision needs to be made – especially in the era of opt-out.
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Friday, May 05, 2017