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Aust.: Iemma dumps privacy for national ID card

Iemma dumps privacy for national ID card

Greens MP and justice spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said today Premier
Iemma's support for a national ID card shows the government's complete disregard for protecting the privacy of people living in NSW.

"The Premier's plea that the PM look into an ID card comes as no surprise considering NSW Labor itself recently introduced a Photo ID card with very feeble privacy protections," said Ms Rhiannon.

"Iemma's backing of a national ID card is little more than a distraction and a bankrupt, non-solution.

"NSW's privacy laws are weak and need an overhaul. But the government is over a year late in tabling a review of the Privacy Act, due 30 November 2004.

"In the last three years the government has crippled Privacy NSW by robbing it of expert staff and failing to appoint a permanent Privacy Commissioner.

"The Acting Privacy Commissioner, John Dickie, has been described by privacy experts as 'asleep at the wheel'. In November 2005 Mr Dickie said he could see no threat to privacy from the draconian terrorism laws that passed through federal and NSW parliaments.

"The NSW Premier is ignoring expert advice when he claims an ID card is the solution to terrorism, fraud and crime.

"The UK Home Secretary Charles Clarke has admitted a national ID card would have not have stopped the London bombings.

"Combating terrorism is best approached via targeted strategies, like increasing resources for intelligence services and improving border security.

"The UK experience is that a national ID card is also far more costly to implement than the costs of problems it seeks to solve.

"Iemma should instead focus on strengthening privacy laws and reinstating the independence and bite of the NSW Privacy Commissioner," said Ms Rhiannon.

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