Police Access to COVID Check-In Data Is An Affront to Our Privacy. We Need Stronger and More Consistent Rules in Place

The Conversation 7 September 2021

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 21-92

4 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2021 Last revised: 14 Apr 2022

See all articles by Graham Greenleaf

Graham Greenleaf

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law

Katharine Kemp

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

Date Written: September 7, 2021

Abstract

There are multiple COVID surveillance tools currently in use in Australia, including proximity tracking, attendance tracking (via QR codes), COVID status certificates, and home quarantine using geo-location combined with facial recognition.

'Australian privacy authorities have released a set of five national COVID-19 privacy principles as a guide to “best practice” for governments and businesses handling personal COVID surveillance data.

But we believe these principles are vague and fail to address a range of issues, including whether or not police can access our data. We propose more detailed and consistent laws to be enacted throughout Australia, covering all COVID surveillance. We suggest a set of 10 principles.

COVID-19 has necessitated the most pervasive surveillance most of us have ever experienced. But such surveillance is really only justifiable as an emergency measure. It must not become a permanent part of state surveillance.

Keywords: COVID-19, surveillance, privacy, data protection, QR codes, proximity tracking, status certificates, home quarantine

Suggested Citation

Greenleaf, Graham and Kemp, Katharine, Police Access to COVID Check-In Data Is An Affront to Our Privacy. We Need Stronger and More Consistent Rules in Place (September 7, 2021). The Conversation 7 September 2021, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 21-92, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3922035 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3922035

Graham Greenleaf (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 2233 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 1175 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham

Katharine Kemp

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

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