The Australian Privacy Foundation has joined the calls for the Centrelink automated debt recovery system to be suspended. This is along with IT experts, ACOSS, Legal Aid Victoria, Independent Andrew Wilke and Labor, all now calling for the gov to intervene.
The Australian Privacy Foundation described the system as a “clusterfuck”, that wrongly assumed the initial data matching was accurate and then abandoned procedural fairness.If I got some crazy debt letter what in the fuck could I do about it, apart from challenging it of course. How would they expect a bankrupt pensioner to pay anything?
“There’s so much that can go wrong here that it’s astounding,” the foundation’s chair, Kat Lane, said. “And falsely accusing people of things, and sending them letters, and particularly some of our most disadvantaged people … you’d want to make sure you got it absolutely right before doing that.”
Lane said the sharing of data en masse should also cause significant privacy concerns for Australians.
“This is just the thin edge of the wedge, there is a clear plan to do comprehensive data matching of every silo of government,” Lane said. “It’s tracking, you’re tracking your citizens. You can’t live under a rock, we’ve all got bank accounts, we’ve all got tax returns, we’ve got people on Centrelink … you touch the government all the time.
“But what they want to do is track you, they want to gain efficiencies by tracking you.” The Guardian
@misskylie77 @LucyXIV @Asher_Wolf Are the targeted group living in poverty/can't repay/ignorant of facts known to debtor? pic.twitter.com/l5pLGhjC3e— Belinda Barnet (@manjusrii) December 30, 2016
This is what @acccgovau says about good conduct for debt collection - is Centrelink in compliance? @AlanTudgeMP #auspol pic.twitter.com/RPwauNKKOb— Linda Burney MP (@LindaBurneyMP) December 30, 2016