Greens Leader Adam Bandt has introduced the Privacy (COVID Check-in Data) Bill 2021 into the House of Representatives today.
The bill addresses growing privacy concerns about the use of Covid check-in data by police, which may dissuade people from using check-in apps. It places a clear ban on check-in data being used by Commonwealth, State or Territory authorities for law enforcement purposes, ending the different rules that apply in different states and territories. Some jurisdictions have already banned the use of check-in data for law enforcement and this bill would make the ban nationwide.
Mr Bandt has previously written to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition requesting their urgent support for the passage of the bill. A copy of the letter is attached.
Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP:
“People won't cop the police snooping on their check-in data. If we don’t close these loopholes, one of our key COVID protections could degrade.”
“Going to the pub or a cafe shouldn’t mean telling the police where you are or have been.”
“Check-in data should be used for contact tracing and nothing else.”
“The national opening-up plan is built on vaccines and continued contact tracing, so if people don’t use the check-in apps the plan falls over.”
“Police will always collect any information they can get and that is what has been happening. We need a nationally consistent approach and a clear rule that check-in data is only used for contact tracing, because that’s how we support our public health system.”
“As restrictions ease and people again move across States and Territories more freely, it is important to have a nationally consistent approach so that people feel comfortable scanning in wherever they are.”
“Parliament needs to fix this problem before the end of the year. I call on the PM and Leader of the Opposition to get on board.”