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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Open Letter to Politicians - Data Theft by Employees

Good morning all Politicians,

If an employee has access to confidential information that can be used for identity theft they may decide to use this information themselves to make purchases, pass it to a competitor, set up a competitive business or pass it to an identity thief.

Recent changes to the Privacy Act (Privacy Amendment - Enhancing Privacy Protection Bill 2012) could see the employer heavily fined for breaches of privacy yet the employee remains totally immune from prosecution.

A recent multimillion dollar data theft from a Sydney based sports injury facility cannot be investigated by Police as there is no legislation that will allow them to charge the persons involved despite the weight of evidence available to them.

Thousands of patients were compromised and under the guidelines of OAIC were notified of the breach. Under the recently enacted 'Enhancing Privacy Protection Bill 2012' the centre could be liable for heavy fines (as of march 2014) yet the data thieves continue to remain immune from prosecution.

The Attorney General Nicola Roxon, the Minister For Health Tanya Plibersek and much of the business community are completely naive to the fact there are absolutely no laws which will allow Police to charge employees who steal critical data assets.

Both Ms Nicola Roxon and Ms Tanya Plibersek continue to insist employees can be charged under the Crimes Act 1900 section 308H and have replied to our correspondence accordingly.

We have been writing to both these ministers for over two years including providing correspondence from NSW Police which confirms that 'employees cannot be charged' under the Crimes Act or any other current legislation if they steal data from their employer.

Recently Ms Roxon admitted, at a Canberra Press Conference, that the greatest threat to data security within Government is corrupted public servants. Recent surveys have indicated that over 70% of data thefts are committed by insiders.

We hope that you may be able to help champion a lobby to correct this huge gap in legislation which is costing business billions of dollars and breaching the privacy of literally millions of Australians.

We look forward to your support for the introduction of legislation that will allow Police to charge employees who steal critical data assets from their employer.

Kind regards

Brad Robinson
Data Theft Australia

datatheft.au@gmail.com
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