Publications Relevant to e-Privacy

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd,  2000-2003
Photo of Roger Clarke

This is a companion document to the Annotated Bibliography of my works on Dataveillance generally. It indexes papers published from 1996 to the end of 2001 that addressed privacy in the Internet context.

It was originally prepared as an attachment to my Submission to a Senate Select Committee on Information Technologies Inquiry into e-Privacy, of July 2000. See also my supplementary submission of August 2000. It was later updated to December 2001.

The sections are:

  1. The Dimensions of e-Privacy
  2. The Criticality of e-Privacy
  3. The Utter Inadequacy of Laws Based on the OECD Guidelines
  4. Corporate Behaviour
  5. The Theory of Dataveillance
  6. Specific Aspects of e-Privacy
  7. The Yet Greater Threats of Advanced Technologies
  8. e-Privacy as a Human Right

1. The Dimensions of e-Privacy

I identified the dimensions of e-privacy in 'Information Privacy On the Internet: Cyberspace Invades Personal Space', in the Telecommunication Journal of Australia 48, 2 (May/June1998). Further details are in 'Privacy On the Internet: Threats, Countermeasures and Policy' presented at seminars in Sydney in April and October 1997.

This analyis was updated in 'Current Developments in Internet Privacy', Proc. IIR Conf. Data Protection and Information Privacy, August 1999, Sydney.

A general overview of issues is provided in the form of a Book Review of Simon Davies' important book 'Monitor': 'The Information Infrastructure is a Super Eye-Way', Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 3, 5 (August 1996).

A more specific paper addresses the Promises and Threats in Electronic Commerce (August 1997, prepared as a basis for an interview by the ABC TV series, Quantum).

2. The Criticality of e-Privacy

During the late 1990s, I argued that e-Privacy issues are so significant that they will force even the hitherto intransigent U.S. Administration and Congress to create effective controls over the U.S. private sector.

A paper, 'Internet Privacy Concerns Confirm the Case for Intervention', was published in February 1999 in Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery (Commun. ACM, the flagship journal of a 100,000-member professional body), 42, 2 (February 1999) 60-67. The article was presented to the U.S. Congress as part of a briefing by the ACM in mid-1999.

3. The Utter Inadequacy of Laws Based on the OECD Guidelines

I provided an explanation of the OECD Guidelines in a 1989 paper 'The OECD Data Protection Guidelines: A Template for Evaluating Information Privacy Law and Proposals for Information Privacy Law'.

In 'Beyond the OECD Guidelines: Privacy Protection for the 21st Century' (January 2000), I drew attention to the utter inadequacy of contemporary regulatory approach of 'fair information practices', and the need to move from a 1970s view of 1960s technologies to a 21st century appreciation of what humankind is doing to itself.

The Clth Privacy Amendment (Private Sector) Act 2000 was a complete travesty, even when compared against the very modest standards of the OECD Guidelines. I expressed that view in a Submission to the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Committee in May 2000, and again to the the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee in September 2000. Those documents referred back to an earlier Submission to the Commonwealth Attorney-General in January 2000, which had explained the Bill's manifold deficiencies.

That statute has gravely exacerbated the already serious distrust between people and corporations. It is evidence of astounding and most regrettable incomprehension on the part of the Members and Senators, and failure by them to address the needs of the people that they represent. The ongoing challenges are expressed in 'Beyond the Alligators of 21/12/2001, There's a Public Policy Swamp' Proc., Marcus Evans Conferences, Sydney (October 2001).

4. Corporate Behaviour

I examined the privacy-invasiveness of direct marketing techniques in 'Direct Marketing and Privacy', Proc. AIC Conf. on the Direct Distribution of Financial Services, Sydney (February 1998).

Many corporations marketing to Australian consumers have been extremely cavalier in the handling of personal data. The unilateral 'code' established by the Australian Direct Marketing Association was attacked by virtually all consumer and privacy advocacy organisations, yet ADMA irresponsibly continues to assert that its code is privacy-protective. Criticisms of the draft code were expressed in a submission to ACCC (October 1998), and in a further submission (December 1998).

A particularly extreme initiative is the Packer / PBL / Acxiom InfoBase, which came to light in November 1999.

I provided an explanation relating to the specifics of direct marketing and e-privacy, in a paper written for, and approved by, the Australian Computer Society: 'Privacy Bill needs much more work', the Australian Computer Society column of The Australian, 15 February 2000.

Further papers in this area include:

5. The Theory of Dataveillance

The foundation analysis of the impending explosion in surveillance of people through their data rather than through visual and aural means was provided in 'Information Technology and Dataveillance', published in the international journal Comm. ACM 31,5 (May 1988), and re-published in C. Dunlop and R. Kling (Eds.), 'Controversies in Computing', Academic Press, 1991.

A populist rendition is in 'Dataveillance: Delivering 1984', a chapter in Green L. & Guinery R. (Eds.) 'Framing Technology: Society, Choice and Change' Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1994.

A literary perspective was provided in 'A 'Future Trace' on Dataveillance: Trends in the Anti-Utopia / Science Fiction Genre' (March 1993).

A central element was comprehensively examined in 'Human Identification in Information Systems: Management Challenges and Public Policy Issues' Info. Technology & People 7,4 (December 1994).

'The Digital Persona and Its Application to Data Surveillance' was published in the leading international journal, The Information Society 10,2 (June 1994). This predicted the monitoring of the 'real-life' behaviour of individuals and groups through their net behaviour.

A further vital aspect is the availability of choice among anonymous, pseudonymous and identified transactions. This was first addressed in 1995 in 'When Do They Need to Know 'Whodunnit?': The Justification for Transaction Identification' at the Computers, Freedom & Privacy Conference in San Francisco. It was addressed again in 1996, in a paper for a Sydney conference, 'Identification, Anonymity and Pseudonymity in Consumer Transactions: A Vital Systems Design and Public Policy Issue'.

A more advanced treatment was provided in 'Identified, Anonymous and Pseudonymous Transactions: The Spectrum of Choice', for a conference in Stockholm (June 1999) and in Authentication: A Sufficiently Rich Model to Enable e-Business (December 2001).

6. Specific Aspects of e-Privacy

Papers and resource-pages that examine specific matters include:

7. The Yet Greater Threats of Advanced Technologies

A description of the burgeoning surveillance apparatus is in 'While You Were Sleeping ... Surveillance Technologies Arrived', in Australian Quarterly 73, 1 (January-February 2001) 10-14.

A paper more specific to e-privacy is 'Introducing PITs and PETs: Technologies Affecting Privacy' in Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 7, 9 (March 2001), which is supported by a PITs and PETs Resources Site.

Privacy Issues in Smart Card Applications in the Retail Financial Sector were addressed in a chapter of 'Smart Cards and the Future of Your Money', Australian Commission for the Future (June 1996), pp.157-184.

The promise and peril of chip-based ID was addressed in an invited paper for the nternational Conference on Privacy, Montreal (September 1997).

Of enormous significance among the ever-growing threats are person-location and person-tracking technologies. These were examined in an invited paper for the Conference of Privacy and Data Protection Commissioners in Hong Kong in September 1999, a revised version of which was published in Information Technology & People 14, 2 (Summer 2001) 206-231.

A further paper considered privacy in the context of e-Transport, including the denial of road-usage without the provision of one's identity, and the secret extension of truck-monitoring technology to cars (July 2000).

The following series of papers addresses the technically difficult area of cryptography in general, digital signatures and public key infrastructure (PKI) in particular:

A further, very serious concern is 'Biometrics and Privacy' (April 2001).

8. e-Privacy as a Human Right

The scene for this topic was set by two overview papers:

A more recent expression is in 'Ethics and the Internet: The Cyberspace Behaviour of People, Communities and Organisations', Proc. 6th Annual Conf. Aust. Association for Professional and Applied Ethics, Canberra, October 1999, a revised version of which was published in the Bus. & Prof'l Ethics J. 18, 3&4 (1999) 153-167).

The role of I.T. professionals is addressed in 'Economic, Legal and Social Implications of Information Technology', in the international journal MIS Qtly 12,4 (December 1988) 517-9.

xamaxsmall.gif missing
The content and infrastructure for these community service pages are provided by Roger Clarke through his consultancy company, Xamax.

From the site's beginnings in August 1994 until February 2009, the infrastructure was provided by the Australian National University. During that time, the site accumulated close to 30 million hits. It passed 65 million in early 2021.

Sponsored by the Gallery, Bunhybee Grasslands, the extended Clarke Family, Knights of the Spatchcock and their drummer
Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd
ACN: 002 360 456
78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
Tel: +61 2 6288 6916

Created: 30 July 2000 - Last Amended: 31 January 2009 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
This document is at
Mail to Webmaster   -    © Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 1995-2022   -    Privacy Policy