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G20 breach emphasises risks of mandatory data retention

The Australian Greens have called on the government to fast-track the implementation of a scheme to mandate notifications of data breaches, as the international community reacts to news that the personal information of 31 world leaders was compromised by the immigration department.

"This is an embarrassing international incident which highlights that no system is infallible," Senator Scott Ludlam, Greens communication spokesperson said today.

"If the information of world leaders can be breached, then what will happen when thousands of people from a range of agencies have access to the metadata of 23 million Australians as a result of the government and opposition's data retention regime?

"You can't protect against human error. Things will go wrong and the personal information will be compromised. It's the inevitable consequence of mandatory data retention.

"The Greens tried to build better safeguards into this regime, including a requirement for data to be stored for only three months, not two years, for it to be stored in Australia and destroyed in accordance with strict protocols. All of these steps were rejected by the government and the opposition.

"A mandatory data breach notification scheme was a recommendation of the PJCIS, and the government needs to meet this recommendation and implement a scheme as a matter of urgency," Senator Ludlam concluded.

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