Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Minister Hockey: Access Card like an iPod

The Federal Minister for Human Services, Joe Hockey, has compared the highly anticipated Access Card to an iPod. In his address to the National Press Club today the Minister said that a third of the card’s storage capacity would be in the hands of the individual and could be accessed and used to store information, such as blood type and emergency contact details. The Minister also responded to the report of the Consumer and Privacy Taskforce headed by Professor Allan Fels, including by not accepting its recommendations that the card remove a person’s signature and card number. Some groups claim the card could be used as an ID card and lobbied strongly for these to be removed, along with a person’s birth date. The smart card will consolidate 17 social services cards, including Medicare and Centrelink. The Government proposes to gradually introduce the card from 2008.

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