In the three weeks since the first sitting of the Albanese Labor government, the major developments in the digital and cyber realms have been about robodebt royal commission and the COVIDSafe app.
Here’s what I’ve noticed.
- The Third report on the operation and effectiveness of COVIDSafe and the National COVIDSafe data Store was tabled on 11 August. It wasn’t exactly complimentary. The day before the Guardian headline was Australia retires $21m CovidSafe contact-tracing app that found just two unique cases.
- Last year the Productivity Commission reported on the so-called “right to repair”. This issue hit the news again this month: Hacker Sick Codes says cybersecurity in agtech is no game after viral John Deere tractor hack. It remains to be seen whether this finds a place on the parliamentary agenda.
- This week the Productivity Commission released their 5 Year Productivity Inquiry: Australia’s data and digital dividend: Interim report 2. Public submissions and brief comments on this report are open until 7 October.
- The lastest report on the Effectiveness and capability review of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission was tabled on 25 August. As InnovationAus.com reported, ASIC “‘requires a substantial uplift in its data and technology capability’ alongside a ‘material cultural change’.” It’ll be interesting to see whether that happens.
- Also on 25 August, the government announced a royal commission into “into the former debt assessment and recovery scheme commonly known as Robodebt”. You might want to read these two ABC stories, A Robodebt royal commission has been announced. Here’s how we got to this point, and A royal commission is set to review Robodebt. Its legacy is still hanging over Centrelink recipients today.
(There’s lots of other stories too, and much credit goes to the journalists and activists who kept hammering the government about this travesty and perhaps even crime. Those ABC stories are just some of those I happened to read this week.)
And one from last month:
- The supposedly-rygent 2019 Digital Review (PDF) was quietly released by the Digital Transformation Agency. InnovationAus.com gave it a slow hand clap. Once more, the review had very little positive to say about the government’s ability to computer.
Please let me know if I’ve missed anything, or if there’s any specific items you’d like me to follow.
Parliament resumes on Monday 5 September, so the next post in this series will appear the day before, when we should have some indications of the legislative program.