Australians vote for privacy invaders

Australia's New South Wales Department of Health and the Swift financial transaction network have both received gongs at the 2006 Australian Big Brother Awards, dubbed "The Orwells".

Swift, (society for worldwide interbank financial telecommunication) along with Australian banks, won the award for being the Greatest Corporate Invader of Privacy, with the NSW Department of Health winning the gong for Most Invasive Technology for the electronic health record system.

The Swift network processes international fund transfers in Australia for the Commonwealth Bank, Wetspac and ANZ.

Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison won the award for the worst Public Agency or Official. The People's Choice Award went to former Human Services minister Joe Hockey for the Australian Access card.

The Big Brother Awards are hosted by the Australian Privacy Foundation for inappropriate breaches of personal privacy in both the public and private sector.

Judges for the 2006 Big Brother Awards included Laura Sigal, acting director and principal solicitor of the Communications Law Centre, Dean Wilson, criminologist for Monash University, Melbourne and Dr Roger Magnusson, associate professor of the Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney.