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666 unwittingly exposing callers to unscrupulous political lists?

By I-filed - 7 June 2012 22

A few Fridays ago I texted ABC local radio 666 with a comment on a traffic issue – signing off with only my first name.

I was surprised to receive a call on my phone from an ACT Government ministerial adviser a few days later. It wasn’t an unpleasant call, but it wasn’t welcome or expected – and what on earth was the ABC doing passing my private phone number to politicians, when they are not bound by any privacy legislation whatsoever?

Now of course my name and number will almost certainly have been recorded on an ALP database and with the aforementioned lack of regulation I can’t even find out whether that’s the case, or ask for it to be removed.

Did the ABC breach any privacy laws, or was it merely a breach of faith? Am I wrong in expecting that 666 should have checked with me before passing my details to a third party?

What’s Your opinion?


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22 Responses to
666 unwittingly exposing callers to unscrupulous political lists?
SnapperJack 5:18 pm 07 Jun 12

First world problems …

schmeah 4:50 pm 07 Jun 12

So is your biggest gripe that you think the ALP will start sending you junk mail? Oh the humanity ..

I think average Jo would be surprised at how enormous political databases are, and while it’s not that hard to be removed from receiving such spam (a couple of phone calls and emails will do it) it takes a while because organisations usually employ volunteers and grannies to do such mundane tasks.

johnboy 3:20 pm 07 Jun 12

Political databases are a big issue and highly rapacious:

http://democratic.audit.anu.edu.au/papers/200410_van_ons_dbases.pdf

colourful sydney rac 3:18 pm 07 Jun 12

What is the basis for the claim that ‘Now of course my name and number will almost certainly have been recorded on an ALP database’?

It sounds like you had a whinge about a traffic problem (presumably on Chief Minister talkback) that was not resolved on air, someone from the relevant Ministers office has contacted you to find out the details of the problem.

Isn’t that a good thing?

Deckard 3:06 pm 07 Jun 12

Were they calling you regarding the traffic problem you texted about? If so that sounds like they just wanted clarification and were maybe trying to help you out. Why would you text them if you didn’t want someone to help you?

If they were calling you trying to get you to vote for them at the next election then that’s another story.

HenryBG 2:45 pm 07 Jun 12

Madam Cholet said :

Was it for the traffic talk back segment in the arvo (now defunct) or was it Chiefly Ministers talk back? I have heard them say from time to time that they will pass un-read (as in not read out live on radio), messages on to who ever is answering the questions. Doesn’t mean they have to pass on numbers though.

call the ALP and ask fro your number to be removed from their DB.

Yes, I’ve heard them say that as well. “I’ll get your details and have somebody from the Department call you back”. The details are held by the ABC.
Perhaps they all assume that somebody trying to participate in the discussion will have the integrity to put their point of view forward to a government official tasked with fixing whatever the issue is?

I-filed 2:28 pm 07 Jun 12

djk said :

I dont really see the link between texting 666 and the ACT Gov adviser calling you – why are you so sure that is how they got your number?

Because the caller told me.

p1 12:13 pm 07 Jun 12

Madam Cholet said :

call the ALP and ask fro your number to be removed from their DB.

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha [take breath] ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha haha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Madam Cholet 11:47 am 07 Jun 12

Was it for the traffic talk back segment in the arvo (now defunct) or was it Chiefly Ministers talk back? I have heard them say from time to time that they will pass un-read (as in not read out live on radio), messages on to who ever is answering the questions. Doesn’t mean they have to pass on numbers though.

call the ALP and ask fro your number to be removed from their DB.

pajs 10:55 am 07 Jun 12

How do you know the ABC passed your private phone number to a politician?

Skidbladnir 10:48 am 07 Jun 12

Complaints:

Email: Use this form
Call: 139 994
Write: ABC Audience & Consumer Affairs
GPO BOX 9994
In your capital city
Telephone Typewriter: 1800 627 854

djk 10:34 am 07 Jun 12

I dont really see the link between texting 666 and the ACT Gov adviser calling you – why are you so sure that is how they got your number?

Deref 10:34 am 07 Jun 12

I hope this is a confusion of cause and effect. Please let us know how it pans out.

Holden Caulfield 10:20 am 07 Jun 12

Was there a polly in the studio at the time you sent in your text? Perhaps they were witting enough to write down your number from the screen?

No idea, just a theory.

Either way it’s a bit pants.

dungfungus 10:19 am 07 Jun 12

You should immediately contact the ABC’s Privacy Officer (doubt if there is one in Canberra so you will have to go to their head office) and lodge a complaint. Give them 7 days to respond and if you are unsatisfied with the outcome immediately go to the privacy commissioner (there is one in Canberra)
As I understand it, when you send a text message you cannot delete your phone number.
I wonder did they also pass on your details to the opposition?

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