Ambitious Database Collection Plan for Citizens is a Double-Edged Sword


Hacking is the new evil, lurking behind your screen. Technology has become an innate part of who we are today. It has eased us into our lives and also fashioned new, unknown threats to our safety and existence. Privacy, especially, has become a public domain. So, when the Victorian Government announces its plans to use collected database of its citizens to chart and movement from phones, in vehicle Bluetooth and GPS data, to create better infrastructure, it obviously enters a risky arena.

The transport network of Melbourne city may need constant renovations and this will give citizens an unparalleled experience, but at what risk?  The Government wants to explore collecting and using anonymized movement data. In turn it will be equipped with information that would give an insight into the travel behavior of people; travel delays, bicycle and pedestrian routes and journey reliability for travelers.

A tried and tested process, many around the world have used the format to design better systems for end users. Minister Martin Foley, who supports the technology enabled route to provide “the most efficient and effective integrated transport system”, gave examples of the process being a success in the past in Victoria, citing “Tullamarine [Freeway] widening” as evidence.

But a data pool of this magnitude would put the privacy and safety of citizens at risk says, Liberty Victoria’s president Jessie Taylor. Cyber crimes are on a rise and Australia and hacking is a serious menace. This would make hundreds and thousands of people vulnerable and easily accessible. The government assures that the privacy will not be compromised as they have the most modern and state-of-the-art tools to safeguard this information.