Labor green lights police access to QR code data

Confirmation that the Andrews Labor Government will continue to enable government agencies to access confidential QR code data is a further blow to community confidence in Labor’s delayed mandatory QR code system. 

Today at Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearings, Acting Minister for Police and Emergency Services Danny Pearson, has stated he would be “very reluctant”  to block Victoria Police accessing Victorians’ confidential QR code data – despite announcing the data gathered was only to be used by the Department of Health for contact tracing purposes in November 2020.

Furthermore, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton confirmed at PAEC that Victoria Police has sought to access ServiceVic QR code data on three separate occasions since December 2020, with no data being accessed due to the lack of a court warrant.

This revelation follows the urgent introduction of legislation in Western Australia to block police from accessing QR code data, after a business’s check-in data was provided to WA Police for two criminal investigations.

With Labor’s QR code only becoming mandatory months after New South Wales and other states, the last thing Victorians need is another reason not to use this important tool.

Community confidence is key to compliance and the Andrews Labor Government must act to block access to this data for any reason other than contact tracing.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Police and Crime Prevention, David Southwick:

“With Labor’s mandatory QR code already months behind other states, the last thing we need is another blow to community confidence and compliance.

“No one signed up to this system for anything other than contact tracing and with Western Australia acting on this issue, why is Victoria going it alone and jeopardising the integrity of the whole QR code system?

“The Andrews Labor Government must now act and urgently introduce new legislation to ensure QR code data is used only for contact tracing purposes as it promised.”

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