NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione has defended police being given powers to access Opal card records as a crucial tool to ensure the “safety and security of the community”.
The police chief’s defence came as a complaint was lodged with the state’s privacy commissioner about law enforcement agencies being able to track hundreds of thousands of commuters without a warrant.
Significantly, it isn’t just the police who could access Opal card data. It’s anyone defined with law enforcement powers which, in Australia, includes over 100 different groups. That this kind of data can be accessed without warrant – data that can reveal roughly where people live, work, the kinds of places they visit, people they commonly travel with – is absolutely absurd.