Victoria must ban police from accessing QR code data

Australian Greens

The Victorian Greens have called on the Victorian Government to follow WA’s lead and ban police from accessing QR code data currently being used for contact tracing.

Recent reports reveal that Victoria Police tried to access QR code check-in data three times at the end of last year as part of a criminal investigation.

These attempts were rebuffed by state government departments at the time, however the Acting Police Minister has now said he wants the option to remain available to police for serious cases.

Victorian Greens spokesperson for health and justice, Dr Tim Read, said Victorians doing the right thing and checking-in to help us stay safe from COVID shouldn’t need to worry about their details being used for any other purpose.

To control COVID it’s reasonable to ask us to check in with QR codes, but it’s not reasonable to make the data available for police, and that won’t encourage broad acceptance of QR code check-ins, Dr Read added.

Granting Victoria Police this overreach during a pandemic would set a worrying precedent for surveillance of citizens.

As stated by Victorian Greens spokesperson for health and justice, Dr Tim Read:

“If these QR codes were set-up as a health measure to contact trace and keep Victorians safe from COVID, the government can’t now flip the script and say they can also be used by police.

“The pandemic should never be used as a free pass for police overreach.”

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.