The Department of Human Services is accused of briefing a journalist about the case of welfare recipient and blogger Andie Fox, who wrote a column for Fairfax Media saying the agency “terrorised” her over an ex-partner’s debt.
Labor is attempting to suspend the business of federal parliament, accusing the Turnbull government of breaching privacy laws by leaking confidential information about Centrelink customers.
Opposition human services spokeswoman Linda Burney moved a motion in the lower house on Tuesday, arguing the government had conducted a vindictive campaign to gag those who complain about the Centrelink scandal by leaking their details to the media.
Privacy commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has confirmed agency-specific laws can "override" the Privacy Act and hand some public service bosses the power to disclose personal information.
Centrelink's decision to release a welfare recipient's personal information to a journalist is unprecedented and will have a chilling impact on public criticism, lawyers say.
Those who publicly criticise Centrelink's automated debt recovery program could have their personal information released to correct the record, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has warned.
Senior government officials have approved the release of a Centrelink recipient’s personal information to counter her public criticism of the department.
Labor has accused the Australian government of breaching privacy laws by leaking confidential information about Centrelink customers.
Centrelink is taking "revenge" on critics of its controversial debt collection activities by publicly releasing their private information, according to the federal opposition.
The Centrelink fiasco keeps getting worse, writes Ben Eltham. Now the rogue department has leaked private information about ordinary citizens who have the temerity to criticise it.
Privacy commissioner asks Department of Human Services to explain why Andie Fox’s details were publicly released