McNealy poo poos privacy concerns

The Australian government should create a secure and customised Web page for everyone in Australia through a myaustralia.gov.au portal, says Sun Microsystems' chairman and CEO.

Speaking at The National Press Club, Scott McNealy said the government owed it to its citizens to provide information from a browser and that there was a huge opportunity for the government to use messaging and the Internet.

"I believe there is an opportunity for the government to create a common directory for every citizen and publish all government services online. All relevant information for each customer should be personalised for their own Web page," McNealy said.

"Medical records should be online and every ambulance driver should be able to tap into your records; isn't letting them have access better than dying?"

McNealy also advocated a national identification smart card. He believes Australians shouldn't be concerned about the government building a profile on each individual from the use of this sort of card. The issue of privacy and the Internet is out of control; people are being hysterical about it, McNealy said.

"The government already knows how much money you make and your other problems and issues."

"There are two reasons for needing privacy. One is that you are ashamed of what you are doing and secondly, for example, for health reasons or whatever and you deserve privacy. Privacy has never been absolute. It you want privacy, don't tell anyone anything, shop with a mask on and only buy with cash."

McNealy said businesses and government just need to be more responsible and only use information in the way they "opted in on".

"The problem is that often the information is opted out. It is hard to unsubscribe as they know you are alive. We need to allow people to choose to have information, ask people if they want to receive something. It should be easy to opt in and to 'unopt' in," McNealy said.

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