IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK

Social Media Law & Policy – Australian News

Is AHPRA on the right track re social media use by health professionals? …
from the Crikey (blog)
Those interested in the potential for social media to help improve healthcare and the community’s health are expressing concerns about a preliminary consultation paper on social media policy from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

Crikeys post on AHPRA, health practitioners and social media is followed by a long list of comments from people who are already using social media. Both sides about tricky policy creation and well worth reading.

Shear on Social Media Law: Will Australia’s proposed digital data retention law…
From Shears Social Media Blog

Governments around the world are trying to determine how to implement digital public policy that takes into account how people are utilizing social media. Shear is one of the most prominent Internet lawyers in the States and expresses his concern regarding this issue about storage of digital data and Australian policy .

Online shopping targeted in proposed GST changes
From the Sydney Morning Herald

In Britain, value added tax is payable on most online purchases worth more than £18 ($28). In Canada the threshold is $C20 ($19) and in the US it is $US200 ($187). Mr Baird and the South Australian Treasurer, Jack Snelling, were asked by the federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, to devise a plan and timetable for the abolition of state taxes such as stamp duty by the end of the year. Mr Swan has ruled out increasing the GST as a means of replacing lost revenue to the states….

The Internet, social media, privacy and global shopping are several hundred cases of canned worms for our policy makers and legislators. Everyone is struggling to keep up with changes, and the legalities will be another thing to keep an eye on, as we engage with social media.

Health practitioners with Facebook pages and Twitter feeds need to take especial care not to cross lines of confidentiality. It really feels like a huge tug of war, as Google’s Internet encourages social media comments and rewards reviews on citation websites while media watchers and government gatekeepers try to keep privacy matters in check, to hold off new crime waves and reputation damages.

The best advice I can give is to always treat the web as you would a published document. If you don’t want it quoted back to you in ten years time, don’t “publish” it on Facebook, or anywhere else on the Internet, like forums or blog comments.

Meanwhile I’ll keep my eye out for any more social media law and policy news for Australia.