Australian-based Data Subject to Patriot Act: Lawyer

Attorney Connie Carnabuci is warning that data located in Australia but owned or handled by a U.S. company could be accessed under the U.S. Patriot Act, even if it violates National Privacy Principles. Carnabuci says U.S. authorities have the ability to access data stored outside of the U.S. if they can establish a sufficient connection with the U.S and that though a formal subpoena process is in place, an informal request for information would allow for some disclosures. However, companies may have the option of requesting an exemption in some cases. She also notes the eagerness of U.S. companies to assist the U.S. government often results in sacrificing civil liberties in the greater good of national security. Carnabuci suggests companies to “consider the security and confidentiality risks posed by the Patriot Act and store their data with providers which do not have any U.S. connections.”

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