Friday Flash Poll: Are unsolicited messages an invasion of privacy?

Many Australians are calling for Privacy Act exemptions for pollies to be changed.

Are unsolicited SMS messages an invasion of privacy?

Millions of Australians have been receiving unsolicited political text messages from Clive Palmer's United Australia Party (UAP), with many questioning how he got their number.

While the messages are permitted under the Electoral Act, many Australians are calling for a removal of exemptions to the Privacy Act enjoyed by political parties that allow them to access voter information and send such messages.

Political parties, as well as their contractors, can use the personal information of Australians without clear consent, regardless of whether recipients are on the national Do Not Call register, and there is no way to block such messages.

According to an Australian Communications and Media Authority spokesperson, non-commercial SMS about political or charitable matters are generally allowed under the Do Not Call Register Act and the Spam Act.

So it would seem that data collection, voter profiling and targeted messages are now synonymous with the modern political campaign.

The first round of SMS messages from UAP came through last week, calling for voters to ‘Make Australia Great’ – a message eerily similar to Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign slogan.

Many recipients called the unsolicited text messages “completely inappropriate” and expressed concern over how the party got their numbers.

Mr Palmer said around 5.6 million phones received the messages and that he didn’t know how the numbers were obtained.

“I don't know that personally, we don't have the list of course,” he said.

“Under the Privacy Act all registered political parties are entitled to contact Australians via text.”

Mr Palmer defended his use of unsolicited messages and said he would continue to use them to his party’s advantage.

However, the most recent use of this technology came with a cryptic message stating: “United Australia Party will ban unsolicited political text messages which Labor & Liberal have allowed”.

Senator Brian Burston, the only UAP member serving in parliament, said he was not aware of the party text messages, and that while he did not find the texts offensive, he would consider banning them if re-elected.

“It's something that you can just delete or ignore. Same as Facebook, if you get abusive or un-useful messages on Facebook you can just ignore them or delete them,” he said.

“I would support a ban on them because some people may be offended. Or rather than ban them, just allow people to unsubscribe.”

Today, we’re asking you if you think political parties should be able to send you unsolicited text messages. So take part in our Friday Flash Poll and send us your opinion on how the Privacy Act works for political parties.

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And of course, we’d love to read your opinions in the comments section below.





    COMMENTS

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    Maggie May
    18th Jan 2019
    10:19am
    "Is this an invasion of your privacy, or are you happy to accept that it’s part of modern-day electioneering?"
    I voted undecided, although I wanted to answer YES, it's an invasion of my privacy;
    BUT I did NOT want to vote yes I am happy to accept it's part of modern-day electioneering.
    PLEASE take more care when formulating questions - KISS, Keep It Simple is a good strategy.
    Sconny
    18th Jan 2019
    11:26am
    exactly right Maggie May...whoever formulated that particular ambiguous question is probably in a rush to get back to High School
    Charlie
    18th Jan 2019
    12:02pm
    Same here, like a trick question
    TREBOR
    18th Jan 2019
    12:08pm
    Well... where did they bury the survivors?
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    6:29pm
    So Palmer seeks to outlaw the very activity he's engaging in. The man is a hypocrite and a fool. Small wonder Lothario likes him.
    musicveg
    19th Jan 2019
    5:11pm
    I was confused with that question too, Yes it is an invasion of privacy, no I do not except it as part of modern day electioneering (is that even a word?).

    18th Jan 2019
    10:56am
    Good on ya Clive for using technology to get your message across to the dumb masses
    Get elected and shake up the joint
    Get rid of the communists and socialists please
    CountryCatkin
    18th Jan 2019
    12:03pm
    Lothario?? Really??
    As a right wing voter, I'd rather vote for socialism than this rorting drop kick.
    At least socialism thinks of other people and their welfare.
    TREBOR
    18th Jan 2019
    12:09pm
    **gives the devil head salute** ... Fascisti!!

    'dumb masses' (LMAO)

    'communists and socialists' (LMAO)

    You're showing your age (mental or otherwise) again...
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    1:39pm
    anything intelligent to add Trebore?
    don't think so, nothing but childish comments and insults from a NFI

    Catkin - people like Clive contributed billions to our economy and employed thousands , paid billions in taxes. you stick to your backward idiotic socialist ideas
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    4:24pm
    Clive is still also being asked to pay the sacked workers from his nickel company, so far taxpayers have paid out millions to the sacked workers under a Federal Govt scheme.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    6:25pm
    So that moron Palmer utilizes the very thing he promises to ban. What a stupid hypocrite. you'd be right at home with him in the unintelligence stakes, Lothari(di)o(t).
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    6:33pm
    You’re so dumb you do not appreciate Palmers sense of humor and irony
    A brilliant stroke by Clive
    ardnher
    20th Jan 2019
    1:31pm
    it will be interesting to see how many idiots vote for Palmer. A man who still owes money to his nickel workers even though he denies it. Supposedly worth over a billion dollars. Why on earth does he want to be in parliament anyway?

    Election analyst and ABC commentator Antony Green has rated Mr Palmer's political chances in the seat of Herbert as “nil”.

    His name is mud in the area so I believe.
    KayJay
    18th Jan 2019
    11:08am
    One of the latter questions was extremely poorly constructed. It consisted of two parts, more or less as follows 'do you think these messages should be allowed, or are they an invasion of privacy?' The options to answer were 'yes', 'no', or 'undecided'. My thoughts for the first part is that the SMS messages should not be allowed (as the telephone is for my use, not theirs), and for the second part is that it is much more than an invasion of privacy.
    Thus, I want to answer no to one part and yes to the other. I am not undecided, so that answer is not appropriate. However, no matter what I answer it can not be interpreted in the way that I want. This is a form of a 'trick question', as used by barristers and politicians. Please Folks, if you really wish to obtain some knowledge of how people think or feel, do not ask 'two in one' or other forms of 'trick questions'.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    11:10am
    That's the reason I don't get involved in polls on this site, KayJay, they often contain loaded questions.
    Arvo
    18th Jan 2019
    12:51pm
    You are correct KayJay-it's a conflicting question-otherwise known as a tricky question. The answer has to be "undecided" (logic) or the question totally ignored (in disgust).
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    1:14pm
    Doesn't matter who you complain too in the admin at YLC'S no one ever answers a question, funny thing I did get a reply from one, Olga, but she no longer works for them, so how come the Friday Funnies are supposed to be from her?.
    etnorb
    18th Jan 2019
    11:20am
    How dare this buffoon send out unsolicited emails, especially when one of his major planks of his so-called campaign, is to stop bloody unsolicited emails! I am heartily sick of his damn TV adverts as well! This loser is sadly yet another would-be politician who thinks his ideas & so-called policies mean a damn to any "normal thinking" Australian! We do not "need" him back in the rabble of our Federal Parliament, we have enough bloody idiots from this so-called "liberal/country" mob now!
    Seadove
    18th Jan 2019
    11:30am
    Totally agree etnorb, he should be paying back all those previous employees he diddled out of their entitlements and keeping out of politics.
    Symo
    18th Jan 2019
    11:45am
    Unfortunately most mass text messages like this just use random number generators to produce phone numbers, and then those numbers are geo-targeted so they can be sent to specific locations/states.
    Arvo
    18th Jan 2019
    12:58pm
    This moron is so full of himself that he lives a deluded life believing that he can intrude and impose himself on other people.
    musicveg
    19th Jan 2019
    5:12pm
    And the huge billboards!
    CountryCatkin
    18th Jan 2019
    11:35am
    I was furious that this buffoon who is a liability to Australia owing to his previous business deals, has the audacity to send these texts. Likewise I was not impressed with the invasion of privacy question. Clive Palmer has a lot to answer for and his workers have been largely ignored. I wouldn't vote for his UAP in a fit, but there are dummies out there who will.
    Sconny
    18th Jan 2019
    11:37am
    Is this the same Clive Palmer that when his company Queensland Nickel went bust is alleged to have said that QN's workers payments and entitlements were not his responsibility ? Federal Politics has enough idiots in it already on both sides
    Sundays
    18th Jan 2019
    4:25pm
    Yes, and the same man who took a very viable resort, Hyatt Coolum which employed 3,000 Locals, held the PGA at one stage and completely decimated it. Now it’s an empty white elephant
    Buggsie
    18th Jan 2019
    11:58am
    Why would anyone with any sense at all want to get unsolicited message from anyone, particularly our current political crop of numbskulls. Damn right its an invasion of my privacy and ther practice should be stopped. Buggsie
    Charlie
    18th Jan 2019
    12:08pm
    When they get rid of that, they can get rid of the Indian Scammers claiming to be from "Windows or the Telstra Department... According to many u tube videos, they continue to annoy people all throughout the civilized world.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    6:31pm
    Maybe start a war between China and India so they nuke each other. That'd solve a lot of problems.
    Wstaton
    18th Jan 2019
    12:18pm
    Most mobile phones allow you to ignore and tag certain telephone numbers. Unfortunately there seems that spam messages (yes I consider palmers messages as spam) are getting through without a telephone number showing. This doesn't always help as spammers just change telephone numbers. Some mobiles have a "do not disturb" option but I do not know if this works.

    I personally have all my known telephone numbers in my contact list. If I get a call and it is not in my list. I answer and then if I find it is a telemarketer I then add it to my auto reject list. As for sms I do not think that even politicians should be allowed to send texts without a telephone number or that they should be able to send text's anyway. SMS was brought about for personal interaction between people not for spammers. We have enough of those with email.
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    1:20pm
    I rang Telstra about these phone messages from overseas to put a stop to them and was told that these scammers buy Australian phone no's and also use the internet to call, they get at you every which way.
    Jennie
    18th Jan 2019
    12:18pm
    “United Australia Party will ban unsolicited political text messages which Labor & Liberal have allowed”.
    What! Palmer sends an unsolicited text message complaining about unsolicited text messages.
    Duh.
    KSS
    18th Jan 2019
    2:02pm
    That was my thought too. Perhaps he could show leadership now and ban his own unsolicited spam messages first.
    Jennie
    18th Jan 2019
    2:19pm
    Good thinking KSS!
    Troubadour
    18th Jan 2019
    7:40pm
    Totally my thoughts too - it just did not make sense, then again not
    much this man has to say does!! How did they get our numbers in the first place - this is the 2nd text I have had from his party.
    The Librarian
    18th Jan 2019
    12:21pm
    No not an invasion of privacy as that is not compromised by receiving a text message. Like most advertising boring and unwanted. Would never get my vote even if I was living in the right area.
    KB
    18th Jan 2019
    12:42pm
    I do not have a mobile phone but yes I it I an invasion of privacy particularly when you get have a private phone number. Have had former political messages such as Medicare go straight to my answering machine. Private number is private and should not be used in such a manner. My daughter has a friend who received a text message via Clive Palmer Obviously aiming for younger voters in their mid twenties
    KSS
    18th Jan 2019
    2:04pm
    Not so KB. I have received many of these from Mr Palmer and I can assure you I am well over mid twenties.
    Fisherman
    18th Jan 2019
    12:42pm
    In our Australian environment, everything is linked to your driver's licence and mobile phone number. Identity theft and unauthorized use of personal information by criminal organizations, government agencies, intelligence services and other riff raff are growing problems. Only the cases where a death is involved ever gets into the Murdoch media. The Australian Government mantra is that if we have nothing to hide we don't need privacy laws. When the Australian Government is prepared to share its secrets with me, then they can look at mine!
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    6:34pm
    "The Australian Government mantra is that if we have nothing to hide we don't need privacy laws."

    This shows that the Lieberal-Hillbilly COALition are fascists.
    Bes
    18th Jan 2019
    12:46pm
    Unsolicited? Like the Labor Medicare scare? I don't think that Palmer was the one who instigated this system by any means.
    It's just that Clive has become a bit of a joke and he is 'current' again and everyone wants to put him down again!
    A bit like old Donald really....the man who apparently should not have won the US election! In most peoples minds it's simply because he's Donald Trump and no need to look further.
    But back to Clive, with all of the media coverage he's garnered and really covering more ground than he could ever have hoped for!
    And it makes one wonder.....who is Clive's return hurting most? They are certainly taking it seriously and collectively shouting loud about him! (again....OH the publicity!)
    Robo calls seem to be the norm of today. I actually feel disappointed if I don't get a call from my Asian friend from 'Telstra Technical Department' or the 'Accident Department' or on behalf of the ATO?
    AND no one can stop them apparently, or no one is really interested!
    Maybe because plain and simply they're not Clive and of course Clive can do much more harm than ' International scammers' who steal money.
    When really one just needs to 'not' vote for him?
    Maybe those who fear most about Clive's comeback will use a 'robo' call of their own (again) against Clive's 'robo' call?
    Or are they envious because Clive got in first this time?
    Happy Election Peep's.
    midnight
    18th Jan 2019
    12:54pm
    You posted one question that required two separate answers. "Is this an invasion of your privacy, or are you happy to accept that it is part of modern day Electioneering?" To the first part I would have answered YES, to the second part I would have answered NO. Therefore the answers that you are receiving are not tenable.
    Old Geezer
    18th Jan 2019
    12:55pm
    The only messages I want to receive are emergency ones. Like they sent out last year for cyclone Debbie.
    Jen50
    18th Jan 2019
    12:58pm
    I have two answers for the question “Is this an invasion of your privacy, or are you happy to accept that it’s part of modern-day electioneering?” The first one is Yes” and the second ne is “No”. It’s one of those ridiculous survey questions that give inaccurate results which, I am sure in some cases, are designed that way.
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    1:23pm
    No one is listening at YLC'S, they never reply to any of my emails, I think it is run by robots.
    Karl Marx
    18th Jan 2019
    1:13pm
    ALL political & unsolicited texts should be banned by law, but they'll get around it somehow by sending the text from Russia or China who will just deny everything.
    Allowing text messages is just another form of trying to manipulate a result.
    We have to sit through enough rubbish with TV, Radio etc.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    1:41pm
    communist hypocrite
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    2:41pm
    Who are you calling a communist hypocrite Lothario?, I cannot see any thing in 1984's comments that would lead you to that conclusion.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    3:16pm
    Only communists ban free speech , freedom of expression and the holding of free and fair elections
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    3:33pm
    1984 is not talking about free speech but unsolicited texts, are you happy to have every Tom, Dick and Harry text you any time , all the time, Lothario, with whatever they want to sell, say, promote etc?.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    4:06pm
    I have no issues
    You need to chill
    I see advertising signs everywhere on the streets , ads on tv radio etc etc
    Get with the 21st century already
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    4:28pm
    What part of text messages do you not understand Lothario, no one is talking about ads on TV, radio etc, but phone messages.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    4:59pm
    You’re so dumb it’s not funny
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    6:37pm
    "communist hypocrite " says the Rightard scumbag. Right-wing governments ban free speech too, idiot.
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    7:19pm
    And you are a bully Lothario, name calling will get you nowhere.
    Karl Marx
    18th Jan 2019
    7:43pm
    Lothario, Unsolicited texts are not free speech, same as spam in your inbox.
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    1:15pm
    I think by the time the election comes around people will be so sick and tired of all these ads they will put Clive last.
    Old Geezer
    18th Jan 2019
    1:27pm
    Nope I am putting Labor last myself.
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    1:42pm
    At least Clive will do what he thinks is best for the country
    Shorten will only do whats best for him
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    1:44pm
    That is your prerogative OG, we are lucky to be able to vote for who we like in this country.
    Sundays
    18th Jan 2019
    4:42pm
    Now you’ve really lost the plot Lothario. Clive Palmer only thinks of himself. Just ask the thousands of former employees in Mackay, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast who he left high and dry
    Anonymous
    18th Jan 2019
    6:38pm
    I'll be putting the Lieberals last and the ALP on top.
    Karl Marx
    18th Jan 2019
    7:51pm
    Yes Sundays. left a lot of families out of pocket by tens of thousands of dollars. Except for his nephew Clive Mensink who was & probably still is being paid thousands while still on the run from Australian authorities
    But remember Lothario loves Clive because Clive is one the the big end of town buddies.
    Angelique
    18th Jan 2019
    1:38pm
    I do not feel any outrage or that it is an invasion of my privacy. Other parties have sent texts in the past and it is very easy to hit "delete".
    Adrianus
    18th Jan 2019
    1:51pm
    What I object to is the dishonesty of some who send out messages pretending to be Medicare or the like. At least Clive Palmer is being honest about who he is and what his intentions are.
    Every time I think of that Medicare scam it makes me sick to think that some will stoop so low.
    sunnyOz
    18th Jan 2019
    2:35pm
    Answer to simple question? - YES!! I have been receiving some SMS messages to my private mobile number (I have 2 mobiles, one specifically for private, one for other). With my private home address (I always use my postal address), my full name (including middle name and status), and DOB.
    After recently getting a message from a real estate company offering to sell my house (I have made no approach to anyone to sell it), I phoned the company and asked where they had got my details from. I was stunned to be told they could not tell me - 'for privacy reasons'. I have also found that some businesses - when I clearly state that I do NOT want to get any marketing materials - within a day I am getting emails from them or associated businesses... Eg - I recently took my little dog to a dog wash place, they send SMS to remind about bookings. I clearly stated NO - yet that afternoon received an SMS offering discount prices for a certain dog food. That is NOT coincidence.
    So it is alright for someone to pass on (more probably sell) my details, but not OK for me to know who to. At least half my daily SMS's that I get would be junk. Despite having a strong malware on my mobile, nothing can stop these junk, invasive SMS's.
    ElleEB
    18th Jan 2019
    4:03pm
    I’m unable to participate in this survey. Please check your wording before submitting to print.
    An option that reflects my opinion doesn’t exist.
    As previously stated the phone is for my use, not Politicians.
    Oz
    18th Jan 2019
    4:54pm
    "Is this an invasion of your privacy, or are you happy to accept that it’s part of modern-day electioneering?"
    This is a double-barrelled question ... please word your questions more carefully.
    "Is this an invasion of your privacy?"
    "Are you happy to accept that it’s part of modern-day electioneering?"
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    4:58pm
    TYLC'S admin will take no notice Oz, I do not think they bother to check any of these comments, in fact I think that place is run by robots, they never answer emails.
    Ritza
    18th Jan 2019
    5:35pm
    Clive did not pay his workers,took a cruise with extended family and still no nephew back here to explain finances.
    Vote Clive in to get his hands on government $$$$. .?
    He is our Donald Trump.
    PS he has money for advertising ?
    Ritza
    18th Jan 2019
    5:39pm
    No no no
    Pay workers, bring back nephew to show finances etc etc
    Clive does not get his greedy hands on govt money
    But he has $$$$ for advertising . Please Queensland Pauline, FRaser and the other racist idiot. The quota is filled !
    Dollars over Respect?
    18th Jan 2019
    7:19pm
    I am so sick of unwanted sms and emails - if anything, this party's invasion of my privacy stirs anger (and I'm not an angry person) - especially when the message is of no interest. I resent vehemently such violations. I prefer to choose for myself who I want to communicate with or have access to my address and personal information such as my telephone number or email address.
    H
    18th Jan 2019
    8:29pm
    Agreed Maggie May, what a dumb way to put the question first part wanted a yes , second part wanted a no?? YLC's needs to have a look carefully before they post polls, or are they trying to dodgie the outcome?
    I also got a text from UAP bagging unsolicited sms from other parties and then sends me unsolicited sms?
    Really need to wake up to them selves.
    Misty
    18th Jan 2019
    10:39pm
    No good complaining to YLC'S admin H, no one there ever answers and I am sure no one is reading these comments or monitoring the site, people say what they like here, call one another names, are rude, insulting and bullying and nothing is ever done about it.
    wendan31
    19th Jan 2019
    12:46am
    It doesn't worry me one way or the other, if I receive something I don't want or like I simply delete the message - with the political sms it was good to be able to read what Clive Palmer is saying whether I agree with his policies or not - I have had another WA pollie send a message, I have never heard of this fellow and asked why do we only hear from them when there is an election on the move, who was he, what has he done etc, didn't get much of an answer, just that th papparazie don't print much of his works - said it all for me.
    Anonymous
    19th Jan 2019
    10:36am
    Great attitude wendan
    One of the few sane voices on here
    Most others are whinging negative nut jobs
    SusanF
    19th Jan 2019
    10:33am
    I also voted “Undecided” like Maggie May I agree with her it is an
    Ambiguous question.
    It certainly is an invasion of our privacy.
    OnlyDaughter
    19th Jan 2019
    12:08pm
    I think Lothario is a fraud. I think he posts on this site for fun and to stir the pot, as it were. And in this, he most definitely succeeds. I know a lot of people who truly believed that Clive Palmer was going to be the saviour of the masses but now, they wouldn’t give him the time of day. Like Lothario, Clive Palmer is a fraud.
    V1K1
    19th Jan 2019
    1:55pm
    I only have one question - where the hell did he get my mobile number????
    musicveg
    19th Jan 2019
    5:17pm
    I want to know that too! There should be some transparency.
    Adrianus
    20th Jan 2019
    8:21am
    The same place Labor got it for the mediscare texts.
    V1K1
    19th Jan 2019
    1:55pm
    I only have one question - where did he get my mobile number????
    V1K1
    19th Jan 2019
    1:56pm
    Where did he get my mobile number?
    Couldabeen
    21st Jan 2019
    11:41am
    V1K1, unless the SMS was addressed to you personally by name, he did not get your mobile number. I received both texts and I do not recall them being addressed to me.
    Apart from any survey that you have entered on-line where you have been asked to give a contact phone number and the T&C's have advised you that all of your details may be provided to a third party, there are advanced data search companies that identify 'phone numbers listed in geographical areas that are then on-sold to who ever has the interest and the money.
    If you are "outraged" by a call from the UAP, make sure that you maintain the rage when you start receiving them from GetUp! and the ALP as they are committed to a bombardment to all electors living in targeted electorates.
    Remember that the Rudd/Gillard Government wanted the Government to have the right to store all metadata about every phone call and internet search that you engaged in.
    musicveg
    19th Jan 2019
    5:21pm
    You should be have the choice to block these messages, I block all the scammers and I felt annoyed that I could not opt out of these messages. It will not change my voting choices anyway. Plus he keeps putting things in my mail box too and I have to see his huge billboards when I go to a certain town nearby. You should be able to choose what you want to opt in for like emergency alerts from CFA for example.The rest should not be exempt.
    GrayComputing
    20th Jan 2019
    3:11pm
    Clive is the worst example of the Super rich robbing the poor workers to get heaps of money he doesn't really enjoy otherwise why be a politician?
    And he cant take with him\ when he dies, still they want more and more at our expense.
    Misty
    20th Jan 2019
    4:20pm
    Wouldn't he still be getting a pension from the last time he was elected?, or wasn't he there long enough?.
    Couldabeen
    21st Jan 2019
    11:33am
    Misty, probably not. He may not be eligible to receive his Parliamentary Superannuation Pension at this stage. His eligibility to receive it is the same as anyone else. He was only in Parliament for a short period and his contributions would have been relatively small.
    Adrianus
    22nd Jan 2019
    8:56am
    Its not about the money.
    The Care Bear.
    22nd Jan 2019
    7:43am
    Don't be surprised if he wins seats at the next election. Voters are greatly disillusioned with the current lot just like happened in the US
    ardnher
    23rd Apr 2019
    6:44pm
    big surge in support for Clive Palmer....must be more drongoes in Australia than I thought!!
    Misty
    23rd Apr 2019
    8:49pm
    Totally agree ardneher.


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