Privacy Foundation distributes awards

Federal Attorney General Daryl Williams has won an award for "his long record of profound disregard for privacy".

The Australian Privacy Foundation said Williams won its inaugural Big Brother Award for Lifetime Menace to Privacy while Justice and Customs Minister Chris Ellison was named Worst Public Official.

Members of the public lodged nominations for the awards, which were judged by a panel of seven academics, lawyers, journalists, privacy experts and civil rights campaigners.

Foundation spokesman Tim Dixon said there were many reasons why Williams won the award including the recent introduction of the ASIO legislation.

"I don't think that Daryl Williams has ever embraced civil rights and privacy protection as an important priority for his role," he said.

Instead, Williams tended to put commercial interests or national security concerns ahead of individuals' right to privacy, he said.

"They [the awards] draw attention to the way in which people are losing control of information about them, the way in which we're increasingly under surveillance," he said.

The awards were presented at a formal ceremony last night and another winner was the Internet Industry Association, which won Greatest Corporate Invader.

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