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Plans for 2019 and new features | TOTT News

We are looking forward to a big year ahead here at TOTT News! The following is an overview of things you can expect from us in 2019!

This includes increased content of all of our staple categories, such as news and feature pieces, new additions and features for subscribers and members, and much more!

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The end of natural medicine in Australia?

The Australian government has passed health insurance reform laws that end public and private health cover for a wide range of natural therapies, such as Herbalism, Yoga, Homeopathy, Naturopathy and more.

From April 1st 2019, the government will no longer subsidise for a range of natural treatments, and health insurers will no longer be able to provide cover for “non-permitted therapies”, despite them accounting for less than 1% of all benefits paid.

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WA joins ‘No Jab, No Play’ vaccine crackdown

The WA government will give the Health Department powers to ban unvaccinated children from attending school and child care centres as part of ‘No Jab, No Play’ measures expected to take effect on January 1, 2019.

Under the new laws, kindergartens, schools and child care centres will be required to keep up-to-date immunisation records, and the department’s “chief health officer” will have power to “order under-vaccinated children to stay home”.

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Australia passes controversial anti-encryption laws

New legislation allows authorities access to your encrypted information.

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Revealed: Big Pharma can access My Health Record

Australians have until January 31 to opt-out of the My Health Record before over 17 million digital identities are automatically created for medical access.

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Tech alliance unites to condemn new anti-encryption bill

Technology giants and human rights groups have formed an alliance to fight the Australian government’s new encryption bill.

Calling themselves the ‘Alliance for a Safe and Secure Internet’, the group consists of industry, consumer and human rights groups, who are criticising the government for attempting to pass legislation that threatens the digital security of Australians.

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Victoria set to introduce new “gender equality bill”

The Victorian government has released details of new draft legislation this week that describes changes to the public sector that will force departments to introduce radical new policies to meet “gender quotas and targets”.

The new plan will include a requirement to develop and provide regular reporting with a ‘Gender Equality Action Plan’ and a 50/50 employee representation quota for most areas of business.

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Parents opt-out of classroom technology amid privacy concerns

Australians have long moved past worrying about whether digital technology has a place in education, with schools, colleges and universities now replete with a catalogue of digital devices, systems and applications.

Because of this ubiquity, educational uses of technology tend to escape critical scrutiny and questioning, and most remain unaware of major privacy concerns raised when exploring how your children’s personal information is collected, stored and used at school.

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‘Privacy nightmare’: Concerns over new anti-encryption bill

The Australian government has released details of a new telecommunications bill that grants agencies new powers to access encrypted communications data, including enhancing the obligations of companies to provide assistance and new warrants to covertly obtain evidence directly from devices.

In the following piece, Ethan Nash breaks down the legislation, including historical and technical contexts, details of both major schedules in the drafted legislation, and reasons for concerns associated with the broadened power scope granted.

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Facial recognition technology to stay following Commonwealth Games

Queensland Government officials have announced that facial recognition technology introduced for security during the 2018 Commonwealth Games will remain in place indefinitely, but won’t say what future use they have in mind for the biometric system.

Civil liberty campaigners say the refusal to release plans for the installed software amounts to a ‘disturbing development in mass surveillance’, with privacy advocates concerned about how the technology will be used in conjunction with the new national facial recognition program.

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