Parking Permit scheme collecting sensitive medical information – for no reason


I’ve just gone to fill in my ACROD parking permit renewal form. La la la.

They “consulted” (and then largely ignored) us on the criteria and on the format of the new national parking permit. However.


I saw no consultation on the questions on the form. And I assumed, naive that I am, that the questions asked would be quite similar to the questions asked on the previous State form: questions about the functional limitations and the need for accommodation.

But no!

Instead, there are intrusive, irrelevant questions about one’s private medical history on the form. Why?

Check it out. This is the Applicant Statement section of the form, after name/address details, and before Doctor/OT’s statement.

Screen Shot of PDF of parking permit - Applicant Statement section. See text for details

It asks about mobility aid use – TICK! Relevant.

It asks “What is the greatest distance you can walk?” TICK! Relevant.

It then asks – “Describe how your body feels when you walk?” Leaving aside the punctuation-choice error, how on earth is this relevant to whether or not I require accommodations? Do they want pain described in flowery detail? Or will they disqualify people offering flowery drama, on the basis that they’re big fakey fakers? What the hell is going on here?

And then, THEN – they ask – “What do you do to manage your condition? e.g. type of pain medication, therapy.”


How and why do they propose to offer barriers to accommodations based on what medication people are taking? How do they propose that what therapies PWD use are relevant to whether or not those PWDs need accommodations? Are they going to red-stamp it if the norty PWD aren’t going to physiotherapy? Are they going to side-eye people on (or not on) particular medications? Are they assessing non-compliance? Are they making some attempt to assess undertreatment, and if so, what on earth do they propose to do about it? Why is this question here?

And if answers to these two questions aren’t going to change the outcome of the assessment of this application, then why are they collecting this information? It is a violation of Australian privacy law to collect private medical information, which is specifically designated “sensitive information”, without a damn good reason.


1.1 An organisation must not collect personal information unless the information is necessary for one or more of its functions or activities.


1.2 An organisation must collect personal information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way.

Government organisations really should not be collecting irrelevant sensitive information in this intrusive manner. I don’t have a lot of words today – I’m really taken aback. And I feel like I can’t put my real name to any of this, and I certainly can’t refuse to fill it in on principle, because I can’t do without my parking permit.

Is anyone making a noise about this?

Categories: ethics & philosophy, health, social justice

Tags: , , ,

9 replies

  1. I have one thing to say about this: link

  2. That is horrendous. And intrusive. And horrendous.
    I’m going to point it out to a privacy lawyer I know who does some pro bono stuff…

  3. I’m sure you first have to make a reasonable attempt to resolve the situation (blah blah blah) with ACORD directly; but there are more fun forms to fill out (yay!) if that doesn’t work.
    ’cause you are 100% correct.

  4. Huh – only one state/territory (whose forms are available online, anyway) has that question.
    The rest have mostly name/address/etc info from the applicant – everything else comes from the doctor (and seems reasonable, at least on first glance).
    The fact that it is only the one state bolsters the argument that the info is totally unnecessary!

  5. Euwwww. They read like the questions asked by some perv who’s never met a mobility-impaired person before.

  6. Oji Dannelley, your first link is a post about parking harmonisation, most of which is a copy of a previous post of mine, represented as your own work. Would you please fix that?

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