Commissioner defends data-sharing invoice

2021-04-20 06:55:49

The interim nationwide information commissioner has defended data-sharing legal guidelines earlier than parliament that can make it simpler for third events to entry private info.

The proposed information availability and transparency invoice will let federal authorities companies share info with third events and researchers, together with the personal information of people.

Interim commissioner Deborah Anton conceded the nation’s information trove was of curiosity to others, together with overseas governments, however stated the invoice was about making efficient public coverage and elevating requirements throughout the general public service.

“There are each elevated advantages and elevated dangers,” Ms Anton advised a parliamentary committee listening to in Canberra on Tuesday.

“To do extra with information requires that we escape of our present silos and have interaction sensibly with danger.”

The invoice will create a scheme to permit information sharing “for the fitting causes, with the fitting individuals”, overseen by an unbiased information commissioner.

The “goal check” within the invoice dictates the info can solely be shared for informing coverage and packages and analysis and improvement.

All information use should be set out in data-sharing agreements, which might be made obtainable on an internet site.

Committee deputy chair and Labor senator Tim Ayres stated the legal guidelines had been drafted by “true believers” in information sharing for higher coverage outcomes.

“That works effective till there is a breach,” he stated.

Fee assistant secretary Paul Menzies-McVey stated there was a “larger bar” constructed into the invoice with strict safety controls and guidelines for utilizing information for an outlined goal.

There are penalties for breaching these guidelines, together with prison penalties for “reckless breaches”.

Whereas sharing information could also be essential for constructing efficient public coverage, critics warn entry to private information should be restricted and privateness upheld and revered.

Data from massive information holders such because the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the nationwide company for info and statistics on well being and welfare can be “largely de-identified”, the committee heard.

Ms Anton stated the info custodian can say no. “There isn’t any responsibility to share.”

And that call can’t be challenged by the commissioner.

She stated there was a really sturdy consciousness amongst authorities companies and researchers of sustaining public belief and safety controls.

Patterns and particulars of motion captured by the COVIDSafe app can’t be shared, the committee heard.

Electoral roll information can be exterior the scope of the proposed invoice.

Co-designed with intelligence companies, the invoice responds to Productiveness Fee suggestions made in 2017.

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