Submission to the Data Sharing and Release Legislative Reforms Discussion Paper
5 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 8, 2019
As we previously noted in our response to the Issues Paper on Data Sharing and Release, the current law around government information-sharing is unnecessarily complex. There is a patchwork of laws dealing with the sharing of government information which results in confusion and reluctance within government agencies to use existing data-sharing and release mechanisms. Efforts to develop context-specific laws, such as consumer data right, or for automated vehicles, or for data sharing for research purposes, despite the potential merits of each, contributes to this complexity. The Discussion Paper acknowledges the need for clarity within this space, expressing a desire to simplify information sharing processes and shift the Australian public service culture towards responsible sharing. The relationship between the Data Sharing and Release legislation and other existing data protection provisions (such as the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and secrecy provisions) has been clarified. However, the parallel operation of these reforms alongside existing provisions has the potential to add complexity, particularly where it introduces new terminology (such as “sharing” rather than “disclosure”, “data” rather than “information” and, potentially, new terminology linking entities and data).
Keywords: government data sharing, privacy, data privacy, data release, Australia, public service
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