Interim National Data Commissioner appointed

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 09 August, 2018

The federal government has appointed experienced public servant Deborah Anton as Australia’s interim National Data Commissioner, to help lead the government’s public sector data reforms.

Anton has had a more than 20-year career in the APS, where she accrued wide-ranging experience in legislation, regulation, policy and program delivery. During her career, Anton helped establish the government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT).

In her new role, Anton will work with the Australian Privacy Commissioner — currently Acting Information Commissioner and Acting Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk — to help strengthen the safeguards protecting the integrity, management and use of government-held data.

Anton will develop a new framework to improve access to non-sensitive data while ensuring protection of sensitive data, simplifying the web of more than 500 privacy and secrecy provisions in place across government.

The reforms, including the establishment of the National Data Commissioner post, were recommended by the Productivity Commission.

The Bureau for Communications Research has estimated that improving access to non-sensitive data could generate productivity savings of up to $25 billion per year.

“I congratulate Ms Anton on her appointment and trust that she will make a valuable contribution in shaping the future of the Australian data system,” said Minister for Human Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation Michael Keenan.

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