National Data Advisory Council holds third meeting

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Tuesday, 26 November, 2019

National Data Advisory Council holds third meeting

The National Data Advisory Council has held its third meeting since it was established in March, providing advice on a range of issues related to reforming public data sharing.

During the meeting earlier this month, Interim National Data Commissioner Deborah Anton shared insights into key policy issues emerging from the public consultation over the proposed public sector data sharing reforms.

Major areas of focus included the role of consent, commercial use of data and the accreditation framework for data sharing processes.

The council advised that the starting question for data sharing should be what the public benefit will be and how that can best be achieved with the right safeguards in place.

While guidance on when consent should be sought is needed, the council warned that truly informed consent can be difficult to obtain, both in terms of securing it from individuals and in terms of ensuring that consent is meaningful and voluntary.

Consent should also not exempt data custodians and users from meeting their other obligations under the Data Sharing and Release legislation.

The council also had divergent opinions on the commercial use of public data, but the consensus was it is a complex matter that requires careful consideration.

Discussions then turned to the proposed new accreditation framework for data users, delving into topics such as how the legislation will work in practice and can be used to build trust and increase transparency of data users and data use.

The National Data Advisory Council, which was convened to advise the government on the proposed public data sharing reforms, comprises nine members from across the Australian Government, business and industry, civil society groups and academia.

The government representatives are the Australian Statistician, the Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, and the Australian Chief Scientist.

Image courtesy NDAC.

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