Emergency Declaration provides special privacy powers

By Jonathan Nally
Wednesday, 22 January, 2020

Emergency Declaration provides special privacy powers

A special federal government Privacy (Australian Bushfires Disaster) Emergency Declaration has given agencies and private sector organisations the authority to operate under emergency privacy provisions to help people affected by the bushfires, and coordinate and manage the response.

The Declaration allows personal information about those affected by the bushfires to be exchanged by agencies and private sector organisations for specific purposes that may not otherwise be allowed under the Privacy Act 1988.

“The Declaration will allow appropriate access to personal information about an individual impacted by the bushfires to help with a timely response to the bushfire emergency,” Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said.

“It recognises the need to use personal information to provide support for people affected by these devastating bushfires, while protecting their right to privacy.”

The Declaration means that personal information can be “collected, used or disclosed for a purpose that directly relates to the Commonwealth’s response to the emergency”, such as:

  • identifying people who are or may be injured, missing or deceased;
  • helping people to obtain medical treatment, health services, financial assistance or other humanitarian services;
  • assisting law enforcement with the bushfire emergency;
  • coordinating or managing the emergency response;
  • ensuring those who are responsible for individuals involved in the emergency are kept appropriately informed.

The Declaration will be in force for the next 12 months.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Daria Ni

Related News

US Cyber Command, NSA team to keep elections secure

The US is "laser focused" on securing its election processes from foreign interference,...

OVIC updates security incident notification scheme details

The scheme requires agencies or bodies to inform OVIC of incidents that compromise the...

US NASCIO calls for harmonised security regulations

Cybersecurity features heavily in the the US National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) list of...

  • All content Copyright © 2020 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd