OAIC releases Corporate Plan, prioritises right to privacy

Thursday, 03 September, 2020

OAIC releases Corporate Plan, prioritises right to privacy

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has published its Corporate Plan for 2020–21, setting out strategic priorities and key activities for the next four years. The COVID-19 pandemic has focused attention on the right to privacy and the continued need for transparency across personal information handling and government decision-making.

Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said the plan sets out how the OAIC will achieve its core purpose — to promote and uphold privacy and information access rights — in the context of a different environment to that of a year ago. The plan identifies four strategic priorities that will help the OAIC increase public trust and confidence in the protection of personal information and access to government-held information.

“Through both the pandemic and our recovery, public health and economic outcomes can be supported by promoting and upholding privacy and information access rights. It is this objective that my office seeks to achieve,” said Commissioner Falk.

The strategic priorities include advancing online privacy protections for Australians, influencing and upholding privacy and information access rights frameworks, encouraging the proactive release of government-held information, and a contemporary approach to regulation. Over the coming year, the OAIC will promote strong privacy protections for the use of personal information to prevent and manage the spread of COVID-19, including oversight of data handling within the COVIDSafe app system.

The organisation will also strive to strengthen privacy protections in the online environment, and prioritise privacy law reform in 2020–21. The Australian Government’s review of the Privacy Act will also provide an opportunity to ensure the regulatory framework can respond to new challenges in the digital environment. The OAIC will also enforce privacy safeguards under the Consumer Data Right and work to improve transparency and prevent harm to consumers through its oversight of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme.

“Our focus on personal information security will be reflected in our compliance and enforcement activities. The OAIC is working with domestic and international regulators to take action to protect Australian’s personal information, wherever it flows,” said Commissioner Falk.

The OAIC will also promote initiatives that facilitate proactive publishing of government-held information.

“The OAIC will continue to be targeted, engaged, agile, independent and expert in exercising our regulatory functions and working towards our vision of greater trust and confidence in the protection of personal information and access to government-held information,” said Commissioner Falk.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Thomas

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