26 September 2023

Privacy Awareness Week goes public

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The NSW Privacy Commissioner is calling on State Agencies and citizens to work together to build a foundation of trust this Privacy Awareness Week NSW (2-8 May).

Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel said 2022 marked the 12th year of celebrating the Week in NSW, with this year’s resources to revolve around the theme Privacy: The foundation of trust – we all have a role to play.

“This year’s theme encompasses the shared responsibility of citizens and Agencies in ensuring that citizens are actively taking measures to review their privacy settings and keep their information secure, and Agencies continue to proactively build on their privacy practices to effectively handle and protect citizens’ personal information,” Commissioner Gavel said.

“This year, the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) has released several easy-to-understand resources for citizens to learn more about their rights under NSW privacy legislation,” she said.

“For Agencies, the IPC has launched a new Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) self-assessment tool, to assist them with self-assessing their websites or any other website that involves the handling of personal information or de-identified information.”

Commissioner Gavel said the PIA tool would help Agencies assess their websites for privacy risks and identify remediation actions.

She said the tool was developed to bring best-practice approaches and methodologies to NSW public sector Agencies but did not replace a complete PIA.

“It should only be used to assist in identifying the privacy risks and areas for remedial action.”

The Commissioner said the IPC’s Privacy Week resources for citizens included an animation about the 12 Information Protection Principles under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and an animation on the 15 Health Privacy Principles under the Health Records Information Privacy Act 2002.

“The IPC’s new citizen resources will enable the public to learn more about how their personal and health information should be handled by NSW public sector Agencies, and encourage them to report privacy breaches to the agency,” Commissioner Gavel said.

“This will also assist Agencies in reporting and managing these breaches, and minimising harm to individuals.”

She also announced upcoming IPC guidance to be released on data breaches for citizens.

Commissioner Gavel said IPC celebrated Privacy Awareness Week yesterday (3 May) by hosting Insights and lessons – Preparing for MNDB, an event to assist Agencies to prepare for the upcoming Mandatory Notification Data Breach Scheme (MNDB).

The IPC’s PIA tool for Agencies and its animated resources for citizens can be accessed at this PS News link.

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