27 September 2023

State joins push to push privacy awareness

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Queensland has joined with other States and the national Agencies in a major effort to promote Privacy Awareness Week (PAW), which runs until 8 May.

The theme for this year’s event is Privacy the Foundation of Trust.

In a statement, Queensland’s Department of Justice and Attorney-General said PAW was an annual attempt to raise awareness within the public sector and the broader community about the importance of protecting and respecting personal information.

“It is a great reminder about the importance of protecting our personal information in our day-to-day activities,” the Department said.

“We can all better protect and respect personal information by asking ourselves simple questions — how will the information be used? Why is it being collected? Who will have access to it?

In a supporting statement, the Office of the Information Commissioner Queensland said it encouraged its staff to be equipped with answers to those simple but important questions.

“These small actions, used often, help build greater trust, support community participation and help deliver better services,” the Office said.

Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, Angelene Falk said one of the key messages of PAW was that better privacy protections were not just a tool to prevent harm, but also an enabler of better services and stronger relationships between the community, business and Government Agencies.

The public expects organisations to handle their information responsibly and be transparent and accountable,” Ms Falk said.

“Organisations are more likely to be trusted with information when they have demonstrated good privacy practices.”

She said Australia’s privacy authorities would continue to work together to uphold privacy protections and promote awareness of the rights and the responsibilities of individuals, businesses and Government Agencies.

Privacy Awareness Week is an annual event that highlights the importance of protecting personal information and helps Government Agencies, organisations and the public understand privacy rights and responsibilities.

A national statement was signed by the members of Privacy Authorities Australia, including Queensland information and Privacy Commissioners, Rachael Rangihaeata and Paxton Booth; Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner, Angelene Falk; Victorian Information Commissioner, Sven Bluemmel; Director of State Records at the Privacy Committee of South Australia, Simon Froude; NSW Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel; Tasmanian Ombudsman,Richard Connock; and Northern Territory Information Commissioner, Peter Shoyer.

Ms Falk’s tips for use by Departments and Agencies can be accessed at this PS News link and details of Privacy Awareness Week events at this link.

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