Have your say | Proposed new data sharing laws

Summary

  • The federal government is seeking input into the development of the Data Sharing and Release Bill
  • The laws propose making more public data available for sharing and release
  • It is part of a broader push to recognise and harness data as a key national asset
  • The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet are seeking input from individuals and you can provide comment until 1 August 2018

The federal government is seeking input into new laws that propose making more public data available for sharing and release.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet recently released an issues paper for consultation on the development of the Data Sharing and Release Bill. This forms part of their response to the Productivity Commissions’ Data Access and Use Inquiry.

The new laws are part of a broader push to recognise and harness data as a key national asset for public and economic good. It can also enable the public sector to gain access to richer and more timely information to inform decisions and policies.

You can provide comment until 1 August 2018. We encourage you to have your say in this important development in the data space.

More information and links are available via ITNews https://www.itnews.com.au/news/proposed-future-data-sharing-laws-revealed-496839.


Highlights of the linked news article:

Purpose

The new laws are part of a broader push to recognise and harness data as a key national asset for public and economic good. It can also enable the public sector to gain access to richer and more timely information to inform decisions and policies.

The proposed new data laws are slated sit alongside a [new] national data commissioner and national data advisory council to build public trust in the government, as well as the [new] consumer data right.

"There are more than 500 existing data secrecy and confidentiality provisions across more than 175 different pieces of Australian Government legislation. The vast majority of these provisions prevent sharing of data, except in specific limited circumstances. Current data sharing arrangements between agencies are largely governed by MoUs."

Legislative

The bill will provide a "legislative approach to share, access and release data that is otherwise prohibited, when appropriate conditions and safeguards are met", building on the 2015 public data policy statement that directed the public sector to release non-sensitive data as open by default.

This includes a clear framework for the public sector to decide whether to share data, while taking into account "appropriate conditions and risk management for their particular circumstances".

"Entities which have strong experience in data sharing and release could be accredited as Accredited Data Authorities to aid others in sharing or releasing data to trusted users," the issues paper said.

"The DS&R Bill will not by default compel all data to be shared but rather will support data custodians to make informed decisions and manage risk consistently to enable appropriate sharing and release," the issues paper states.

How it will work

Agencies will, however, be required to meet a "purpose test" and have internationally recognised ‘Five-Safes framework’ safeguards to be in place.

"The DS&R Bill will require data sharing arrangements between agencies and users to be detailed in data sharing agreements to ensure data is shared under conditions identified through the Five-Safes framework," the paper states.

The legislation will also set out the powers of the [new] national data commissioner, who will work with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

The commissioner will be tasked with "report[ing] on the state of the data system and be able to audit parts of the system to make sure data is being managed appropriately and that the rules that keep data safe are met."

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