Privacy report card warns of public’s big data concerns

More funding is needed for the NSW Privacy Commissioner to help public servants improve privacy practices and tackle the growing public concern about data use by government. Some agencies still don’t understand how privacy relates to good customer service and accountability.

New South Wales privacy commissioner Elizabeth Coombs wants to help government agencies do a better job of protecting personal information, but says she needs more funding to do it.

Coinciding with Privacy Awareness Week across the Asia-Pacific, Coombs delivered a raft of recommendations today on how to strengthen privacy across NSW in her annual report to parliament on the operation of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

NSW privacy commissioner Elizabeth Coombs

NSW privacy commissioner Elizabeth Coombs

Along with a list of legislative changes to address newer technological challenges and bring the act into line with other jurisdictions, Coombs also wants to improve privacy practices across the state’s public service. She suggests establishing cross-agency projects, with the NSW Public Service Commission and Department of Premier and Cabinet being key candidates.

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