The WA Government provides a range of services and programs aimed at improving the quality of life for Western Australians. In order to deliver these, we collect and hold a lot of information about Western Australians.
To protect the personal information of Western Australians and facilitate responsible use and sharing of government data, the WA Government is drafting privacy and responsible information sharing legislation.
The privacy and responsible information sharing legislation will provide Western Australians with greater control over their personal information and improve the delivery of government services. This legislation will enable data to be shared within government for the right reasons and provide greater accountability and transparency about how government uses your information.
The legislation will establish two positions within government, the Privacy Commissioner and Chief Data Officer, to safeguard people’s privacy and facilitate responsible use and sharing of government data, in the public interest. The Privacy Commissioner will be an independent statutory position, reporting directly to Parliament, maintaining responsibility over privacy matters in WA. The Chief Data Officer will promote a culture of transparency, accountability and safe use for government held information.
Broadly, the legislation introduces reforms that provide:
- guiding principles and a framework to govern the collection, protection, use and disclosure of personal information across the public sector;
- a mandatory data breach notification scheme, requiring agencies to notify the Privacy Commissioner and affected individuals of serious data breaches involving personal information; and
- a mechanism that supports Aboriginal data sovereignty and governance in WA, by requiring that Aboriginal people and communities are involved or consulted when data about them is shared.
To learn more about the privacy and responsible information sharing reforms, please read our Privacy and Responsible Information Sharing Fact Sheet.
Your views are important
The Government recognises that privacy is important to all Western Australians and has undertaken extensive consultation to listen to peoples’ views on the best privacy and information sharing arrangements for WA.
In 2019 the WA Government held extensive consultation targeting the public, community groups community service organisations, health researchers, privacy experts, Aboriginal people and representative organisations and industry. Find out more on what we heard during our first consultation period in the Privacy and Responsible Information Consultation Summary Report.
A second consultation period was held, engaging a wide range of government agencies to finalise the privacy and responsible sharing model. This process was extended by the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now closed.
Thank you to all those who contributed via a formal submission, comments through our online portal or attending an information session. Your feedback is essential in helping us understand the WA community’s thoughts on privacy protection and information sharing within the public sector and authorised third parties.