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Forced data collection must stop

5 March 2017

Forced data collection must stop

The Privacy Commissioner coming out against collection of individual data as a condition of funding for community groups must make the Government stop forcing data handovers, the Green Party said today.

“The Government must immediately stop putting these privacy breaching clauses into contracts with community groups as a condition of funding,” Green Party social development spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“Community organisations have raised their concerns because they know the people they work with, and they are trying to prevent more social harm.

“With the Privacy Commissioner and community groups like Rape Crisis and Budget Services coming out against this data intrusion, the Government must realise that it will not achieve its social objectives by overriding individuals rights to privacy.

“The Government just sprung this clause into contracts for community groups, without consultation, and without checking with the Privacy Commissioner.

“Haphazard policy-making by this Government cannot be taken seriously when it just doesn’t have the buy-in from the groups needed to make it work.

The Minister told me that the Office of the Privacy Commissioner had raised no issues with collecting individual client-level data, and yet we hear directly today from the Privacy Commissioner that there is a problem.

“The Minister also made multiple assurances that the data will be protected, yet at the very beginning of their project there has been a data breach.

“This policy and its initial roll out raises serious questions about the competency of this Minister.

“Confidentiality is an absolute cornerstone of the work that community groups and NGOs do, and should be protected,” Ms Logie said.


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