Privacy and Data Protection Week 2016 is 9 – 13 May. This article is designed to provide a general understanding of information privacy under some of the provisions of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (PDPA).
Have you ever been unable to deal with a government authority on behalf of someone else?
The PDPA governs the collection and handling of personal information in the Victorian public sector and, uniquely, provides for the establishment of a protective data security regime for the Victorian public sector.
The privacy provisions of the PDPA apply to public sector organisations including:
– public sector agencies and statutory bodies
– universities and TAFEs
– local councils
– Victoria Police (with some exceptions), and
– contracted service providers (CSPs) who perform a service on behalf of a public sector organisation.
Personal information is information that identifies an individual or could reasonably identify an individual.
Personal information may include but is not limited to:
– name, address, birth date, telephone number
– age, sex, marital status
– finger prints and other biometrics
– educational, financial, criminal or employment history, and
– an image in a photograph or voice in a recording.
Protecting privacy is not only important because it is required by law, but also because it contributes to the creation of trust in public sector authorities.
Complying with privacy laws can also lead to improved information management and customer service.
A failure to uphold privacy rights can lead to privacy breaches and complaints being made against organisations.
Privacy complaints include suspected privacy breaches.
In the first instance, complainants should attempt to resolve their complaint directly with the relevant organisation.
If the matter cannot be resolved by the organisation, the complaint should be directed to the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP).
Organisations should have a clear complaint handling procedure in place.
Every Victorian public sector employee is responsible for privacy, particularly those who handle personal information in the course of their job.
Questions about the responsible collection and handling of personal information in the Victorian public sector can be directed to the CPDP.
For those who work with personal information the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) have an excellent on line privacy module worth looking at here.