Australia to invest AU $ 65 million in ‘reform’ its data system

The Australian government will invest A $ 65 million over the forecast estimates to ‘reform’ Australia’s data system, including the implementation of the country’s new consumer data law, which will allow individuals to ‘own’ their data by granting them open access to their banking, energy, telephone and Internet transactions, as well as the right to control who can have it and who can use it.

In his response [PDF] In the Productivity Commission investigation into the availability and use of data, the federal government said the multi-million dollar investment will be used to introduce three measures to implement the commission’s recommendations .

Along with the new consumer data law, a National Data Commissioner will be established to implement the data sharing and publication framework and oversee the data sharing and publication activities of Commonwealth agencies.

“The national data commissioner will be the trusted overseer of the public data system,” the response reads.

“Realizing the benefits of data for all Australians needs a powerful champion with a mandate to unlock the productivity benefits of valuable datasets, identify opportunities for improving data usage and create national frameworks and guidelines. “

It will also develop new legislative and governance arrangements that it says will allow better use of data across the economy, while “ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect sensitive information.”

“These reforms will allow Australian citizens, governments, industries and researchers to use and share data, while maintaining the strict guarantees of confidentiality, security and transparency essential to maintain trust in the system,” said writes the government. “These advancements in the Australian data system mean that we can harness the power of data to drive innovation and opportunity for the Australian economy.”

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica Facebook scandal, the government recognizes the public’s lack of confidence when it comes to processing their data. As a result, the government has said a balance must be struck between using the data for the benefit of the Australian economy and society and ensuring community confidence in the way they use the data.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will provide technical advice and support to the National Data Commissioner, and a new National Data Advisory Board will advise the Commissioner on ‘the ethical use of data, technical best practices and industrial developments and international ”.

Must read: Privacy Foundation: trusting government with open data, a “recipe for pain”

“A cultural shift is required from agencies to ensure greater data sharing within government and support for whole-of-government initiatives and reforms,” ​​the response continued.

“The new data sharing and dissemination framework will support a cultural shift dynamic within government towards greater data sharing while mitigating the risks associated with sharing personal data.

“Better legislation and governance will ensure that the government gets the maximum benefit from the data it already holds and collects while maintaining public confidence in how the data is used. This will allow the government to meet the expectations of the community to be efficient and use the data it already has. has more productively. “

The Productivity Commission has also recommended – and accepted by Canberra – the creation of accredited dissemination authorities, which will link, share or disseminate other datasets of public interest.

“Data sharing agreements between data custodians, accredited data authorities and data users will be a key part of the governance framework,” the government wrote.

“These agreements will articulate risk management processes to effectively assess and manage the risks associated with sharing and disseminating the data for which they are responsible.”

The response explains that the responsibility for the risks of data sharing and dissemination will, however, lie with the data custodians.

The government said it would also establish a framework to identify datasets whose “availability and use will generate significant community-wide benefits.” He hopes to find the best way to facilitate the sharing and use of these datasets through a consultative process.

It will also introduce a new Data Sharing and Dissemination Act set up accredited data authorities and legislate on the framework for sharing datasets.

“The legislative package will establish clear rules and expectations for the sharing and dissemination of data, including clearly indicating when data can be shared and incorporating strong safeguards for sensitive data and effective risk management practices”, he continued.

The first sector of the Australian economy to which the Consumer Data Right will be applied is the financial services sector, through an open banking regime.

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