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Event recap: Victorian Privacy Network Meeting 10 April 2019

On 10 April 2019, OVIC held the second meeting of the Victorian Privacy Network. Once again, we were joined by a number of guest speakers who gave interesting and insightful presentations on a wide range of topics.

Information Commissioner Sven Bluemmel kicked off the meeting with an update on OVIC’s work in the last six months since our inaugural meeting in November last year. From the development of the freedom of information draft professional standards, to updates of key privacy resources including the Guidelines to the Information Privacy Principles, we have certainly kept very busy since the Network last met.

OVIC’s regulatory approach and policy

Sven’s welcome address was followed by a presentation on OVIC’s regulatory approach and policy. Annan Boag, our Assistant Commissioner, Privacy and Assurance, talked through OVIC’s approach to regulatory action and what organisations can expect from us. Annan outlined OVIC’s goals in undertaking regulatory action, the principles underlying our approach, the different types of action available to OVIC and the factors that OVIC takes into consideration when determining the appropriate action. Annan also spoke about OVIC’s forward work program and next steps in this area.

Transparency in personal information management

The next guest speaker, Melanie Casley from Salinger Privacy, gave a presentation on a very topical issue: enhancing transparency in the management of personal information. Melanie spoke about the importance of privacy policies to create transparency and engender public trust; inform individuals about the collection; uses and disclosures of personal information; and set expectations around secondary uses.

Melanie also gave some helpful tips for crafting a good privacy policy, such as thinking about the individual whose personal information we are dealing with – organisations should put themselves in the shoes of the people that make up their target audience and think about what they really want to know.

Family violence and child information sharing schemes

After morning tea and networking, the meeting continued with an overview of the family violence and child information sharing schemes, presented by Erin Kirby from the Department of Health and Human Services. Erin spoke about the impact of the two schemes, the implications for the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (PDP Act) and other legislation, and how the two schemes operate in practice.

These schemes are two key information sharing reforms introduced by the Victorian Government, changing the way information about victim survivors, perpetrators, alleged perpetrators and other people involved in family violence, or child wellbeing or safety information, may be collected, used and disclosed. Erin’s presentation gave members a clear understanding of how these schemes interact with the PDP Act, and like previous presentations, was well received.

Privacy considerations for new projects

The meeting ended with a panel discussion on the topic of privacy considerations for new projects. The discussion provided insight from the perspective of organisations of different types and sizes, with the following panel members:

  • Raffaella Di Maio – The University of Melbourne
  • Megan Fincher – Department of Justice and Community Safety
  • Marissa Gardiner – Yarra Ranges Council

Panel members covered a broad range of issues, from the importance of conducting privacy impact assessment and collaborating across the organisation to champion good privacy practices, to the challenges and barriers of ensuring privacy is considered at the highest levels of the organisation, and more. There were also plenty of helpful tips on how to embed privacy into organisational processes and procedures. This is exactly the kind of discussion and knowledge sharing that OVIC encourages and hopes to see come out of these meetings.

Privacy and Data Protection Deputy Commissioner Rachel Dixon closed the event by thanking attendees and encouraging members to continue to engage with the Network and OVIC going forward.

We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to our guest speakers, panelists and everyone who attended on the day or watched the live stream. We look forward to the next meeting later this year.

More information regarding the Victorian Privacy Network, including presentation slides and how to join the Network, can be accessed here.

A recording of the event is available on OVIC’s Periscope channel (please note there are two recordings).

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