back to article Privacy watchdog to probe Oz gov's right to release personal info 'to correct the record'

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is investigating whether it's acceptable for an Australian government department to release personal data when seeking to correct the public record when clients recount their interactions with government agencies. The office has told The Register it's “making inquiries with …

  1. druck Silver badge

    Twitter yee not

    If you have an issue with a government department and handle it via their complaints procedure, everything is kept private. If you make a public complaint and issue inaccurate statements, the government has every right to respond with the correct data.

    1. Paul Renault

      Re: Twitter yee not

      "If you make a public complaint and issue inaccurate statements, the government has every right to respond with the correct data."

      Have you never. in your entire life, ever made a mistake, or have undergone a mental crisis? Or lived with people who would have beaten/disowned/whatever you, if the truth had come out?

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Twitter yee not

        @Paul Renault: If you are worried about the truth coming out, don't bullshit the government on the internet.

  2. GrumpyOldBloke

    > all those other projects rely on public, trust and public acceptance of promises the government makes about protecting client confidentiality

    No they don't. It is pretty much impossible to exist in the free West without interacting with government or its agents. Such interactions are either mandatory, backed by penalties or require you to accept onerous terms and conditions - including the right to share information. It's the demographics - we have another 20 or 30 years of this crap.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It didn't have to happen this way...

    The record could have been publically corrected without the sharing or publication of one single bit of private data.

    "The situation, as characterised by Ms Fox, is factually inaccurate as the debt being pursued is the result of matters unrelated to her relationship with her former spouse as stated in her blog.

    We will be happy to discuss the matter in detail with Ms Fox - and have attempted to make contact on several occasions.

    After being appraised of the facts of her debt Ms Fox may be minded to correct her public statements. Until this time, privacy constraints prevent us from releasing any more detail on the matter.

    The Secretary and the Minister have been briefed and are happy that this particular case does not represent an instance of misattribution of debt.

    The Commonwealth Ombudsman is available, should Ms Fox feel that her complaints have not been properly addressed."

    or something like that. Agencies should not publish one bit of data more than is necessary to their normal operations.

  4. NBNnigel

    It's worse than the 'privacy expert' thinks...

    Actually reading section 202 of the SS Act, there's a nice little note right at the bottom: "In addition to the requirements of this section, information disclosed under this section must be dealt with in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles." The APPs are part of the Privacy Act. So in this case, it looks like the SS Act is subordinate to the Privacy Act (not the other way around as suggested by the quoted privacy expert).

    2 years jail, strict liability offence.

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