NSW Govt introduces privacy guidelines for public sector

In a move to advance e-government initiatives, the NSW Government has introduced new guidelines for the management of personal information by the public sector.

The Department of Information Technology and Management worked closely with Privacy NSW in developing the Government's Privacy and Personal Information Guideline; privacy policies on the collection, storage and use of personal information by NSW Government agencies through electronic means.

At the launch in Sydney, NSW Minister for Information Technology Kim Yeadon said the guidelines would assist the Government to understand and apply almost 50 separate laws and documents in relation to the protection of information and personal privacy within the NSW Public sector.

Yeadon said development and innovation in the IT sector had helped deliver e-government online services for NSW residents.

"More and more government services are becoming available online and we want more people to take advantage of these services," Yeadon said.

"These guidelines are a sign that the NSW Government is taking the right steps to make sure innovation in IT won't stampede over personal privacy rights of individuals."

Yeadon said the new guidelines were a "plain English guide" to the Privacy and Personal Information Act and other legislation covering the release of information, workplace surveillance and Internet and e-mail protocols.

NSW privacy commissioner Chris Puplick voiced his support for the guidelines, saying privacy protection is "fast becoming the trademark of successful e-commerce and e-government initiatives".

"As technology progresses at an exponential rate, so does the risk to people's privacy.

"The Department of Information Technology and Management has consulted extensively with Privacy NSW as it developed these guidelines," Puplick said.

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