A draft paper by the Australian government outlining how it will harness big data stressed that citizens’ privacy is “paramount.”
“Big data analytics can be used to streamline service delivery, create opportunities for innovation, and identify new service and policy approaches as well as supporting the effective delivery of existing programs across a broad range of government operations – from the maintenance of our national infrastructure, through the enhanced delivery of health services, to reduced response times for emergency personnel,” the paper states.
The draft paper details a careful balance between analysing public data and protecting citizens’ privacy.
“Big data again raises the issues of the value of government data and the responsibility to realise this value to benefit the Australian public, as well as the need to negotiate the privacy risks of linking data from disparate sources, sharing data and providing broader access to government data.”
The government agency said that protecting privacy will be “at the forefront of agency deliberations when they consider developing business cases for big data projects.”
“The Australian Government is committed to protecting the privacy rights of individuals,” the paper said. “Big data raises new challenges in respect to the privacy and security of data.”
“The data management policies of government agencies will always be guided by the relevant legislative controls that already regulate government’s use and release of data sets and information.”
With the release of the draft, AGIMO is “now seeking any final views of the ICT industry, the research sector, non-government organisations and the public before finalising the Strategy,” it said. Comments are due by close of business on 5 July.
Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam