Proactive release of the Privacy Commissioners Letter to the Prime Minister relating to privacy implications of firearms reform
- As the Arms Legislation Bill was being developed, Police progressed policy on firearms information sharing. Police developed briefings setting out information sharing proposals that were submitted to six Ministers with Power to Act on policy for the Arms Bill. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner was, as is usual in policy on information sharing, involved in the policy development for the Bill.
- During this process the Privacy Commissioner raised concerns in a letter to the Prime Minister about the direction of information sharing policy. In particular, his concerns related to the proposed provisions for Direct Data Access for several agencies and the proposed policy around health practitioners’ access to information.
- The Minster of Police, Acting Deputy Commissioner Andrew Coster and the Privacy Commissioner met to discuss options that the Commissioner considered better satisfied privacy concerns.
- Following the discussions amended proposals were set out in a briefing to Ministers with Power to Act. That briefing and the draft Bill were consulted with the Privacy Commissioner. The resulting policies are now included in the Arms Legislation Bill currently before Select Committee.