Data Governance Australia (DGA) has launched of a draft code of practice, which it’s hoping will set the benchmark for how organisations collect, manage and disclose data.
The draft code, open for public consultation until July 21, is aimed at promoting a culture of best practice that fosters consumer confidence and trust in how organisations treat information.
The code contains ten core principles that build on the foundation laid out by the Privacy Act. The scope of the principles extend beyond ‘personal information’ (as defined by the Privacy Act) and also apply to ‘data’ about consumers more broadly.
The three core tenets of the code require organisations to ensure that they do not cause any harm to consumers during course of data collection, use or disclosure; the collection practices meet community expectations; and consider the ‘fairness’ to the consumers in the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.
DGA chief executive Jodie Sangster said that self — regulation was the best path forward for organisations at a time when the digital economy was making rapid strides.
“Data is one of the most valuable assets in our digital economy and there are currently many untapped opportunities for innovation using data,” Ms Sangster said.
“Introducing laws and regulations run the risk of stifling innovation and creating a regime that is not flexible enough to respond to the rate of change.”
Chair of DGA Board, Graeme Samuel added that the continued growth of the digital economy rests on the ability of organisations to engender consumer trust.
“Ensuring that businesses gain the trust of consumers is vital, as is the empowerment of the business user through the collective establishment and enforcement of responsible data-practices,” Mr Samuel said.
The former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said that trust and innovation need to run hand-in hand.
“Data is held in staggering volumes across multiple platforms and consumers are demanding transparency,” he said.
The organisation was set up in October last year and Mr Samuel said that its main job is to assist businesses to promote greater productivity through efficient use of data while maintaining greater regulatory compliance.
The code will be enforced by the code authority, which consists of three members from consumer groups, three members from the industry and an independent chair. The DGA is currently consulting with relevant government bodies and industry stakeholders about data portability issues.
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