‘Trust and transparency’ is the theme of this year’s Privacy Awareness Week (15-19 May 2017). This is an annual event held since 2006 to raise awareness across the Asia-Pacific region of the importance of protecting personal information.
While ‘trust’ and ‘transparency’ may sound like fuzzy concepts, particularly in a legal context, they are increasingly underpinning privacy considerations in our data-driven society.‘Big data’ – the processing and use of large scale, complex data – and the ‘internet of things’ have fundamentally transformed, and will continue to transform, how businesses operate. For example, they are enabling companies to know what consumers want before they do, predict business failures before they happen and monitor employee performance in real time. Big data is also enabling the development and use of highly-advanced technologies such as automated (driverless) vehicles, drones and biometric identification.But, as the Productivity Commission has identified, a lack of trust in existing data processes is stalling the development of technologies and ‘choking the use and value of Australia’s data’.1 One of the keys to addressing this issue is for the public and private sectors to develop more transparent and robust processes for dealing with and protecting data – particularly big data and the ever-expanding array of technologies that rely on it. Continue reading