How to deal with personal information in a pandemic

March 24, 2020 - 3:49pm

In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the OIC is encouraging public sector agencies to brush up on their awareness, policies and processes around information sharing.

Sharing information rapidly in emergency situations like pandemics can speed up help for those in need, especially individuals whose health and safety may be at risk.

But what about the privacy implications? What do you need to consider when handling personal information in an emergency?

The Information Privacy Act includes flexibilities, so information can be shared to ensure public safety during emergencies, pandemics and natural disasters.

Check out our guidelines on privacy flexibilities in emergencies as well as our information sharing scenarios.

We also note the statement of the Executive Committee of the Global Privacy Authority on COVID-19.

Additional guidance is available from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner here.