Media release: Office of the Information Commissioner Approves Privacy Waiver—12 August 2011

The Privacy Commissioner, Linda Matthews, has made a seminal approval under section 157(4) of the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Queensland) (IP Act) waiving the Department of Environment and Resource Management’s (DERM) obligations to comply with the privacy principles.

DERM applied to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) for a waiver under section 157(1) of the IP Act on 1 June 2011. The purpose of the application was to give DERM flexibility of use of the personal information in the Lease Applications and to disclose the information to the Department of Communities (DoC) and to relevant Indigenous Councils.

The approval was given after careful consideration of the competing public interests. Privacy Commissioner, Linda Matthews, said “having carefully considered the public interest in DERM complying with the privacy principles in the IP Act against the public interest in DERM finalising grants of leases, I consider the balance comes down on the side of the latter.”

The OIC’s approval has been published in the Queensland Government Gazette today, Friday 12 August 2011. The Gazette Notice will be tabled in the Legislative Assembly on 23 August 2011. The Legislative Assembly may disallow the approval.

The Gazette Notice and reasons for the approval have also been published on the OIC website.

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