Media release: Privacy Review of Government Agencies Camera Surveillance Use—14 November 2011

Today, Queensland’s Acting Privacy Commissioner Lemm Ex announced the commencement of a review into the use of camera surveillance (including CCTV) by Queensland government agencies.

The review will include an online survey of almost 200 Queensland government agencies (Queensland Government departments, local government, statutory authorities) to which the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) applies. The survey is designed to establish both the purposes for which camera surveillance systems are being used and how well the general administration of the system complies with the privacy principles.

An in-depth compliance audit will also be conducted of a sample of government agencies, including local governments. A range of considerations will inform the sample, including qualitative and quantitative risk assessments. The in depth audit should illustrate good privacy practices as well as opportunities for improvement.

Section 135 of the Information Privacy Act 2009 provides the power to conduct audits into personal information handling practices and compliance with the information privacy principles.

The objective of the review is to:

  • establish whether agencies comply with the prescribed requirements of the Information Privacy Act 2009
  • identify areas of good practice
  • make recommendations to improve compliance with the Information Privacy Act 2009

Acting Privacy Commissioner Lemm Ex said, “Camera surveillance is not unlawful under the Information Privacy Act 2009. However there are a number of obligations in relation to the collection, use, access, storage and security of footage to protect the personal information of the community. This review will assess whether government agencies are complying with their privacy obligations when using camera surveillance.”

“The community has legitimate expectation to be confident their personal information is collected, stored and used responsibly by government,” Mr Ex said.

The on-line agency survey will commence in early November 2011 and the compliance audit will follow. OIC will report on its findings and recommendations, as appropriate, to improve agency compliance with their privacy obligations. OIC intends the final report will be presented to the Speaker for tabling in the Legislative Assembly by mid-2012.

An audio grab (MP3, 1291.6 KB) from Acting Privacy Commissioner and Terms of Reference (PDF, 2014.2 KB) are available.

Media contact: Mr Steve Haigh, Manager, Training and Stakeholder Relations
Phone: 07 3405 1111