Media release: Smart tech takes focus for Qld’s Privacy Awareness Week 2020

Queenslanders are being urged to be vigilant when it comes to using smart technology and sharing personal information – a timely message given the increased use of technology and devices during the current pandemic.

Queensland Privacy Commissioner, Phil Green, said it’s important for people to be privacy aware, look out for themselves as well as those who might be less tech-savvy, including children and seniors.

“Privacy Awareness Week runs from 4 to 10 May and this year’s theme is Be smart about privacy,” Mr Green said.

“We live in a digital world and are constantly surrounded by smart technology in the home and in the community from smart phones, TVs, home-assist devices, security systems, cars and smart city initiatives introduced by governments.

“The current COVID-19 health crisis has brought with it a raft of changes and individuals and families are busy navigating working from home, schooling from home and staying connected to family and friends through technology.

“I have a smart phone in my pocket right now, as would most Queenslanders. Being constantly connected to the internet through smart technology increases the amount of data, or personal information, that’s collected about us,” he explained.

Mr Green said Privacy Awareness Week was the perfect opportunity to remind Queenslanders of their privacy rights and how privacy goes hand-in-hand with online safety.

“Privacy and online safety are interconnected and this year the eSafety Commissioner joined us for the online launch of Privacy Awareness Week in Queensland. Ms Julie Inman Grant talked about the crossovers and how to stay safe online,” he said.

“We have five simple tips that spell out the word SMART, making it easier for the community to remember and be privacy aware. I encourage people to visit the Office of the Information Commissioner’s website to find a range of helpful privacy tips to protect their personal information.”

The five Privacy Awareness Week SMART tips for the community include:

Secure your personal information

Multi-factor authentication helps protect

Actively check and update privacy settings

Read Ts&Cs when signing up to apps and emails

Think twice before sharing details on social media

The online launch of Privacy Awareness Week includes video presentations from Mr Phil Green, Ms Inman Grant and Australia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Ms Angelene Falk.

While the week is an opportunity to raise awareness with the community, it’s also a reminder to public sector agencies of their responsibility to protect and respect personal information in the workplace.

The Office of the Information Commissioner has released a range of SMART tips for the public sector, as well as privacy tips while working from home.

In light of the recent Crime and Corruption Commission’s Operation Impala report recommendations, Mr Green said public sector leaders were encouraged to raise awareness about privacy, build good privacy practices into their agency’s day-to-day activities and manage risk.

“With the help of public sector agencies, together we can promote the value of protecting and respecting personal information, and encourage a privacy-aware work culture that builds greater trust and transparency with Queenslanders.

“This goes hand-in-hand with the Operation Impala report which highlighted the need for agencies to better manage and protect personal information, while adopting a more privacy-aware culture,” he said.

Privacy Awareness Week 2020 in Queensland was officially launched on 5 May.

More information is available at