Get ready! Dealing with personal information in an emergency

An emergency event such as a flood or other natural disaster can occur without notice. Sharing information rapidly in these situations can expedite prompt assistance to those in need. But what about the privacy implications? What do you need to consider when handling personal information in an emergency?

The Information Privacy Act (IP Act) contains protections and provisions for personal information held by Queensland public sector agencies. This includes flexibilities for dealing with personal information in an emergency. For example, the privacy principles contained in the IP Act may not apply in emergency events and/or where the health and safety of individuals may be at risk.

You will manage a disaster event better if you prepare by understanding these and other provisions of the IP Act. We have a guideline for public service officers who need to use, disclose, or access personal information in a disaster or emergency event. It includes practical tips and examples to increase understanding and help simplify compliance with the IP Act.

We also worked with the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management to produce guidance for disaster event managers including a number of scenarios to demonstrate the flexibility of the IP Act for sharing information in emergency situations. View Privacy flexibilities in the management of disaster events (PDF, 58.35 KB).

Read our guideline ‘Privacy and managing disaster events’.

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For further information and advice please: