Currently, there are a wide range of laws, guidelines and codes of practice that inform how and when personal information is collected, used and shared in the social sector. They can be hard to navigate and there is some confusion within the sector about what is and isn't appropriate. We need to make it easier for everyone to understand what's appropriate, what's not, and how to do things safely when personal information has a role to play.
The engagement will result in a policy that informs, clarifies and guides whether, when, how and why personal information is collected, used and shared for social service delivery.
To achieve this, the policy must provide practical and easy to understand guidance on how the social sector can:
We see the end result as being a combination of principles, protocols, guidance, and potentially digital tools to enable everyone to easily understand what's appropriate, what's not, and how to do things safely when personal information has a role to play. We are calling this the Data Protection and Use Policy. The policy will not change the law.
The SIA is engaging with a broad range of service users (for example, users of youth, housing, and mental health services among others), and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and government agencies that provide social services to get their input on the development of the policy.
We begin engaging on 31 May around the country, and will launch a survey to receive feedback online.