NSW Privacy Commissioner Statement on use of Commonwealth mobile tracing app data for managing the COVID-19 pandemic


The NSW Privacy Commissioner, Ms Samantha Gavel, has issued the following statement about the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 tracing app: 

  1. In my role as NSW Privacy Commissioner I have been briefed on the Commonwealth app. The various privacy, security, IT and information transfer arrangements of the app have been settled with the involvement of a number of Commonwealth Government agencies, including the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). The focus on provision of limited data by the consumer and control of that release is very valuable.
  2. Noteworthy elements of the app are that the information will be used for a narrow purpose, which is for contact tracing by health authorities where someone has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and the preclusion on the ability to use the data for a law enforcement purpose, as well as penalties for improper use.
  3. I note that the Privacy Impact Assessment for the app has been released and is available for the public to view on the Commonwealth Department of Health’s website. I believe the commitment to transparency this demonstrates is positive.
  4. I will continue having discussions with the Commonwealth and other State and Territory Privacy Commissioners and Ombudsman about the app during the pandemic.




For further information, please contact:

IPC media team on 0435 961 691 or email communications@ipc.nsw.gov.au

About the Information and Privacy Commission:
The Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) is an independent statutory authority that administers New South Wales’ legislation dealing with privacy and access to government information. The IPC supports the Information Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner in fulfilling their legislative responsibilities and functions and to ensure individuals and agencies can access consistent information, guidance and coordinated training about information access and privacy matters.

About the NSW Privacy Commissioner
Samantha Gavel was appointed as NSW Privacy Commissioner on 4 September 2017. Her role is to promote public awareness and understanding of privacy rights in NSW, as well as provide information, support, advice and assistance to agencies and the general public.

For further information about the IPC visit our website at www.ipc.nsw.gov.au