Privacy Commissioner responds to privacy concerns about the Opal Card
The NSW Privacy Commissioner, Dr Elizabeth Coombs has responded to the recent privacy issues concerning Opal travel cards being used for law enforcement purposes.
“While this exemption exists, it’s important to have rules around how Opal information will be accessed by Police, and I understand that Transport NSW and NSW Police are having discussions about putting these arrangements in place.
“It’s important that these discussions are finalised given the take up of the Opal card and the phasing out of paper tickets. Letting the public know that there are rules around how Police can access Opal card information and what these rules are, is important to establishing trust in the Opal card,” said Dr Coombs.
“I will also look to Transport for NSW to confirm it has processes in place to ensure its recordkeeping is appropriate and secure, and that there is provision for independent monitoring as an important governance mechanism,” Dr Coombs said.
Transport NSW has advised that unregistered cards will soon be available for individuals who do not want to disclose their personal information in order to travel on public transport. These will be available from kiosks at stations and from local Opal card retailers to purchase for cash.
For further information, please contact:
IPC media team on 0435 961 691 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
If you have any concerns about the Opal card and how it collects, stores and shares personal information, you can seek further information or make an enquiry to:
Transport for NSW
Call: 13 67 25 (13 OPAL)
Information and Privacy Commission NSW
Free call: 1800 472 679