Government launches public inquiry into big data

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 18 April 2016

Government advisory body, The Productivity Commission, is today asking academics, government agencies, private entities with large data holdings (including finance and social media), to contribute to its new public inquiry on Data Availability and Use.

An issues paper released today provides initial perspectives on areas of interest to the inquiry such as privacy and confidentiality.

Chairman Peter Harris says: “The significant evolution in data collection and analysis seen in recent times suggests that the culture, standards and policy structures that have applied to what is commonly called big data analytics, may need to move out of the back room and into the showroom if community confidence and wide opportunity for innovation are to be maximised.”

The inquiry will seek to explore the benefits of providing greater access for third parties to big data holdings, public and private, and consider new models for making data available.

Equally, the inquiry will consider current policies and regulations in place to protect the legitimate interests of individuals and businesses in privacy and confidentiality, and consider whether they remain fit for purpose.

The Commission will look at both principles and practical reform opportunities in response to developing trends across national and international markets, designed to position Australia to lift its performance in safe, high-utility release of public data sets; and the basis for more effective use of private data sets while maintaining the commercial incentives for data collection and provision.

Off the back of some of the big industry data deals, CEO at ADMA Jodie Sangster told AdNews that consequently it has never been more important for companies to ensure they are rigorously compliant whilst being transparent with consumers as to how and why their data is being shared. Read more here.


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