Data sharing principles

The Data Availability and Transparency legislation will include a modernised approach to assisting government agencies to safely unlock greater benefits of public sector data. The approach we have developed builds on the internationally recognised Five-Safes Framework.

Our approach to public sector data sharing will adopt five Data Sharing Principles. These provide for privacy, security, ethical, strategic, and operational risks to be considered as part of a holistic assessment.

The five Data Sharing Principles provide a privacy-by-design approach to help government agencies to share data safely by balancing public benefits with risks.

When agencies are considering whether data can be shared safely, they need to consider multiple factors, including:

  • Why the data is being used (Projects Principle)
  • Who is using the data (People Principle)
  • Where the data is being used (Settings Principle)
  • What data is appropriate (Data Principle)
  • How the results of the project are used (Outputs Principle)

The Principles help agencies to think about each of these factors by themselves as well as how they interact together to better manage any risks associated with data sharing. They are also designed to take full advantage of new technological developments and approaches to data protection.

The National Data Commissioner will support best practice through guidance and education, aimed at voluntary compliance with the legislation, and will escalate to a graduated enforcement model when necessary to protect public sector data.

For more information on how government agencies ensure appropriate safeguards around data sharing, read the Sharing Data Safely Framework.