Report on sharing of personal information in the event of disasters inside or out of the Northern Territory

The report has been prepared following consultation on an issues paper that sought comments on proposed amendments to the Information Act to establish a clear legal basis for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information in the event of a disaster or an emergency that might occur inside or outside of the Northern Territory.

The report proposes that the legislation be amended so that (1) section 70 of the Act applies to the Northern Territory Emergency Services and the Northern Territory Fire and Rescue Services (in addition to law enforcement agencies), (2) Information Privacy Principle 2.1(d)(iii) in Schedule 2 of the Act includes the words “public welfare” and that the term be defined so that it links with the definition of “emergency situation” under the Emergency Management Act, (3) a public sector organisation may use, collect or disclose personal information within or outside of the Northern Territory for a permitted purpose during an “emergency situation”, a public sector organisation may apply to the Information Commissioner for an extension of the period of time after the “emergency situation” has ceased to use, collect or disclose personal information for a permitted purpose and “permitted purpose” be defined in similar terms as in clause 5 of the New Zealand Civil Defence National Emergencies (Information Sharing) Code 2013, (4) the endpoint of an emergency be determined based on a legislative approach where the period of exemption is defined by a link to an event such as the declaration of an “emergency situation” in the Emergency Management Act, and (5) the Codes of Practice be approved by the Information Commissioner and that Grants of Authorisation cover all Information Privacy Principles.

If the NT Government accepts in whole or in part the proposals in the report, it is anticipated that legislation will be introduced in late 2014 or early 2015.

Sharing of Personal Information in the Event of Disasters inside or out of the Northern Territory - Consultation outcomes (334.5 kb) 
Sharing of Personal Information in the Event of Disasters inside or out of the Northern Territory - Consultation outcomes (1.2 mb)

Last updated: 28 November 2017