Two common privacy questions our clients ask

Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) is an annual event run by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) that brings awareness and highlights the importance of protecting personal information. Running from 12 to 18 May, the message this year is “Don’t be in the Dark on Privacy”, which focusses on a series of privacy priorities including data breaches, online security, your credit information, health information and protecting your data. Two common questions clients ask us are:

1. What is the difference between data privacy and security?

Privacy and Security are often used synonymously. Where privacy is about safeguarding of user identity through knowing how information is collected, stored, transmitted and destroyed.

Security is about the safeguarding of data and is essentially the protection against unauthorised access of data. Organisations should have security controls in place to limit who can access the information.

2. Personal identifiable information vs sensitive information?

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any information related to an identifier for a person. This can include a person’s full name, date of birth, personal email and home address, just to name a few.

Sensitive information is a type of personal information and includes information such as racial, ethnic origin or religious beliefs, political opinion, sexual orientation and health records.

Humans are often considered the biggest risk to data privacy and information security, therefore it is key to communicate their importance to all employees. Employees play an integral role in protecting data within the organisation.

Employees when interacting with information within an organisation, whether it be customer personal, sensitive information or corporate information, should be aware of how various types of datasets are treated and protected.

Privacy education and Security awareness training is essential in ensuring all staff (including contractors and temps) understand the part they play in protecting the information they have access to and therefore reducing the risk of a data breach.

For further information relating to Privacy Awareness Week 2019, please visit the OAIC website here.