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Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner to hold de-identification workshop this November

The Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, is hosting a half-day workshop with a panel of privacy and data experts on de-identification at the GovInnovate Conference in Canberra on 16 November, to explore de-identification and its potential as a privacy-enhancing technology.

The Attorney-General’s recent announcement that the Privacy Act 1988 will be amended to introduce a re-identification offence has clearly put de-identification in the public spotlight.

‘De-identification may prove to be an effective way of protecting the personal information of individuals in large data sets,’ said Commissioner Pilgrim. ‘In doing so, de-identification could support large data-gathering projects by building community confidence that personal information will be protected.’

‘A common understanding of de-identification standards is yet to be reached, and the potential for de-identified data to be made re-identifiable by new technologies has been acknowledged in the Attorney-General’s amendment announcement. So my office wants to help Australian businesses and agencies get to the forefront of this issue, and this workshop is an important part of building that leadership.’

The expert panel that will be discussing these issues, as well as other legal, technical and social aspects of de-identification, include:

  • Dr Khaled El Emam, Founder and CEO, Privacy Analytics; Professor University of Ottawa
  • Dr Stephen Hardy, Group Leader, Data Platform Engineering, Data61, CSIRO
  • Paul McCarney, CEO and Co-Founder, Data Republic
  • Gemma Van Halderen, GM, Strategy and Partnerships Division, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Anna Johnston, Director, Salinger Privacy
  • Dr Vanessa Teague, The University of Melbourne
  • Ian Oppermann, CEO and Chief Data Scientist at NSW Data Analytics Centre.

Titled ‘Data sharing and interoperability’, the workshop will provide an in-depth exploration of de-identification.

Registration details

When: 9.00am to 12.30pm on Wednesday 16 November 2016
Where: Crowne Plaza Canberra
Cost: $595 + GST
Register: Register online using the code OAIC16 for a 20% discounted rate for the workshop.

For further information, please visit or follow @OAICgov.

About the OAIC

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has a range of regulatory responsibilities and powers under the Privacy Act 1988Freedom of Information Act 1982 and other legislation. The OAIC is headed by Timothy Pilgrim who is the Australian Information Commissioner and the Australian Privacy Commissioner. Commissioner Pilgrim is supported by a Deputy Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner Dispute Resolution, Assistant Commissioner Regulation & Strategy and the OAIC staff.

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Media contact: Ms Alison Wares           0407 663 968