On 18 April 2016 the Australian Productivity Commission’s public inquiry into Data Availability and Use released its first Issues Paper.

The Commission’s Chairman Pater Haris noted that, “The way data is being collected and used — or not used — appears to be changing rapidly, perhaps more rapidly overseas than in Australia. This presents both new opportunities and new risks.”

The Issues Paper canvasses each of the Inquiry’s five terms of reference, being to examine:

  1. the benefits and costs of increasing the availability of public sector data to other public sector agencies, the private sector, researchers, academics and the community;
  2. the benefits and costs of increasing the availability of private sector data to other private sector firms, the public sector, researchers, academics and the community;
  3. options to improve individuals’ access to public and private sector data about them and the costs and benefits of those options;
  4. options for standardising the collection, sharing and release of public and private sector data and their costs and benefits; and
  5. ways to enhance and maintain individuals’ and businesses’ confidence and trust in the way data are used.

Click here to view image.

The Commission has recognised that privacy and intellectual property rights are key issues in any conversations around data, particularly data about individuals.

Submissions are due by Friday 29 July 2016.