Government that's informed by you

Objective 8 – Earn your trust through being strong custodians of your data

Objective status
In progress

Sharing data held by government has incredible potential at both the national level and at the individual level, but it must be done prudently and safely. Maintaining trust with the Australian community is fundamental to realising the full potential of this national asset. Trust is increasing and we will continue to make sure enhanced safeguards, privacy and security protections underpin public sector data sharing arrangements. We are developing new data sharing legislation that will enshrine these protections, along with a clear, consistent and transparent approach to the safe sharing of data held by government.

7 million+ registrations

There have been more than 7.1 million registrations for the COVIDSafe app.

Case studies

Reforming how public sector data is shared


Developing a new Data Availability and Transparency Bill (the Bill), to provide an alternative pathway for government agencies to safely use public sector data.


  • drive better and more efficient government services, policies and programs
  • provide better access to public sector data for research
  • improve data integrity and risk management.


The Government is developing a new Bill to provide a consistent pathway for government agencies to safely use public sector data.

The Bill forms part of the Government response to recommendations made by the Productivity Commission’s 2017 inquiry into Data Availability and Use. The inquiry looked at how data was used across the Australian economy and recommended reforms to unlock its full potential.

The Bill will authorise sharing of public sector data with accredited users for specific purposes only – informing government policy and programs, research and development and government service delivery. The Bill will establish the National Data Commissioner to oversee and maintain the integrity of the data sharing scheme and data shared will also be subject to a new risk management framework called the Data Sharing Principles, which build on the internationally recognised Five-Safes framework.  

The Office of the National Data Commissioner has released a Data Sharing Agreement template consistent with the Data Sharing Principles, which can be used by anyone needing to share data. The Foundational Four guidance sets out simple and useful steps for working with data more productively.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet



Provide secure contact tracing capability to identify close contacts of people suspected of contracting the COVID-19 virus.


  • individuals do not need to remember the places and time of visits or those they have interacted with
  • provide a trusted source of data that mitigates human error
  • in conjunction with the Coronavirus Australian App and WhatsApp messaging, increase trust and confidence in Australia’s management of COVID-19 as well as empower people to manage their own responses.


COVIDSafe is a system designed to augment Australia’s world-leading manual contact tracing capability. It is a combination of the COVIDSafe app that users have installed on their mobile device, and the Health Portal that State and Territory health officials (contact tracers) use to identify close contacts.

COVIDSafe assists contact tracers in two ways:

  • increasing the speed of discovering, verifying, and contacting close contacts
  • supporting the scale up of the contact tracing process to better deal with large outbreaks.

During its development, the DTA engaged external, independent privacy experts to undertake a privacy impact assessment of COVIDSafe. They endorsed key design features: to allow users to decide when and whether they will release their contact information, that the information remains on the phone under user control and that the shared data is automatically deleted after 21 days. 

COVIDSafe is closely aligned to, and supported by, the Coronavirus app and WhatsApp messaging service, that keep Australians informed with the latest up to date information and advice on COVID-19.

Digital Transformation Agency and Department of Health