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. Whilst we still have work to do, trust is increasing. That is why we will ensure enhanced safeguards, privacy and security protections underpin public sector data sharing arrangements. We are developing new data sharing and release legislation that will enshrine these protections, along with a clear, consistent and transparent approach to the safe sharing of data held by government.

It is important that we are a strong custodian of your data, and that you trust us to work with your data in a way that protects your privacy.

48% trust in government

In the 2019 Edelman trust barometer, Australians had 48% trust in government, which is an increase of 8% since 2018.

Released whole-of-government hosting strategy

In March 2019, we released the Whole of Government Hosting Strategy to advise agencies on data hosting arrangements, protections and safeguards.

Released 3rd version of the tdif

In April 2019, we released the third version of the Trusted Digital Identity Framework to ensure the integrity, and safeguards, of Digital Identity.

2 older people looking at a device.

We will ensure enhanced safeguards, privacy and security protections underpin public sector data sharing arrangements.

Case studies


myTax is an innovative, secure, and easy-to-use online tool to lodge your tax return on any device. 3.8 million users have used it to lodge their own tax returns quickly and safely.

We personalise your myTax information with data we already have. This comes from your employer, bank, health funds and government agencies, so you don’t have to enter this information yourself. You can also upload your records from the myDeductions tool. Pre-filling makes doing your tax return easier and more accurate.

When you have completed your return, we use data analytics and risk models to check the information and send a message if we identify anything unexpected. We send messages specific to you and your data and ask you to check the information and make any adjustments before you lodge. Real-time messaging helped over 230,000 people prepare their returns correctly in 2018 alone.

In 2019, 90% of users were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the system, and around 55% of users completed their returns in 30 minutes or less.

Australian Taxation Office

Building Trust through safe data sharing

The Commonwealth Office of the National Data Commissioner (ONDC) is reforming how government agencies share public sector data.

In March 2019, the ONDC launched the Best Practice Guide to Applying the Data Sharing Principles. The Principles help government agencies to undertake a comprehensive risk management assessment, before deciding if, and when, they can safely share data. The Principles are based on international best practice and are designed to balance the benefits of data sharing with associated risks.

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Whole of Government Hosting Strategy

Australians expect government to use new technologies to improve its services, while also protecting their personal data in the delivery of trustworthy digital services. The Whole of Government Hosting Strategy provides advice to agencies on data hosting arrangements. It helps agencies make more informed decisions and better manage the risks of storing and managing government data in privately owned hosting facilities. The Hosting Strategy also identifies the need to better understand and reduce risks to data sovereignty, ownership and supply chains. It is helping government to be a strong custodian of your data.

Digital Transformation Agency

Trusted Digital Identity Framework

The Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) helps make sure all Australians have a safe, secure, consistent and reliable way to use government services digitally. TDIF outlines how we manage and maintain identity services while protecting your privacy. It sets the rules and standards for how participating government agencies and organisations handle personal information. During the development of TDIF we consulted with privacy advocates, industry experts and the public and received almost 3,000 comments that we used to improve the framework.

To be accredited under the TDIF, applicants must pass an independent privacy impact assessment and information security audit. Australia Post and the Australian Taxation Office have been accredited as Identity Service Providers and Credential Service Providers. The fourth version of the TDIF will set the requirements for commercial sector providers to be accredited —the next step in developing a truly whole-of-economy solution.

Digital Transformation Agency