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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2657 ..

where we go and who we are in contact with. The amendments in this bill will strengthen personal security by ensuring that territory and state courts are not able to access the data in this app for purposes other than COVID-19 contact tracing or investigation and prosecution of offences in relation to contact tracing.

Anything that might raise personal security concerns about the use of check-in apps has the potential to undermine public health. If we are to survive this pandemic, the only way is together. That requires all of us to build trust with each other and with the organisations and systems we rely on. For example, if the ACT government wanted to know who attended a meeting to plan a protest event in Canberra, these amendments mean they cannot use Check In CBR data. I hope that commonwealth legislation is also quickly amended to ensure that Check In CBR data cannot be accessed using a federal court order for purposes other than contact tracing.

I would, of course, be happier if Check In CBR code was released as open source. This would enable the open-source community to identify any issues and help them get fixed as quickly as possible, and increase levels of trust in the community. But even without the code being released, Minister Stephen-Smith’s amendments to further protect the data from access, other than by approved contact tracing, are very welcome, and I support this.

MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (5.18): The Canberra Liberals support the COVID-19 Emergency Response (Check-in Information) Amendment Bill 2021. The bill will amend the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020, to provide for important protections for any data collected via the Check In CBR app.

The bill is a result of concerns raised by the ACT Human Rights Commissioner about how Canberrans’ data obtained by the Check In CBR app will be protected. The bill provides assurance to the Canberra community that data provided via the app will be protected from misuse, particularly at the interface between customers and business, which is critical to ensuring community support and, more importantly, use of the app.

The opposition received a briefing on the bill on Monday, 13 September. We thank the government for engaging with us constructively to ensure that the important protections included in this bill become law as soon as possible.

The bill has been considered by the scrutiny committee, which raised several concerns about the operation of the bill. Following the consideration by the scrutiny committee, the opposition will be moving amendments to the bill to strengthen the protections included in it. The first amendment will ensure that public servants are certain about what activities data collected via the app may be used for, by requiring the government to list any “related purposes” in the definition of permitted purposes in regulation. The second will ensure that an equivalent penalty to that which applies to the general public for misuse of any data also applies to authorised officers. This is an important addition and protection.

The third amendment will make certain that data cannot be used for any purpose other than the purpose contemplated by the bill, unless that purpose is specifically permitted by regulation. Currently the proposed definition of committed purpose in 2C would

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