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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 16 September 2021) . . Page.. 2660 ..


In the case that Ms Lee talks about, what was provided to individual businesses was the check-in information about those individual businesses, to alert them to the fact that it appeared that check-ins were not as high as might have been expected and they may want to do something about that to ensure that they had appropriate processes in place to meet their legal obligations under the public health direction. That is not a use of personal information through the Check In CBR app; that is a use of statistical and summary information.

This type of information may be used from time to time to communicate with a business about its check-in numbers. But that is not relevant to what we are talking about with this particular bill, which is designed to protect personal information. It is difficult, because when I make comments at press conferences, I am generally responding to questions that I am asked. Then those comments may be taken out of context, because the questions I am asked are about personal information where people check in as individuals. Then that comment is taken to also include data and summary information when that was not the intention and that was not what I was asked about. It is completely conflating two different types of data and information.

This bill is about the increased protection of personal check-in information. It responds specifically to the Human Rights Commission and some instances we have seen in other jurisdictions, including Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, where check-in data has been requested by law enforcement agencies in the investigation of serious criminal offences.

I emphasise that there is no suggestion that check-in data has been accessed by law enforcement agencies in the ACT. In fact, ACT Policing have been very clear that they would prioritise public confidence in the app. Also, the evidentiary value of check-in information is likely to be relatively low compared to all the other information about whether and when a person might have visited a venue that is held and can be sourced by police who are undertaking an investigation.

This bill has been brought forward to provide absolute certainty for the community. Amendments in the bill will ensure that personal information collected through the Check In CBR app will only be admissible as evidence in a court proceeding for the purposes of investigating or prosecuting an offence for failing to comply with a public health direction in relation to contact tracing; giving false or misleading information in relation to contact tracing; or, if my amendment is passed, an offence that is created by this bill.

The new offences in the bill are intended to safeguard against the misuse of personal information collected by the Check In CBR app, including the collection, use, protection and obstruction of this personal information. People defined as authorised collectors of check-in information, other than an authorised person in the ACT government, would be prevented from collecting contact tracing information in a way other than through the Check In CBR app, through an alternative way that is permitted under a public health direction, or by exemption by the Chief Health Officer.

The offence provision essentially seeks to prevent third-party systems, or persons, from collecting check-in information which could then be potentially used for other


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