Lisa M. Thomas of Winston & Strawn writes:
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) recently published a draft “Guide to big data and the Australian Privacy Principles” (Guide), and asked industry participants for comments. The guide is intended to help companies understand how the Australian Privacy Principles (under the Australian Privacy Act 1988) apply to big data that contains information about “an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.” Often, there is a question whether or not information contained in big data is really personally identifiable, or is “de-identified,” (Guide, p. 3) which to OAIC, is information that is sufficiently de-identified that “the information is no longer about an identified individual or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.” (Guide, p. 3). When sufficiently de-identified, the Guide indicates, the privacy principles would not apply.
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