The federal, state and territorial governments have signed a joint intergovernmental agreement that pledges to share public sector data by default.
Under the agreement, which went into effect on Friday, federal and state government agencies will be required to share data as a standard position where it can be done safely, securely, lawfully and ethically.
The data is shared in accordance with established data protection standards, and all governments are committed to improving the processes and practices for exchanging data between legal systems.
The departmental ministers remain responsible for the exchange of data within the framework of their departmental responsibilities and will work with the data and digital ministers in their jurisdiction to identify and promote national priority data areas.
According to the agreement, data is shared in the public interest in order to make political decisions; Designing, providing and evaluating programs; Tracking implementation; and improving service delivery results.
All parties have agreed to use the Office of the National Data Commissioner’s (ONDC) best practice guide on the application of data sharing principles, which is based on the disclosure risk management approach of the Five Safes Framework.
These principles are:
a) Project – The data will be shared for an appropriate purpose that has a public benefit.
b) People – The user has the appropriate authorization to access the data.
c) Settings – The environment in which the data is shared minimizes the risk of unauthorized use or disclosure.
d) Data – The data will be adequately and proportionately protected.
e) Outputs – The output of the data sharing agreement is adequately protected from further disclosure or release.
The agreement also provides examples of legitimate reasons for denying a request for data, including when that request could violate a law, such as a privacy or data protection obligation, or endanger an individual’s health, safety, or well-being.