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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Universities disclosure practices in the spotlight

Shorter posts, on holidays.

Both the University of Technology Sydney and the University of Sydney have taken a bit of a hammering after Freedom of Information responses to the Sydney Morning Herald, concerning information provided to the Police and other law enforcement bodies about students.

As pointed out in these articles, disclosure of information in these circumstances where the agency is satisfied that disclosure is necessary for a law enforcement purpose does not involve any breach of NSW privacy laws. Those laws of course do not require disclosure so the matter is left entirely to the discretion of the agency.

NSW government agencies should ensure that their statement of privacy policy indicates whether personal information may be disclosed to law enforcement authorities in the absence of a warrant or order.

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