Government, privacy and automated trucks

Government, privacy and automated trucks

Addressing the privacy challenges of government access to information generated by automated vehicles and specific transport network technology is the subject of a discussion paper released by the National Transport Commission (NTC).

“Cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) and automated vehicle technology are producing new data and information. We need to examine whether Australia’s current privacy and information access framework sufficiently covers this new data,” said NTC’s acting chief executive Dr Geoff Allan.

He said the technology included in these new systems might generate in-cabin image data, location and route data, and data from biometric or health sensors.

“Governments will need to access automated vehicle and C-ITS information for purposes including the safety regulation of automated vehicles, optimising road networks and enforcing road laws,” Dr Allan said. “However, government access to the type, breadth and depth of personal or sensitive information generated by C-ITS and automated vehicle technology presents a privacy challenge. We currently have different protections in place in different states and territories. We need to have an appropriate framework in place to protect Australians’ privacy.”

The NTC’s discussion paper identifies three categories of new privacy challenges, and outlines options to address these as they relate to automated vehicle and C-ITS technology. The paper’s scope is based on previous recommendations agreed by transport ministers. The paper does not examine private sector access to data.

Academics from the University of NSW have completed an independent legal research report to examine the application of Australia’s existing information access framework to inform the discussion paper.

The NTC invites submissions from information and privacy commissions, state and territory transport agencies, enforcement and justice agencies, industry, academics and individuals.

Submissions can be made online via the NTC’s website at ntc.gov.au/submissions. Submissions close on 22 November 2018, with recommendations due to Australian transport ministers in May 2019.

 

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