Queensland finally hires a privacy commissioner

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Queensland finally hires a privacy commissioner

Tech law expert appointed to long-vacant role.

The state of Queensland has welcomed its first permanent privacy commissioner since December 2011, ending four years of leadership limbo.

On Friday Information Commissioner Rachael Rangihaeata announced the appointment of long-serving Queensland public servant and former solicitor Philip Green to the statutory role.

He becomes the Queensland public service’s peak advisor on the use, disclosure and storage of personal information, responsible for issuing formal guidance on cloud computing, information sharing amongst agencies and dealing with third-party service providers.

He will also lead the OIC’s resolution of privacy complaints against public entities and will monitor and enforce agency compliance with the Queensland Information Privacy Act.

The Office of the Information Commissioner began recruiting in July, after being given the green light by the state government.

The process followed consecutive complaints from the parliament’s legal affairs and safety committee that a revolving door of temporary hires undermined the stability of the regulator.

Green brings a Masters in law, majoring in technology law including privacy, regulation of the internet and media, to the role.

He has also enjoyed more than a decade in the state’s public service, most recently serving as executive director of small business at the Department of Tourism.

Prior to joining the state government, Green worked as a solicitor for big six law firm Allens Arthur Robinson.

The OIC has helped the state’s government workers navigate the grey areas between privacy and new technology in the past, including warnings about jurisdictional privacy risks presented by the social networking platform Yammer.

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