Legislative Council: Tuesday, September 06, 2022


Facial Recognition Technology

In reply to the Hon. S.G. WADE ().5 July 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Attorney-General, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): I have been advised:

Activity is in progress both at the global and national level.

The Global Privacy Assembly has commissioned a facial recognition subgroup to develop guidance on the use of facial recognition technology (FRT). Once that guidance is released, adoption will be considered within each of the various jurisdictions of Australia.

A subgroup of the Privacy Authorities of Australia (PAA) is at the initial scoping phase of a national policy position in the use of FRT. The presiding member of the Privacy Committee of South Australia is a member of PAA and will keep me informed on any recommended actions for South Australia's public sector.

The Information Privacy Principles Instruction is Premier and Cabinet Circular 12. It is the responsibility of agency principal officers to remain informed of circular requirements and to ensure agencies comply with the directives. This includes ensuring that the principles are implemented, maintained, and observed for and in respect of all personal information for which their agency is responsible.

Penalties for noncompliance are not articulated in the Premier and Cabinet Circular but depend on the administrative context of the breach and the harm of the action.

Agencies are required, under the Personal Information Data Breaches Guideline (currently under review) to notify the Privacy Committee of South Australia of personal information breaches. The Privacy Committee may appoint a person on its own initiative to investigate or assist in investigation of the nature and extent of compliance of an agency.

The Privacy Committee is also able to refer written complaints concerning individual privacy to the appropriate authority. Complaints are typically referred to the agency's principal officer, the Ombudsman, or the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.

Depending upon the circumstances, a breach of a Premier and Cabinet Circular may amount to misconduct. The agency in which the relevant employee is employed would be responsible for any disciplinary process in that regard.