Government announces Cloud computing policy

Steven Raeburn| Thedrum
The Federal Government in Australia has announced its policy for the Government’s use of cloud computing, which it says will maintain the privacy, security, integrity and availability of personal information.
The policy was announced by Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus QC, and the Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy, Senator Kate Lundy, and is part of the Government‘s stated aim of becoming a leader in the appropriate use of cloud services.. “The policy will aid decision-makers in determining when to allow the use of offshoring or outsourcing on a case-by-case basis,” Dreyfus said. Senator Lundy added:
“This Government is an enthusiastic supporter of new technology such as cloud computing, especially where it not only facilitates government business but helps us get the best value for the tax payer dollar.”” “Cloud technology offers not just agility, flexibility and scalability, but also cost savings. In fact, cloud computing is fundamentally changing the way we think about communications technology,” she said. “Combined with the rollout of the National Broadband Network, cloud computing has the potential to revolutionise how we consume and use digital technology.
“I have paid special attention to the security of personal information, which people expect will be treated with the highest care by all organisations, but by government in particular. Safeguards have been incorporated so that before personal information can be stored in the cloud, the approval of the Minister responsible for the information, and my own approval as Minister for privacy, must be given.
“This is to ensure that sufficient measures have been taken to mitigate potential risks to the security of that information. The attorney general said that Government is trusted to hold information on citizens and business and is expected to protect it. “As much of our work is online, and technology is constantly evolving, we must regularly ensure we are continuing to meet our obligations in protecting the information given to us,” Dreyfus said.
“I am pleased to say we are now introducing a policy to assist Australian Government agencies in assessing the privacy and security risks which might occur in the cloud so they can decide when cloud arrangements are suitable for their business needs. “The safeguards we have put in place will ensure the Government can take advantage of cloud computing to reduce storage costs and improve efficiency while still ensuring the external storage and processing of data only occurs where the privacy of personal information can be properly protected.”

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