Privacy concern as govt weighs cloud computing options
Privacy concerns are top-of-mind as internal affairs minister Chris Tremain makes a move towards cloud computing for government agencies.
The move to provide onshore pay-per-use ICT products and services is expected to improve efficiency and save money.
However, Mr Tremain would not say how much money will be saved, with spokeswoman Jenna Raeburn telling NBR ONLINE it was "commercially sensitive" information.
Mr Tremain wants to see cloud computing, which means agencies will no longer need to maintain their own infrastructure – used across departments – in email, spreadsheets and word processing.
He says all agencies will be encouraged to take a "cloud first" approach when making procurement decisions.
Mr Tremain says Australia, the US, Canada and the UK are all developing cloud computing policies and their success is something he will be watching closely.
A request for proposal to provide the onshore service should be released within the coming weeks and by the end of the year, a department policy framework will be developed and presented to cabinet.
For the time being, the government wants an on-shore host to ensure the security of the stored information.
The concern around privacy comes one week after privacy commissioner Marie Shroff released her report into the ACC–Bronwyn Pullar controversy.
At the time of the release, Australian privacy commissioner Malcolm Crompton, who led the investigation, says it was bad luck for ACC.
He said human error could have just as easily resulted in privacy breaches at any other organisation.