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Western Australia: Government introduces bill to protect COVID-19 contact tracing information

The Government of Western Australia introduced, on 15 June 2021, the Protection of Information (Entry Registration Information Relating to COVID-19 and Other Infectious Diseases) Bill 2021. In particular, the bill introduces a comprehensive legislative framework to strengthen the protection of information obtained through COVID-19 contact registers and the 'SafeWA' app. Furthermore, the bill addresses recent concerns that law enforcement authorities had accessed such information while investigating two serious crimes.

In this regard, the bill limits the use and disclosure of such information to purposes relating to contact tracing and mandates storage and disposal requirements for the same. Notably, the bill provides that information collected may not be used for commercial purposes, and businesses and venues will be required to retain hardcopy contact registers for 28 days, after which such records must be destroyed as soon as practicable.

At present, the bill has been passed by both houses of the Parliament of Western Australia and is currently awaiting assent.

You can read the press release here and track the bill's progress here.