Why privacy matters at ACU

With ongoing data collection for contact tracing during the pandemic, privacy remains a hot topic. Most people sense that it is important, but also wonder what it is and why the bother 

This Privacy Awareness Week, take time to respect yourself and others by considering what else you can do to protect personal information and become empowered, at ACU and beyond.

Privacy is the protection of personal information about individuals: you. It is your name and contact details at your local café and your most sensitive health information at Medicare. Privacy is an end-to-end exercise starting with the collection of personal information and ending with the deletion of old or inaccurate information.

Privacy is about respect. It is about respecting your – and every person’s – right to choose what others know about us, when, where and why. We all deserve respect. Always.

Privacy has nothing to do with hiding. Sure, you might have done something you were not proud of, but managing your reputation to avoid the harm or discrimination wrought by the judgment of others protects your opportunities and wellbeing. Having “no secrets” does not prevent your religious, health, political or financial profile being accessed by the wrong people or being used for the wrong reason. Good privacy practices do.

Your personal information is used to make innumerable decisions about you. Know what is held and how it is being used, and ensure your information is correct to minimise unfair decisions. As boring as it seems, take time to read the privacy policy or manage your privacy settings. Knowledge is power.

Privacy is central to ACU’s mission to empower and dignify people. Self-determination is a human right. Taking control of your own information helps protect everyone’s privacy and holds organisations, governments and others to account.

In your role at ACU, privacy is more than just ticking the compliance box. It is about actively building trust with those around you, whether students, colleagues or partners. Trust ensures our sustainability and inspires us to be better when we see our positive effect.

Natalie Koppe is ACU’s passionate Privacy Coordinator. Reach out to her with your query or challenge, or for a chat.

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