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Privacy Act & codes

Summary

Health agencies must use health information for the same purpose for which they collected that information.

Other uses are occasionally permitted (for example because this is necessary to enforce the law, or the use is directly related to the purpose for which the agency got the information).

Full rule

(1) A health agency that holds health information obtained in connection with one purpose must not use the information for any other purpose unless the health agency believes on reasonable grounds:

(a) that the use of the information for that other purpose is authorised by:

(i) the individual concerned; or

(ii) the individual’s representative where the individual is unable to give his or her authority under this rule;

(b) that the purpose for which the information is used is directly related to the purpose in connection with which the information was obtained;

(c) that the source of the information is a publicly available publication [and that, in the circumstances of the case, it would not be unfair or unreasonable to use the information];

Note: Subrule 10(1)(c) was amended by Amendment No 8.

(d) that the use of the information for that other purpose is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious […] threat to:

(i) public health or public safety; or

(ii) the life or health of the individual concerned or another individual;

Note: Subrule 10(1)(d) was amended by Amendment No 7.

(e) that the information:

(i) is used in a form in which the individual concerned is not identified;

(ii) is used for statistical purposes and will not be published in a form that could reasonably be expected to identify the individual concerned; or

(iii) is used for research purposes (for which approval by an ethics committee, if required, has been given) and will not be published in a form that could reasonably be expected to identify the individual concerned;

(f) that non-compliance is necessary:

(i) to avoid prejudice to the maintenance of the law by any public sector agency, including the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, and punishment of offences; or

(ii) for the conduct of proceedings before any court or tribunal (being proceedings that have been commenced or are reasonably in contemplation);

(g) that the use of the information is in accordance with an authority granted under section 54 of the Act.

[(1A) A health agency that holds health information that was obtained from the testing or examination of a blood sample collected in connection with the Newborn Metabolic Screening Programme shall not use that information unless it believes, on reasonable grounds, that the use is in accordance with Schedule 3.]

Note: Subrule 10(1A) was inserted by Amendment No 7.

(2) This rule does not apply to health information obtained before [1 July 1993].

Note: Subrule 10(2) was amended by Amendment No 2.

Note: An action is not in breach of this rule if it is authorised or required by or under law: Privacy Act, section 7(4).