WA Protection of Information Act for Entry Registration

Friday 2 July 2021 @ 2.36 p.m. | Judiciary, Legal Profession & Procedure | Legal Research

The Protection of Information (Entry Registration Information Relating to COVID-19 and Other Infectious Diseases) Act 2021 (WA) (No 3 of 2021) ('the Act') received assent on 21 June 2021 and commenced on 22 June 2021. The Bill for the Act was introduced into the Western Australian Assembly on 15 June 2021 by Attorney-General John Quigley.

The Act creates a statutory framework for the regulation, storage, and destruction of entry registration information provided for the purpose of contact tracing in relation to infectious disease emergencies such as COVID-19. In creating this framework, the Act seeks to balance the need of entry registration information with the importance of maintaining trust in measures imposed and mandated by the government.

Overview of Key Provisions

Section 6 of the Act provides for the prohibition of the use and disclosure of entry registration information save for limited specified reasons. This section specifically prohibits the use and disclosure of entry registration information, for any reason other than for:

  • contact tracing;
  • purposes related to contact tracing (such as the support, efficacy, integrity and security of contact tracing);
  • deriving de-identified statistical and/or summary information; and
  • investigating or prosecuting certain offences.

Section 6 also contains penalties for contrary disclosure and/or use entry registration information.

The Act allows for entry registration information to be used and disclosed in regards to offences which relate to:

  • an obligation to provide or record information for the purpose of contact tracing;
  • compliance with an obligation related to the recording, use or disclosure of contact tracing information; or
  • the provision of false or misleading information when complying with obligations to provide or record information for the purpose of contact tracing.

The Act also includes provisions regarding:

  • the storage period for entry registration records;
  • an obligation for secure storage of entry registration records; and 
  • an obligation to destroy records after the storage period, and taking all reasonable steps to ensure that the entry registration information contained in the record cannot be retrieved after its destruction.

Storage of entry registration records is dealt with in section 7, which provides that the responsible person for these records must, as reasonably practicable, ensure that the records are securely stored until it is destroyed. Contravention of this provision is an offence, punishable by imprisonment for 12 months and a fine of $20,000.

Section 8 details that following the initial storage period for entry registration records, these records must be destroyed. This section also provides for circumstances when the destruction of entry registration records is either postponed or not required due to the ongoing use of those records for specified purposes.

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Protection of Information (Entry Registration Information Relating to COVID-19 and Other Infectious Diseases) Act 2021 (WA), corresponding Bill and explanatory materials available from TimeBase's LawOne Service.

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