Insights Victoria: Daniel Andrews’ secret data system revealed in FOI

Secret documents reveal Daniel Andrews has a data system that has been monitoring Victorian sentiment on social media and credit card transactions.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews has been revealed to have a data agency to monitor the daily activities of Victorians, including social media sentiment and credit card transactions.

The sun herald sun obtained documents about the agency, called Insights Victoria, under freedom of information laws.

The publication revealed that the dashboard, which is updated daily, uses publicly available data, but also “commercially confidential” and “sensitive” data that is not permitted to be released by third parties or the public. .

It was set up as part of the government’s Covid response in August 2020, but a September 2020 briefing note said the system would evolve and inform decision-making beyond Covid, sun herald reported.

“Insights Victoria can reduce the time and effort needed to quickly understand ‘the state of affairs’ across all portfolios,” the document reads.

A guide said the document was “designed to be the single source of truth” for the government.

The documents show that access to all data was granted to Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Shane Patton, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp and private political staff of Ms. Andrews.

Cabinet ministers and senior officials had access to the system when needed.

Opposition Treasury spokesman David Davis said the fact that Mr Andrews’ political staff had full access suggested he was prepared to use the data for political purposes.

“In the new Insights Victoria with its intrusive and powerful deep-dive computer system, monitoring Victorians every digital move, cross-referencing their personal information, Andrews has more power than Big Brother,” Mr Davis said. sun herald.

“It really feels like a Brave New World. It really does feel like a dystopian society where one man and his office have outsized power enhanced by access to unprecedented flows of personal information.

A government spokesperson told news.com.au that Insights Victoria buys anonymised datasets from private sector partners.

“The data provided is not market-sensitive and is anonymized,” the spokesperson said.

“All governments use data to inform policy decisions and deliver services.”

It is understood that data purchased from financial institutions was used through the end of 2021 to see physical movements across the state at the local government level.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet Office stressed that all relevant security controls and protections were used in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act.

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