Privacy Top of Mind as Government Agencies Push Digital Boundaries: TechResearch Asia Report

Research Commissioned by Hitachi Vantara Reveals Insights Into the Unique Challenges of the Public Sectors in Australia and New Zealand

Sydney, October 9, 2017 — Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE:6501), today announced the findings of a new report, titled Digital Transformation Challenges: Top 5 Insights From ANZ Agencies and Departments, conducted by TechResearch Asia (TRA). The research revealed that the sheer pace of digital proliferation has heightened the need for a more nuanced discussion of data governance and privacy issues.

The Privacy Pickle
Mobile apps, virtual reality (VR), and chatbots create both new digital ways of interacting with citizens and private-sector stakeholders and new digital challenges. The biggest challenge nominated in the interviews was the risk of a data breach and the resulting potential for the trust between citizens and government bodies to deteriorate. This reflected the long-established position of governments as custodians of sensitive information, where the biggest issue is reputational risk.

Paul Bruton, business director - data intelligence, Hitachi Vantara Asia Pacific said: “The reality is that while data privacy is well ingrained in everyday practice with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) and the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) in New Zealand, it’s a fast evolving space that government leaders take very seriously. With technology moving so quickly, how can we prevent instances where citizens can be inadvertently identified? We also expect the ripple effect of GDPR [the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation] to reach our shores in 2018. Being able to adapt data management and governance capabilities to support things like de-identifying data sets and the ‘right to be forgotten’ will become increasingly important.”

Multi-Agency Data Integration
For several years, successive governments both in Australia and New Zealand have identified better data use as in everyone’s interest. For instance, the Productivity Commission investigated the benefits of better and more open data use. This action resulted in the establishment of a task force to respond and subsequently the announcement of the Data Integration Partnership for Australia (DIPA) in the recent budget. This latter step in particular brings in over A$130 million to ensure data from across the public sector is made accessible to create new value while protecting privacy.

Trevor Clarke, research director, TRA said: “We see more attention given to data-related issues in the government market, especially now that the federal sector is seeking to open up and mash data sets across multiple agencies. This means all types of agencies and departments will need to know what data they actually have, be able to access it securely and in a timely manner, show they are compliant, and offer up new value.”

Long-Term Data Retention and Digital Archives
What data do we need to keep and what can we get rid of? This was a perennial question faced by all organisations in the research.

Clarke adds: “Assuming appropriate cost performance of supporting systems and processes, we recommend keeping more than we discard. The ability to create new value with data may not be apparent today. But it could be useful tomorrow. Take machine learning and artificial intelligence as one example of emerging technology. To do it right you need highly trustworthy and accurate data sets to train your algorithms. And it is in emerging technology and platforms that the public sector can start to add value.”

Among many of the interviewees was also a recognition of the importance the public sector plays in digital preservation or humanities. Unlike the private sector, which is under little long-term obligation, government functions at all levels have a bigger responsibility to ensure future generations are able to see how the information age emerged and was documented.

For a full copy of the TRA report please visit

Research Methodology
TRA was commissioned by Hitachi to undertake research on public sector executive views regarding data governance. TRA undertook 10 interviews with a variety of state and federal agencies. For more detailed information on the methodology, please contact TRA.

About Hitachi Vantara
Hitachi Vantara, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., helps data-driven leaders find and use the value in their data to innovate intelligently and reach outcomes that matter for business and society. We combine technology, intellectual property and industry knowledge to deliver data-managing solutions that help enterprises improve their customers’ experiences, develop new revenue streams, and lower the costs of business. Only Hitachi Vantara combines IT, operational technology (OT) and domain expertise to work with organisations everywhere to drive data to meaningful outcomes. Visit us at

Connect With Hitachi Vantara Australia and New Zealand

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society’s challenges. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2016 (ended March 31, 2017) totaled 9,162.2 billion yen ($81.8 billion). The Hitachi Group is a global leader in Social Innovation and has approximately 304,000 employees worldwide. Through collaborative creation, Hitachi is providing solutions to customers in a broad range of sectors, including Power / Energy, Industry / Distribution / Water, Urban Development, and Finance / Government & Public / Healthcare. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Isabel Wagner
Hitachi Vantara
+61 427 001 671

You’re in the Right Place!

Hitachi Data Systems, Pentaho and Hitachi Insight Group are now one company: Hitachi Vantara.

Get more data-driven solutions and innovation from the partner you can trust.