Sharing information between related organisations

28.67 A further issue raised in one submission to the Inquiry was the degree to which various arms of insurance organisations share genetic information. Privacy NSW stated in its submission that:

Existing privacy legislation does not specifically restrict information from being passed from one insurance arm (for example Life) to another (for example General) or to a re-insurer where it can be argued that the purpose is ‘directly related’ to the primary purpose of collection. General insurers also share details of refused applicants and claims through Insurance Reference Services P/L.

Privacy NSW recommends that the transfer of genetic information from life and associated product areas to general insurance areas should be prohibited or significantly restricted.[44]

28.68 DP 66 asked whether there was evidence that genetic information is shared between various arms of insurance organisations and if so, whether the practice raised privacy concerns. The Inquiry did not receive any submissions indicating that genetic information is shared between various arms of insurance organisations or indicating that this was a matter of concern. IFSA stated that:

IFSA does not have any evidence of human genetic information being shared or transferred by the collecting organisation to another organisation, whether related or not, in the insurance industry without the consent of the applicant.[45]

28.69 The Inquiry does not have sufficient information to make a recommendation in relation to this matter.

[44] Office of the Privacy Commissioner (NSW), Submission G118, 18 March 2002.

[45] Investment and Financial Services Association, Submission G244, 19 December 2002.