It's not about who owns [data], it's about who has access to it, the limits on what they can do with it and who they can share it with.
We all give government a tremendous amount of data that is personal in nature. That's only going to increase with government services moving online and it's vital we all know how that data will be used or accessed.
Currently we don't have a strong culture of protecting this data - that has to change if uptake of such services is to be encouraged.
As it is I wouldn't recommend to anyone that they give any govt department information they consider personal in nature as there's just no way to be sure it will be well looked after.
Paul, have you tried telling IRD you won't hand over your personal information?
Unfortunately the state via that department forcibly took our privacy long ago, with our property, and no one said ruddy boo.