Finding better ways to use the huge amount of data the nation's governments hold on citizens is atop the agenda of the inaugural Australian Digital Council meeting being held in Sydney.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the meeting of commonwealth, state and territory data ministers on Friday there were many sensitivities when it came to data but cooperation could help consumers.
"We've got to establish a new culture about how we approach these technologies and the opportunities," he said
"If we don't embrace them, it's a bit like deciding not to use electricity or any other technological advance."
Federal Digital Transformation Minister Michael Keenan argues cooperation could lead the commonwealth to merge its records on drugs given to pregnant women with Western Australia's extensive records on birth defects, for example.
"We've got to find a way to combine that data and learn something from it to give advice to pregnant women," he said.
"Governments keep enormous amounts of information and that can mean nothing or it could mean something very significant if we can utilise that information properly."
Ministers from all states and territories except Victoria and Tasmania attended the opening.