The Australian Privacy Principles
On 12 March 2014, the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) will come into effect. This amending Act drastically bolsters existing privacy protection measures offered to consumers and reflects increasing public concerns regarding the handling of personal information by businesses, particularly in the online environment.
The Act also introduces the “Australian Privacy Principles” (“the APPs”) which will replace the former “National Privacy Principles” and the “Information Privacy Principles” from 12 March 2014.
What has changed with the privacy laws?
- the kinds of personal information that the business collects and holds;
- how the business collects and holds personal information;
- the purposes for which the business collects, holds, uses and discloses the personal information;
- how an individual may access personal information about the individual that is held by the business and seek the correction of such information;
- how an individual may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles, or a registered APP code (if any) that binds the business, and how the business will deal with such a complaint;
- whether the business is likely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients; and
- if the business is likely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients—the countries in which such recipients are likely to be located if it is practicable to specify those countries in the policy.
Implications for you
If you operate a business that generates an annual turnover exceeding $3 Million and which comes into the possession of personal data, the next few weeks represent an ideal opportunity for you to conduct a full audit of your business to ensure its compliance when the new Act takes effect from 12 March 2014.
It is also a good idea to make your new policy available on your business’ website to ensure it is readily accessible to customers or clients in accordance with APP 1.5.
Given the new Act imposes fines for non-compliance of up to $1.7 million for agencies and companies and up to $340,000 for individuals, it is now really non-negotiable for business owners to address the way in which they handle personal information and to implement strategies into their business operations to ensure ongoing compliance with the APP’s.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or queries regarding the amendments to privacy laws or any privacy laws issues.