Australian businesses face changing privacy risks
Reform of Australian Privacy law has moved a step closer with the announcement that the Australian Government will introduce amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 during the Winter sitting of Parliament.
Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim said he welcomed the announcement that the changes will include new powers for the Commissioner to enforce privacy laws. The announcement comes during Privacy Awareness Week 2012.
“This announcement is a significant step forward in privacy law reform. The proposed new powers will allow me to resolve major privacy investigations more effectively and ensure that privacy continues to be valued as an important human right in Australia,” Mr Pilgrim said.
“The strengthening of these powers also sends a strong message to government agencies and businesses covered by the Act that there can be significant consequences when personal information is not given an appropriate level of protection.”
The changes will allow the Commissioner to:
“These changes give me more options when undertaking an investigation on my initiative. At the moment I can only make a determination when I am investigating a complaint made by an individual,” Mr Pilgrim said.
“The power to conduct performance reviews of organizations will allow me to work with the private sector to achieve good privacy practices. This is consistent with my approach to compliance with the Privacy Act and I expect this to continue.”
“These additional powers will provide added strength to the enforcement of privacy laws, reinforce the significance of privacy compliance, and give organisations an even greater incentive to take their privacy responsibilities seriously.”
Other privacy law reform changes to be introduced are in the areas of credit reporting and the introduction of a set of Australian Privacy Principles.
•Date: 3rd May 2012 • Australia •Type: Article • Topic: Operational risk