Important recent amendments to the Privacy Act 1988
On 12 March 2014 some very important changes took place to the Privacy Act 1988 (the “Act”). The Australian Privacy Commissioner, Mr Timothy Pilgrim (the “APC”) in a press release on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 said that:
“These are the most significant changes to privacy laws in over 25 years and affect a large section of the community. The world has changed remarkably since the late 1980s when the Privacy Act was first introduced, and so the changes were required to bring our laws up-to-date with contemporary information handling practices, including global data flows.” (http://www.oaic.gov.au/news-and-events/media-releases/privacy-media-releases/privacy-laws-change-tomorrow). (The “press release”).
In the press release the APC added:
“Being up front with customers and having good privacy practices in place makes good business sense. It is also consistent with community expectations. The OAIC’s recent community attitudes to privacy survey revealed that 96% percent of Australians feel that they should be informed about how their information is handled and protected. Over 60% have decided not to deal with the business due to concerns as to how their personal information will be used, and 23% of decided not to deal with a government agency.” (Our underlining)
There are 13 Australian Privacy Principles (“APP’s”) which have become the new requirements for adherence to the Act.