What will the new privacy laws change

Posted on May 10, 2013 | 0 comments

Even though the Privacy Awareness Week (28 April to 4 May) had passed, we would still like to advocate for privacy awareness and the significance of safeguarding your personal information in whatever you do personally and even for your business.

There has been a reform with the privacy law and it would take effect in less than 12 months, March 12, 2014 to be exact. There will be three major areas that will be affected by this reform, mainly:

• The introduction of comprehensive credit reporting. The changes will ensure that consumer credit providers will have the access to adequate data for the assessment of credit risk without putting the personal information in jeopardy. This support responsible lending, ensuring the credit risk would be lessened and personal information would not be shared. This will be underpinned by a new Credit reporting Code of Conduct which is approved by the Commissioner.

• The Introduction of a unified set of Australian Privacy Principles. In place of the current National Privacy Principles, these new principles will be introduced. Changes will take effect in the areas of direct marketing, handling of unsolicited information and overseas disclosure of personal information once these new principles take over.

• Intensified powers for the Commissioner. The power to resolve investigations and promote privacy awareness and compliance will be intensified for the discretion of the Commissioner. The Commissioner will also be given the authority to conduct Performance Assessments of Private sector organisations.

Here are the things that your business can do to prepare for the changes that will take effect next year:

Review your company’s:
• Systems, practices, procedures, staff training
• Privacy policies and collection notices
• direct marketing practices with the inclusion of opt-out mechanisms.
• Outsourcing arrangements, most especially if this will involve the sharing of personal information outside the country.

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