Privacy Act – Changes to Law and Practice

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May 16, 2012
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July 9, 2012

Privacy Act – Changes to Law and Practice

The Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) Report into recommended changes to the Privacy Act in respect of Law and Practice is before the Government who are wading through some 247 recommended changes.

Whilst the intention is to introduce the changes in two stages over the next few years the proposed changes will pose significant problems for Businesses with turnovers less than $3m.

Of equal significance is the additional exposure to all businesses, regardless of size, as the proposed changes will expose Businesses to first and third party costs and liability from data breaches and the failure of your duty of care.

Under the current Privacy Act Businesses with a turnover of less than $3m are described as a small business for the purposes of the Act. The ALRC have recommended that the reference to any amount be deleted thereby encompassing all businesses, and forcing previous “small businesses” to adhere to the Privacy Act.

Small Business will need to develop, if not already done, Risk Management and Reporting startegies to ensure Compliance.

Regardless, all Businesses will need to look closely at their Risk Management strategies particularly in relation to Data Breaches and Penalities. Of particular importance are the first party costs and third party liability risks arising from these changes.

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