On 12 March 2014, big changes to privacy law come into operation.
All companies and organisations – including government – need to be aware of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012. You may either be directly bound by the new legislation or – if you work for a smaller non-government company or organisation – you may nonetheless want to show your customers that you respect their privacy and that you comply with Australian standards.
In a nutshell:
- the different privacy principles that currently apply to government and to the private sector will be combined into the one set of Australian Privacy Principles;
- the Australian Information Commissioner will have additional powers to ensure compliance (including the ability to audit you);
- obligations in relation to sending any personal information overseas will be tightened (including, for example, if your servers are located overseas); and
- if a privacy code applies to your organisation, those codes will be legally binding on you.