Privacy faces big year
2013 is shaping up to be the biggest year for privacy in over 20 years, according to Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim.
Mr Pilgrim said 2013 would be a significant year for businesses and government agencies as they prepared for major changes to the Privacy Act 1988.
The changes include the introduction of a single set of Australian Privacy Principles, new credit reporting laws, and enhanced enforcement powers for the Privacy Commissioner to promote, and where necessary, enforce privacy compliance.
In recognition of Data Privacy Day (28 January) Mr Pilgrim also urged Australians to take steps to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint.
“In the age of big data, social media and cloud computing, it is increasingly important that people think about the concept of privacy and what it means to them,” Mr Pilgrim said.
“I am concerned that people aren’t considering the potential risks of disclosing too much personal information, particularly when engaging online.”
He said organisations should also be vigilant about privacy, in particular, the protection of personal information entrusted to them by those they served.
“With regular reports of data breaches and their impact on individuals as well as on business reputation, the importance of getting privacy right cannot be underestimated,” he said.
“The new laws are an important milestone for privacy in Australia.
“Organisations should be considering what changes they may need to make to their policies, systems and processes.”
Mr Pilgrim said changes would commence in March 2014 and over the coming months the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) would produce detailed guidance to help businesses and agencies understand the impact of the reforms and make the necessary changes to their personal information handling practices.
More information on privacy law reform can be accessed at this PS News link.
Edition 346, 29 January 2013