Privacy Law – ready or not here it comes

January, 2014

Major changes to Australia’s Privacy Laws will come into effect from early March 2014. That means, if the Privacy Act applies to you and your business, it’s time to start getting ready for the changes.

The Act will apply to all large business, all health service providers and any small business with an annual turnover of more than $3million that either:

1.   Is related to a larger business;
2.   Trades in personal information;
3.   Provides services under a Commonwealth contract;
4.   Runs a residential tenancy database;
5.   Is a reporting entity under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.

Businesses who weren’t previously captured by the Privacy Act could now find themselves caught by virtue of the changes.

If you are not sure whether the Act applies to you then contact us.

What the changes mean for you

The changes will affect how businesses can handle and process personal information, use personal information for direct marketing and disclose personal information to those overseas (such as internet hosting or data storage).

The changes to the Privacy Act will also give the Information Commissioner new powers to investigate serious breaches and assess compliance of business. The Information Commissioner also has the right to impose penalties for breaches of the Act.

Getting ready for 2014

Business will need to get ready now in order to make sure that they are ready for and comply with the new Privacy Act.

Changes that need to be made to your business privacy and compliance actions include:

 

So in 2014, your first action should be to conduct a privacy compliance audit to work out where the gaps are between your current compliance policy and the new requirements. You should look at how personal information in your business is collected, how its used and stored and whether its disclosed.

Identifying the gaps now will give you the time to fix them before the start of the changes … because the changes to the Privacy Act are coming ready or not!

Contact Mills Oakley

For more information or assistance with your privacy compliance audit contact:

gavin-douglas-mills-oakley

Gavin Douglas  | Partner
D: (02) 8289 5855
gdouglas@millsoakley.com.au

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