Mandatory Notification of Data Breaches – Proposed to be introduced in 2015

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By Mick Coleman, Partner

This paper discusses the severity of data breaches and the movement to make reporting these breaches mandatory in Australia. This paper outlines the background of the movement, how data breaches happen, the current Australian position, a discussion on the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) Report, the United States’ position on mandatory data breach notification, the European Union position and the next steps for your business.

An excerpt from the paper is below:


1.1 Safeguarding information has become a complex task for organisations operating within global information networks, as it invariably exposes them to new security risks.

1.2 Currently, Australia has a process for voluntary reporting of data breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, but no obligation mandating organisations to report data breaches to regulatory agencies or affected individuals.

1.3 The lack of oversight and secrecy around data breaches makes it difficult to generate reliable statistics about the nature and quantity of these incidents occurring across the Australia.

1.4 A key argument in favour of mandatory data breach notification is that it can give people the opportunity to reduce the impact of data security breaches, such as by cancelling credit cards or changing account passwords, and it can increase public confidence in the handling of consumer information.

1.5 Critics counter that data breach notification laws negatively impact businesses, both in compliance costs and unnecessarily frightening customers, particularly if reporting thresholds are low. An exposed data leak will likely have a negative impact upon consumer confidence in a breached organisation, as well as its brand and bottom line.

1.6 By enacting mandatory data breach notification laws, the Australian Government would enable business owners, consumers, law enforcement agents and policy makers to gain a more accurate picture of the data security breaches occurring each year.

To read more, please find the full article here.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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