It is estimated that more than 50% of Australian businesses will not be compliant with the new privacy laws when they come into effect in March. Under the new Australian Privacy Principles, agencies and companies can be fined up to $1.7 million, while individuals may be fined up to $340,000 for serious or repeated invasions of privacy.*
Privacy law reform, what’s changed?
From 12 March 2014, 13 new Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) will replace the old NPPs and IPPs, a number which are significantly different from the existing principles. This includes the use and disclosure of personal information for direct marketing and cross-border disclosure of personal information.
With the new privacy laws, the Commissioner will also have the power to resolve complaints and investigations of breaches, including the ability to impose penalties on businesses of up to $1.7 million.
What does this mean for businesses?
If a business collects private information, the new law requires that business to undertake a stringent review of the type, source, purpose and uses of the information, as well as how long the information is kept.
It is recommended that Australian businesses turning over more than $3 million annually review and update privacy policies and training, and consider using this opportunity to undertake a comprehensive privacy audit throughout the entire workplace.
Are you ready?
The new privacy laws apply to all business types, including online retailers, large businesses and all federal government departments and agencies. If you haven’t updated your privacy training to assist employees mitigate risk or handle private information appropriately under the new laws, speak to one of our team about how you can create a safer, more appropriate, fairer and more equitable workplace.
Contact us or call 1300 133 151
Source: * The Australian (2013) Companies not ready for privacy laws