On 16 February 2023, the Attorney General released its highly anticipated review of the Privacy Act 1988 (the Act). The report proposes reforms aimed at strengthening personal information protections and providing individuals with more control over their information. The reforms are intended to support digital innovation and enhance Australia’s reputation as a trusted trading partner.
As anticipated in our recent article, it is proposed that there will be an overhaul of the Act. The report contains 116 proposals to strengthen and modernise the Act, addressing three key areas:
- Scope and application of the Act
The proposed amendments seek to provide greater flexibility to enable the Privacy Act to respond to a broader range of circumstances, including emergency situations.
- Protections under the Act
The proposed amendments seek to ensure there are greater protections for personal information before it is used in a way that has a higher privacy risk. Such additional protections would provide individuals with more transparency about what organisations are doing with their information and provide them with more control over what happens to it.
- Regulations and enforcement
The proposed amendments seek to strengthen the enforcement of privacy obligations and provide individuals with more ways to take action when their privacy has been breached. This would allow the regulator with more options to enforce penalties for privacy breaches and proactively identify and address privacy breaches.
The proposed amendments also seek to better align the key aspects of privacy laws among the Australian states and territories.
The Privacy Act Review Report available in full on the Attorney General’s website.
The Attorney General now seeks feedback to inform the government’s response to the Privacy Act Review Report, which will close on 31 March 2023.
Do you have some questions about how the proposed amendments may impact you? Contact the KKI Commercial Team.