Privacy Act amendments chalk up first anniversary

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has marked the first anniversary of the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which were passed into law on 12 March, 2014.

During that time, the OAIC received 4016 privacy complaints, 14,064 privacy enquiries and 104 voluntary data breach notifications.

Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim conducted 13 privacy assessments.

"Over the last year we have focused on working with business, government agencies and the wider community to ensure that everyone has the tools and information they need to understand and implement the changes," said Pilgrim.

“I’ve been particularly pleased with how organisations and agencies have responded positively to the challenge of implementation. This is recognition that good privacy practices are good for business, particularly in building customer trust.”

Over the next year, the OAIC’s focus will be on governance, assisting organisations and government agencies to build a culture of privacy.

Pilgrim will also be ensuring that organisations and agencies are proactive in meeting their compliance requirements.

“My message for all organisations and agencies is: it is more effective, and ultimately cheaper, to embed privacy in day-to-day processes than it is to respond to issues such as data breaches as they arise,” he said.

In February 2015, Pilgrim announced that the OAIC will be rolling out a privacy management framework in May this year to help organisations develop or review their privacy program.

The framework will also help companies meet the requirements set out in Australian Privacy Principle (APP) 1. APP 1 covers the open and transparent management of personal information.

“Our framework will emphasize governance, leadership and accountability,” he said at the time. “It will provide a practical guide on how to establish a privacy management framework including elements such as planning and strategy, risk assessment, breach, incident management and regular evaluation.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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