The Australian Government’s planned reforms to strengthen the Australian Privacy Act 1988 are an opportunity to look at successful international models, the national privacy regulator has said.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has welcomed the Australian Government’s response to the Digital Platforms Inquiry, which it says addresses key measures recommended by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and submissions from the OAIC.
“The reforms outlined in the Government’s response, including a review of the Privacy Act, will ensure that our regulatory framework protects personal information into the future and holds organisations to account,” said Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk.
“We welcome the government’s continued commitment to introduce higher penalties for privacy breaches and a code of practice for digital platforms.
“We are also pleased to see that the government will seek input on additional privacy measures arising out of the Digital Platforms Inquiry and their application across the economy.
In the Government’s implementation roadmap, a review of the Privacy Act is scheduled to take place over 2020 and be completed in 2021.
“This reform roadmap is an important step in enabling effective regulation of personal information handling, in line with community expectations for the digital environment and beyond.”
Commissioner Falk said the review is also an opportunity to look at international privacy models in considering innovative solutions to meet our domestic needs.
“Greater interoperability of our privacy rules with other jurisdictions can help minimise regulatory friction for business and ensure Australians’ data is protected wherever it flows,” she said.
“As well as building in sufficient obligations to keep organisations accountable, we need further improvements that support people in exercising choice and control over how their data is used.”
“A privacy framework that empowers consumers and allows them to trust that their personal information will be protected will support innovation and economic growth.
“I look forward to working with the Government and other stakeholders through the reform process.”