Submission on the Statutory Review of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009

27 June 2014

Mr Bruce Whittaker
Ashurst
Level 26, 181 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Dear Mr Whittaker

Statutory Review of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) understands that the Australian Government has engaged Ashurst to undertake a review the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (the PPS Act).

As the independent federal regulator responsible for administering the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act), the OAIC seeks to ensure that any legislative reviews consider the objectives and requirements of the Privacy Act, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

The former Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) was consulted during the drafting of the Personal Property Securities Bill 2009 (PPS Bill) and the development of the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR).

In the OPC’s final submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into the Personal Properties Securities (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2009, the OPC acknowledged several mechanisms offered by the PPSR, to protect individual grantors and other members of the public from misuse of the PPSR. It was noted that under the PPS Bill the following would be an interference with the privacy of an individual for the purposes of s 13 of the Privacy Act:

  • a breach of the requirement for a secured party to give notice to an individual grantor in relation to the addition, amendment or removal of information from the PPS Register (s 157(4) of the Act), or

  • an unauthorised search of the PPSR, or use of the personal information obtained as a result (s 173(2) of the Act).

The OAIC wishes to re-iterate the points made by the OPC in support of these additional privacy protection mechanisms.

Since that time, and following the implementation of the PPSR in January 2012, the OAIC has only received one telephone enquiry regarding the PPSR. In this same period, the OAIC has not received any privacy complaints in relation to the PPSR.

However, the OAIC is mindful that any changes to the PPS Act may have privacy implications for users of the PPSR. With this in mind, the OAIC is happy to be contacted if you have any specific questions that may arise during the course of the review that relate to the objectives and requirements of the Privacy Act.

Should you require any further information please contact Ms Este Darin-Cooper, Director of Privacy Law and Practice, on [number redacted].

Yours sincerely

Timothy Pilgrim
Privacy Commissioner
27 June 2014

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