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New Australian Privacy Principles guidance released for public consultation

The Australian Information Commissioner, Professor John McMillan and the Australian Privacy Commissioner, Mr Timothy Pilgrim have released draft Australian Privacy Principle (APP) Guidelines for public consultation.

Professor McMillan said the Guidelines outline how the OAIC will interpret and apply the APPs, which are central to new privacy laws that will commence on 12 March 2014.

‘These Guidelines will play an important role in helping Australian Government agencies and private sector organisations understand and comply with their new obligations. The new privacy laws will affect every Australian so it’s important that the Guidelines are practical, accessible and that we get the balance right,’ Professor McMillan said.

The draft Guidelines will be released in stages. The first stage gives guidance about new requirements for agencies and organisations about how they manage personal information, including the requirement to have a clearly expressed and up-to-date privacy policy.

‘The new laws require Australian Government agencies and private sector organisations to be more open and transparent about their management of personal information,’ Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said.

‘This will give people a better understanding of how their personal information will be handled so that they can make an informed decision about interacting with the entities covered by the Privacy Act.’

‘We encourage those with an interest in privacy and best practice personal information handling to consider these Guidelines and give us their views so that we can arrive at Guidance that is as useful as possible,’ Professor McMillan said.

The remainder of the draft Guidelines will be released over the next month. Finalised Guidelines will be published before the end of the year.

The consultation is open until close of business Friday 20 September 2013.  Please send submissions to consultation@oaic.gov.au.

The OAIC strongly encourages organisations to channel their feedback on the Guidelines through industry associations and peak bodies to ensure that the Guidelines can be finalised as soon as possible.

The following APP Guidelines have been released for public consultation

  • APP 1 — Open and transparent management of personal information
  • APP 2 — Anonymity and pseudonymity
  • APP 3 — Collection of solicited personal information
  • APP 4 — Dealing with unsolicited personal information
  • APP 5 — Notification of the collection of personal information

Chapters covering general matters have also been released:

  • Chapter A — Introductory matters
  • Chapter B — Key concepts and definitions
  • Chapter C — Permitted general situations
  • Chapter D — Permitted health situations

Media contact:     Leila Daniels     media@oaic.gov.au     0407 663 968