Latest OAIC news and updates

In this issue

50th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum


Breach notifications, interjurisdictional cooperation and artificial intelligence were high on the agenda at the 50th Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum in New Zealand last week. Members from across the region met in Wellington to discuss global privacy trends and domestic experiences.

The meeting was followed by an International Privacy Forum where Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk shared insights on the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, and UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham gave the keynote address.

You can read more on the APPA Forum website.

Australia signs up to APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules System

Australia will participate in the Cross Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) System following APEC endorsement of its application on 23 November 2018. The CBPR system was developed by participating APEC economies to build consumer, business and regulator trust in cross-border flows of personal information.

The OAIC will be working with the Attorney-General's Department and other stakeholders in 2019 to implement CBPR system requirements in Australia.

Read the Attorney-General's media release for further details.

Have your say on Open Government progress

A draft report on the implementation of Australia's first Open Government National Action Plan 2016-18 is now open for public comment.

The annual self-assessment report is a requirement of all Open Government Partnership (OGP) members to ensure accountability and track the progress of their commitments.

You can provide feedback on the draft End of Term Self-Assessment Report through the OGP website until Monday 17 December 2018.

Consultation opens on Public Interest Determination

An application from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for a Public Interest Determination is now open for public comment.

The application to the OAIC under s 72 of the Privacy Act would allow the AFP to disclose limited personal information about homicide offenders and suspects to the Australian Institute of Criminology without breaching Australian Privacy Principle 6. It is intended to replace a previous determination which expired on 1 October 2018.

More information is available on our website, with submissions due by 1 February 2019.

My Health Record opt-out period extended

The My Health Record opt-out period has been extended until 31 January 2019.

This means Australians have until the end of January to advise the Australian Digital Health Agency if they do not want a My Health Record to be automatically created.

My Health Records are an online summary of individuals' health information, including any allergies, medications or treatments.

More information about opting out is available on our website and on the My Health Record website or through the My Health Record help line on 1800 723 471.

Recent speaking engagements

iappANZ keynote address by the Commissioner

Commissioner Angelene Falk opened the iappANZ Summit in Melbourne last month, reflecting on the “seismic” shift in the privacy landscape this year.

The Commissioner discussed major developments such as the introduction of the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme, the Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code and the proposed Consumer Data Right. She also covered the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, privacy developments in the US and highlighted our key priorities moving forward.

You can read the speech on our website.

Medical Software Industry Association 2018 Summit

Commissioner Falk addressed the annual summit of the Medical Software Industry Association’s last week, alongside Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey and former High Court Justice, the Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG.

In her speech, the Commissioner urged the industry to go beyond mere legal compliance to consider ethics and fairness, and embrace its unique position to build innovative and privacy-enhancing health software.

Open Banking Briefing

Acting Assistant Commissioner Sarah Ghali joined an Open Banking panel discussion in Sydney last week with representatives of the ACCC, ASIC and Data61. Her remarks emphasised the importance of a strong privacy framework for the Consumer Data Right and our collaborative approach to joint regulation from the OAIC and ACCC.

Latest Information Commissioner review decisions

The Information Commissioner issued four IC review decisions in November 2018. A list of all IC review decisions is available through our website. Full decisions are available on AustLII.

Be Credit Smart


When was the last time you did a credit health check? Credit providers assess your credit health based on how well you manage your debts – and you can keep it strong by making your account payments on time.

Visit the CreditSmart website for more information about what's really in your credit report.

Festive tips

Shopping for last-minute Christmas gifts online or hunting for bargains in the Boxing Day sales? Major shopping events also create opportunities for potential thieves and scammers.

We issued new tips for protecting your personal information while shopping online during Black Friday. Read our advice to make sure your data stays safe over Christmas and beyond.


As the festive season draws near, the OAIC thanks you for your continued support.

The past 12 months have featured significant regulatory changes in Australia and internationally, and we've enjoyed sharing the latest news and events with you.

The Office will be closed over the holidays from 25 December 2018 to 1 January 2019. You can continue to access our guidance and resources during this period on the OAIC website.

We hope you have a safe and merry break and we look forward to providing you with more privacy and freedom of information updates in 2019.

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