OAIC welcomes Privacy Act review

30 October 2020
Tags: media release

The Australian Government’s review of the Privacy Act is a landmark opportunity to ensure our privacy framework can respond to new challenges in the digital environment, Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner Angelene Falk said today.

The review is being led by the Attorney-General’s Department which today released its terms of reference and timeline for the review, along with an Issues Paper.

Commissioner Falk welcomed the review as an important step to ensure effective regulation that protects the community’s personal information and supports an innovative economy into the future.

“Australia has the opportunity to be at the forefront of privacy and data protection, with laws and practices that increase consumer trust and confidence in the protection of personal information and underpin innovation and economic growth,” she said.

“The review of the Privacy Act will help ensure that our regulatory framework can protect personal information into the future and hold organisations to account.

“Issues such as consent requirements, additional privacy rights, accountability measures and the Privacy Act’s coverage are fundamental to how we address the privacy challenges of the future.

“Our recent Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey 2020 provides a comprehensive view of Australians' beliefs and concerns about the protection of personal information and is a detailed resource that can inform all parties engaging with the review.

“My office looks forward to playing a key role in the review process, delivering on our core function to provide advice on the need for legislative action in the interests of individuals’ privacy. We have undertaken a program of preparatory work to support our engagement in the law reform process.”

Commissioner Falk said the OAIC’s data protection experience indicates there are four key elements to support effective privacy regulation over the next decade:

  • Global interoperability ― making sure our laws continue to connect around the world, so our data is protected wherever it flows
  • Enabling privacy self-management ―so individuals can exercise meaningful choice and control
  • Organisational accountability ― ensuring there are sufficient obligations built into the system, and
  • A contemporary approach to regulation ― having the right tools to regulate in line with community expectations.

Read more about the Australian Government review of the Privacy Act