Mandatory data breach notification back on government agenda

Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill received first reading in Senate this week after lapsing in 2013

The Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill is back on the government agenda after it had a first reading in the Senate this week.

The Bill lapsed in 2013 after a second reading in parliament was delayed during June and the Coalition government was elected into office.

If passed by the Coalition, the bill will require government agencies and businesses to notify customers of serious data breaches in relation to personal, credit reporting, credit eligibility or tax file number information.

The 2014 version of the Bill includes the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which were passed into law on 12 March this year.

If the Bill is passed, Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim would have the power to investigate data breaches. This means if he finds there has been a serious data breach in relation to personal information, credit reporting information, credit eligibility or tax file number, the Commissioner could ask the company or government agency to prepare a statement explaining what happened.

The statement would need to include information such as a description of the breach and recommendations about steps affected customers or clients should take.

Australian Information Security Association (AISA) Queensland branch chair Lani Refiti told Computerworld Australia that organisations need to be “held more accountable” for the data they hold, particularly when it’s not their data.

“We would have much better visibility into the current state of information security in Australia if we had mandatory breach notification,” he said.

“It's not a panacea, compliance and regulatory requirements never are but they would be a step in the right direction. Also, it [the bill] needs careful public consultation as was done with the Privacy Bill amendments.”

In June 2013, a Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs recommended the bill should be passed, stating that mandatory data breach notifications would benefit both Australian consumers and industry stakeholders.

In October 2013, Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said that while it was a decision for the Coalition government as to whether they would reintroduce the new legislation, he was supportive of it becoming law.

“I will be putting to government that I think it is an important piece of legislation,” he said. “It’s something that needs to be given strong consideration for reintroduction.”

Timothy Pilgrim has been contacted for comment by Computerworld Australia.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Modernization on marketing to promote products and business is really a big leap especially the age of social media. Thanks for sharing s...

Brayden Manchee

How National Tiles used digital personalisation to deliver 15 per cent of revenue online

Read more

Great write-up. I wrote an article about ASMR as well and the top ASMRtists:https://medium.com/illumina...

Dexx Mason

ASMR: Flash in the marketing pan, or something more?

Read more

Nice to be visiting your blog once more, it has been months for me. best mp3 converter

Yolanda R. Skillman

Melbourne Fashion Week: Using digital and insight to drive engagement and attendance

Read more

Typically I visit your web journals and get refreshed through the data you incorporate yet the present blog would be the most obvious bes...

Yolanda R. Skillman

What automated design is going to do to 3D printing and product customisation

Read more

I am overpowered by your post with such a decent theme. best mp3 converter

Yolanda R. Skillman

Report: Accountability key to marketing's influence in business

Read more

Blog Posts

Why direct response advertising is winning this year

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, brands around the globe are going into hibernation and waiting out the ongoing storm. CMOs have dramatically slashed their budgets across every single form of media, digital included.

Sabri Suby

Founder, King Kong

Taking back control of your tech

To win in customer experience, brands need to take back control of their technology.

Michael Titshall

VP, managing director, R/GA Australia

Brands with internal customer insights capability will survive and even thrive

According to The Australian Bureau of Statistics, two-thirds of Australian businesses across all sectors have reported taking a hit to revenue or cash flow due to COVID-19. About one in 10 said they have paused trading altogether. In 70 per cent of cases, this was due to COVID-19.

Pip Stocks

CEO of BrandHook and founder of Hearsay

Sign in