On 24 June 2010, the Cabinet Secretary, Senator the Hon Joe
Ludwig released an exposure draft legislation containing an
important element of the first stage response by the government to
privacy reform – the proposed Australian Privacy
Principles, which unify the current
Information Privacy Principles and the
National Privacy Principles. Senator Ludwig has also tabled
these proposed principles in the Senate for referral to a Senate
committee which will conduct public hearings on the proposed
The exposure draft legislation and an accompanying companion
guide are available for download from the Senate Finance and Public
Administration Committee's webpage. Interested parties are able
to make submissions on the exposure draft. The submission deadline
is 27 July 2010. The expected reporting date is
1 July 2011.
The drafting of this new Act will be done in parts, with each
part to be referred to a Senate committee for consideration and
public consultation as the drafting of each is completed. The
government intends that the following three further parts will be
released for public consultation:
provisions introducing more comprehensive credit reporting,
alongside privacy protections and responsible lending
provisions relating to the protection of health information, in
particular improving health sector information flows, and giving
individuals new rights to have their health record transferred
between providers; and
provisions strengthening the Privacy Commissioner's powers
to conduct investigations, resolve complaints and promote
compliance with the Privacy Act, to be integrated into the
newly-created Office of the Australian Information
Second Stage Government Response
Stage two of the Government's response will consider the
remaining 98 recommendations in the ALRC report that the government
has not yet accepted or rejected. These recommendations
proposals to clarify or remove certain exemptions from the
introducing a statutory cause of action for serious invasion of
serious data breach notifications;
privacy and decision making issues for children and authorised
handling of personal information under the
Telecommunications Act 1997; and
national harmonisation of privacy laws (partially considered in
The Government will consider these recommendations once the
first stage's reforms have been progressed.
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