Finally, the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy
Protection) Bill 2012 (Bill) passed yesterday (29 November).
As noted in an
earlier update, these amendments will toughen the Privacy Act
1988 (Cth) and significantly increase the obligations on
organisations (both government agencies and businesses) that
collect or deal with personal information in Australia or from
The Privacy Commissioner, Mr Timothy Pilgrim, said of the
'From the commencement of the new laws, I will be able
to accept enforceable undertakings and seek civil penalties... I
will not shy away from using these powers in appropriate
While the journey to enactment has seen a number of changes to
the Bill along the way, including last-minute changes originating
in the Senate, the essence of the amendments passed are as noted in
earlier update. The most obvious late change to the Bill was
the extension of the transition period (the time in which to comply
with the new amendments) from nine months to 15 months (ie until
However, even with 15 months to comply (ie until March 2014), we
caution that this time will fly by. We suggest that, early in the
New Year, you start the process of considering, reviewing and
revising your existing procedures and policies in order to ensure
compliance with the new amended privacy law well before March
To assist you with this, we will prepare a further update
confirming all of the changes and provide you with our top
practical tips to ensure you comply with the 'new laws'
early in the New Year. Of course, we would be happy to hear from
you if you would prefer a more detailed briefing or like to attend
one of our seminars next year on the changes and how to comply.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of
us at the Privacy Team at DLA Piper Australia.
This publication is intended as a general overview and
discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be,
and should not used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any
specific situation. DLA Piper Australia will accept no
responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of
DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm,
operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For
further information, please refer to www.dlapiper.com
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Those types of personal disclosure may still be permitted under the Privacy Act as long as your house is in order.
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