The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act
2012 (Cth), amends the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and
comprehensively reforms the credit reporting system in
Under the reforms, due to commence on 12 March 2014, 'credit
have a clearly expressed and up to date policy with prescribed
information about how they manage credit related information;
implement practices, procedures and systems to comply with
their credit reporting obligations;
be aware of the limitations if intending to disclose credit
information to 'credit reporting bodies' (such as
become a member of an external dispute resolution scheme if
disclosing credit information to credit reporting bodies; and
be aware of the requirements under the Credit Reporting
Code of Conduct (CR Code), which operates alongside the
obligations under the Act.
One important aspect of the reforms is that 'credit
providers' will now include entities that supply to individuals
on credit or defer payment for goods or services for more than
seven days which means the new requirements will apply to most
'non-cash' businesses. This extends the scope of entities
subject to the reforms beyond the 'traditional' credit
providers such as banks and other financiers.
Credit providers will also have access to more information when
receiving credit reports from credit reporting bodies, as the
system moves to a more 'positive system' by including
information such as repayment history and other details that
provide a fuller picture than the previous negative reporting
A new definition of 'consumer credit' will also be
introduced to include credit provided in connection with
residential property for investment purposes.
To prepare for the reforms, credit providers should:
update their policies and procedures;
update their privacy statements in their credit applications,
especially if conducting credit checks on sole traders and
seek advice on their obligations to comply with the reforms and
the CR Code; and
review any arrangements with credit reporting bodies and be
aware of the new requirements when disclosing information to these
The credit reporting obligations operate in conjunction with the
Australian Privacy Principles.
Click here to read about the obligations under the Australia
Winner – EOWA Employer of Choice for Women Citation 2009,
2010, 2011 and 2012
Winner – ALB Gold Employer of Choice 2011 and 2012
Finalist – ALB Australasian Law Awards 2008, 2010, 2011 and
2012 (Best Brisbane Firm)
Winner – BRW Client Choice Awards 2009 and 2010 - Best
Australian Law Firm (revenue less than $50m)
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
In the years following the global financial crisis of 2008 many Australian investors lost their life savings as financial products failed and the Australian Stock Exchange shed over 3,000 points.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).