The Australian government is currently proposing an update to the Privacy Act 1988 aimed at ensuring more excellent protection and control of personal information by individuals.
The reforms are part of a larger push to modernise the nation’s data protection processes and laws. The reforms focus on increasing transparency and consent requirements and safeguarding sensitive information such as biometric data.
The reforms propose that organisations that process personal information undertake comprehensive assessments of their data management practices, detailing the when, how, and why of collecting and handling personal information. These organisations must also provide individuals with more detailed and accurate information about the type of personal information they collect. They must obtain explicit consent before data is shared with third parties.
To ensure individuals have greater control over their personal data, they will be given the right to request their information be deleted from a company’s database, as well as the ability to understand and navigate the complex digital ecosystem quickly. The reforms also call for organisations to provide details about the process used to select third parties, the purpose and duration of any data sharing, and the reasons for sharing an individual’s personal information.
The proposed reforms of the Privacy Act have yet to be in force but are aimed at providing individuals with greater control and security of their personal information. Organisations will be required to demonstrate that they understand their responsibility of safeguarding personal data and that proper oversight, caution, and transparency are maintained.
Changes to the Privacy Act are coming and watch this space.