Following the major data breach at Optus earlier this month as well as the rise in scams and cyber-attacks against businesses, it is now more important than ever to ensure you understand exactly how businesses are required to handle your personal information. Also, how you are obligated under Australian law to protect your consumers’ personal information should it be something you regularly acquire in the course of business.
Rights of Individuals Under the Privacy Act
The rights of individuals under the Privacy Act are outlined by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), the national regulator for privacy and freedom of information.
These rights include:
– know why your personal information is being collected, how it will be used and who it will be disclosed to;
– have the option of not identifying yourself or of using a pseudonym in certain circumstances;
– ask for access to your personal information (including your health information);
– stop receiving unwanted direct marketing;
– ask for your personal information that is incorrect to be corrected; and
– make a complaint about an organisation or agency the Privacy Act covers, if you think they have mishandled your personal information.
The Privacy Act also covers specified persons handling certain information. This information may include but is not limited to:
– Tax file numbers;
– Consumer credit reporting information;
– Personal information contained on the Personal Property Securities Register;
– Sensitive information.
Australian Privacy Principles
In accordance with the Privacy Act, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner may set out guidelines to help businesses avoid ‘acts or practices that may or might be interferences with the privacy of individuals, or which may otherwise have any adverse effects on the privacy of individuals’ These guidelines are referred to as the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). Bodies covered by the APPs are referred to as APP entities, which include agencies and organisations (defined above).
The 13 APPs are set out by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner which concern:
– The collection, use and disclosure of personal information;
– An organisation or agency’s governance and accountability;
– Integrity and correction of personal information; and
– The rights of individuals to access their personal information.
Who Should I Contact For Assistance With Privacy Policies?
At Lord Commercial Lawyers, we have the skill and expertise to walk you through all elements of privacy policies. For information on privacy policies, including whether you are required to have one, help drafting one or assistance if you believe your personal information has been unlawfully handled, please contact Patrick Iafrate at email@example.com or phone (03) 9600 0162.
Lord Commercial Lawyers is a commercial and business-focused law firm based in the Melbourne CBD. We work with businesses and individuals to help them achieve their legal and commercial goals.