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Changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)

Amendments to the national Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) came into effect on 12 March, 2014.

privacy act changes

You must comply with the amendments made to the Privacy Act 1988 if your business is affected by the changes.

Does the Privacy Act affect you?

The Act affects:-

  • businesses which turnover more than $3 million per annum;
  • credit reporting bodies or credit providers;
  • health care providers;
  • schools and child care centres;
  • organisations that buy or sell personal information.  For example, entities that sell lists of personal information for marketing purposes to another, or a lobby group that pays another entity to collect information about people’s political preferences; and
  • some other entities.

The Act does not apply to businesses who turnover less than $3 million per annum, unless you fall into one of the exceptions noted above.

You can choose to opt in to the Act, if it does not apply to your business.

To see if you have responsibilities under the Act, see here.

What are the changes?

You will need to comply with various changes which primarily aim to make Government agencies and certain private organisations more transparent and open.

The changes include having a clear and up to date Privacy Policy in place which complies with the Australian Privacy Principles contained in the Privacy Act, 1988.

Support, information and resources

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner contains resources and information relating to the new privacy changes, to assist applicable organisations comply with the changes.  The resources include:-

Australian Privacy Principle Guidelines

Does the Act apply to me

Full Support and Resource Page, Office of the Australian Information Commissioner