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Connexus : Issue 43
Signifcant reforms to Australia’s privacy laws, which were passed in parliament last November, will come into effect on March 12 next year. Here's an over view of the reforms. Australian Privacy Principles The 13 new Australian Privacy Principles are legally binding and apply to non-government organisations and government agencies. They will regulate how organisations and agencies collect, use, maintain, disclose, provide access to and, where inaccurate, correct the personal information of individuals. The APPs don't represent a radical departure from the approach of the current National Privacy Principles, which they will replace. However, there will be some changes that fnancial institutions will need to prepare for. They include: • The introduction of an obligation to implement practices, procedures and systems to ensure compliance. • More prescriptive content requirements for privacy policies. • Additional disclosures when an individual is notifed that their personal information is being collected. • A new obligation to destroy or de-identify unsolicited personal information unless the infor mation could have been collected consistently with the APPs. • A new privacy principle specifcally addressing direct marketing. • New requirements applying to offshore data storage and processing. Credit reporting reforms The privacy law reforms include a comprehensive rewrite of Part IIIA of the Act, which deals with credit reporting. A new Credit Reporting Code of Conduct -- the CR Code -- is also being developed by the Australasian Retail Credit Association. The CR Code will provide Changes to privacy and credit reporting Privacy and credit reporting will be a major area of focus for financial institutions in the coming year. BY MICHAEL FUNSTON The 2012 amendments to the Privacy Act have decisively strengthened the Privacy Commissioner's powers. NEWS www.customerownedbanking.asn.au 17