The Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) was introduced to promote and protect the privacy of individuals and to regulate how Australian Government agencies and organisations with an annual turnover of more than $3 million handle personal information.
The Privacy Act includes 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), which apply to some private sector organisations, as well as most Australian Government agencies. These are collectively referred to as ‘APP entities’. The Privacy Act also regulates the privacy component of the consumer credit reporting system, tax file numbers, and health and medical research.
The Privacy Act has been amended almost 90 times since it commenced in January 1989. At the time of introduction, many of these reforms were world-leading. The Australian Privacy Act of today is principles-based and provides a strong foundation for protecting personal information. But there’s a need to ensure it remains fit for purpose into the next decade.
Changes in our environment
We all know that our data no longer stops at national borders. Data-sharing practices are constantly adapting to meet the needs of a global digital economy, and the considerable volume of data held by businesses and governments continues to grow.
Privacy is regularly front-page news, and community awareness of these issues are high.
Over the past four years, the OAIC (The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) has experienced sustained growth across regulatory functions, including in the area of privacy complaints — which demonstrates that people are invested in their privacy rights and want to ensure they are protected.
This year the Australian Government announced it will strengthen privacy protections and regulatory tools, including:
- Increased penalties for serious or repeated breaches
- New infringement notice powers and other options to address breaches
- A requirement for social media and online platforms to stop using or disclosing an individual’s personal information upon request
- Rules to protect Australians privacy online including vulnerable groups such as children
Marketing in 2020 and beyond
2020 is set to rock the way in which we market across social media, in particular, service audiences paid advertisements. Previously, small businesses were protected by the $3 million turnover caveat in our privacy laws. However now, all businesses using social platforms like Facebook and Instagram to advertise will need to adhere to Facebook’s tightened privacy policies.
Your homework to action NOW.
Build a permission list: this means double opted in emails ONLY.
Stop relying on data collected outside of social media and start building your campaigns based on actions taken within the platforms’ ecosystem.
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