Having just emerged from the fun-filled haze that was Privacy Week 2013, we didn’t want the party to end so we decided to choose our five favourite upcoming changes to the Privacy Act. Here they are:

  1. There will no longer be separate sets of privacy rules applying to the private and public sectors. National Privacy Principles (private sector) and Information Privacy Principles (public sector) will now all be called Australian Privacy Principles. We love having one less thing to remember.
  2. Credit reporting: Under the current laws, your credit history only shows the bad stuff – had your ProForm Ab Glider Platinum repossessed? That’s probably on your history. Now credit reporting agencies may provide ‘positive information’ – eg that you have never missed a credit card repayment. We prefer to give credit where credit is due.
  3. The Privacy Commissioner will be able to impose penalties of up to $340k for individuals and $1.7 million for companies for breaches of the Act. Boom.
  4. The new Australian Privacy Principal 2 requires an organisation to give an individual the option to deal with it under a pseudonym (unless it’s impractical or illegal). Choosing pseudonyms provides endless fun.
  5. The changes come into effect on 12 March 2014, so we have many months of reviewing privacy policies ahead of us – now that’s exciting.