Today the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 (the Bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives.  

As you would be aware, the Bill is part of the Federal Government’s phased response to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s 2008 report For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice (ALRC Report 108). Based on recommendations of that report, exposure drafts of legislation to amend the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) were released in 2010. These drafts were considered by a Senate Committee in consultation with industry and the general public. The Bill represents the next stage in this process of making changes to Australian privacy law. The Bill addresses four key areas in proposed amendments to the Privacy Act:  The Bill addresses four key areas in proposed amendments to the Privacy Act:

  •   the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), which are proposed to replace the current Information Privacy Principles and National Privacy Principles and create a single set of principles applying broadly across the public and private sectors;
  • the powers of the Privacy Commissioner, which are proposed to be expanded particularly in relation to investigations and penalties for privacy breaches;
  • a rewrite and update of the Privacy Act’s credit reporting provisions with increased privacy protections; and
  • new provisions on privacy codes and the credit reporting code, including powers for the Privacy Commissioner to develop and register codes that are binding on specified agencies and organisations.

To assist you in understanding how the Bill interacts with the Privacy Act, we have prepared a marked-up version of the Privacy Act incorporating the Bill’s proposed changes. You can access this document by clicking here.

Please note this is not an authorised version of the Bill and has been prepared by G+T to assist in early review of provisions of the Bill against the currently operating provisions of the Privacy Act. Readers should check all notations against the authorised version of the Bill available here. The marked-up version of the Privacy Act also does not contain commencement information, transitional/savings provisions and amendments to other Acts. Readers should refer to the authorised version of the Bill for these details.