With the 12 March 2014 commencement date of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) rapidly approaching, businesses that have not already ensured they are compliant with the new legislation should consider how they will do so.

For those organisations presently subject to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), the new reforms will impose increased obligations when collecting, managing and storing personal information and introduce further requirements in relation to direct marketing and cross-boarder disclosure.

The new legislation will also give broader powers to the Office of Information Commissioner to undertake compliance assessments, make determinations and seek pecuniary penalties from the Federal Court for certain breaches of the Australian Privacy Principles.

More businesses will also be captured by the reforms and all businesses should review their privacy policies and procedures prior to the commencement of the legislation in order to ensure they are compliant with the new stringent regime as required.