The Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) was recently amended to increase the Commonwealth penalty unit from $170 to $180. The penalty unit will also be subject to CPI indexation every three years starting on 1 July 2018.

This means that the maximum civil penalty under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) has increased to $360,000 for individuals and $1.8 million for companies (previously $340,000 for individuals and $1.7 million for companies).

Similarly, the maximum civil penalty under the Spam Act 2003 (Cth) has increased to$1.8 million for companies (previously $1.7 million).

To date, the highest civil penalty ordered against a single respondent under the Spam Act has been $5 million (this is significantly higher than the maximum civil penalty above as the contraventions occurred on many different days).  No civil penalties have been imposed to date under the Privacy Act.