Regulatory Impact Statement: Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016

The Government has released the Regulatory Impact Statement for the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 (the Bill), which is currently before Parliament.

The Bill is in response to an inquiry into the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act) by the Australian Law Reform Commission, which recommended the introduction of a mandatory data breach notification scheme under the Privacy Act.

The Bill would require entities to report notifiable data breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and affected individuals where there is a likely risk of serious harm.

To view the Regulation Impact Statement, click here.

To view our previous alert on the Bill, click here.

ACCC releases draft access declaration for non-NBN superfast broadband services

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft decision outlining the prices retail service providers will need to pay, in the absence of a commercial agreement, to acquire NBN-like fixed line superfast broadband wholesale services on non-NBN networks.

Under the draft decision, price and non-price terms and conditions have been set for superfast broadband access service (SBAS) and the local bitstream access service (LBAS), including:

  • benchmarking the entry level (residential grade) product to NBN prices, for non-Telstra networks, as they change over time;
  • benchmarking the entry level Telstra Fibre Access Broadband service to updated estimates for the wholesale ADSL service;
  • exempting providers of LBAS and SBAS who supply 12,000 or less end-users from all standard access obligation; and
  • taking account of the Government’s proposed industry levy on superfast local access lines, to help fund NBN Co’s supply of non-commercial services.

Consultation on the draft decision is open until 17 February 2017.

To access the draft decision or to make a submission, click here.

ACMA issues consumer guide to direct carrier billing

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a consumer guide in response to issues with direct carrier billing, which allows a mobile user to buy content online with only one or two clicks by charging the purchase to the user's mobile phone bill or prepaid balance.

The guide sets out when users may be entitled to a refund if they have been charged without providing their consent, or have been misled about the charges or nature of services.

To access the ACMA consumer guide, click here.

ACMA announces tax reductions for satellite services

The ACMA has released its response to submissions as part of its review of taxation arrangements for satellite services.

The ACMA response outlines reductions for apparatus licence taxes in response to industry concerns that taxes were high compared to international standards.

The new taxation arrangements will apply from 5 April 2017 with the implementation of reduced annual taxes on satellite services in the Ka band, tax incentives for earth station spectrum sharing, and the discontinuation of tax premiums on non-geostationary orbit services.

To access the ACMA's response, click here.