Significant reforms to the Australian privacy law are a step closer with the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 (“Bill”) being passed in the Senate this week. The Bill aims to bring Australia’s privacy regime into the digital age, and increase the protections on how personal information is to be collected, used and disclosed by organisations

The Bill was amended to adopt 20 of the 21 recommendations (in full or in principle) made in the Senate Committee report released in September. The final recommendation which calls on the Senate to pass the Bill was noted.

The Bill is now awaiting Royal Assent. The commencement date of the Bill will be 15 months after it receives Royal Assent, increased from nine months.