The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 was passed by both houses of parliament on 29 November 2012 and will now become law. The proposed changes are extensive – the Bill runs to nearly 250 pages.
The Bill will amend the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to introduce a unified set of Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) that apply to both the private sector and the Commonwealth public sector.
Due to a transitional period of 15 months, the key privacy changes in the Bill will not commence until March 2014. Companies and Commonwealth government agencies need to be aware of the changes because they will need to change their privacy policies and practices. You should think about this now, even before the changes take effect in 2014, because the changes may affect some decisions you make now – eg if you are about to enter an agreement involving the storage or processing of personal information offshore.
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