Last week was Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) and this year it was more relevant than ever for businesses to consider their privacy requirements because a few months ago significant changes were made to the Australian privacy laws.
Events like PAW show a growing mindfulness and consideration of privacy related issues by the Australian public and the increased importance for businesses to be compliant.
Privacy is about the protection of an individual’s personal information, that is “…information or an opinion, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material form or not, about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable.”
If you collect, hold or use personal information, then you need to consider your privacy responsibilities when dealing with that personal information.
Some of the questions businesses should be asking themselves are:
- Do we handle personal information?
- Do we have a system in place for handling privacy inquiries and complaints?
- Do we allow customers to deal with us using a pseudonym or anonymously where appropriate?
- Do we engage in direct marketing using personal information?
- Do we send personal information overseas?
- Do we have a clear system for securing, storing and destroying personal information?
If you are unsure about you obligations in any of the above areas then you should take advantage of Privacy Awareness Week to obtain advice on the privacy obligations and review your privacy practices.
Bringing your privacy practices up to date will not only ensure you comply with the applicable regulatory requirements, it will instill confidence in your customers that they can deal with you safe in the knowledge that you adopt best practice measures to keep their personal information secure.
Katrina is a Partner with local firm Harris Wheeler Lawyers, practising in the areas of Property Law, Commercial Law and Intellectual Property.
Harris Wheeler provide strategic advice and legal services to businesses and public sector entities on a wide range of commercial law, including privacy and data protection. For further information on the scope of services offered by Harris Wheeler please visit our website.