Australian businesses now face important legislation affecting how we collect, use, store, and dispose of personal information.
The Online Privacy Bill Exposure Draft is set to redefine personal data, calls for stronger online privacy protections, and increase penalties for organisations not following the rules.
While the changes are welcome to protect Australian consumers, the extensive scope of the proposed measures can significantly affect some businesses.
The complexities can raise issues and risks for organisations whose operations depend on processing personal information.
What is the Australian Online Privacy Bill?
This bill is Australia’s response to specific concerns in the Digital Platforms Inquiry Report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission published in 2019.
Even though the bill is pending, there’s a high chance that the government will pass the legislation to strengthen the privacy laws in the country.
Here are the primary aspects of the Online Privacy Bill:
If passed, the law will increase maximum penalties for “serious and, or, repeated breaches of the Privacy Act from AU$2 Million to an amount not exceeding the greater of AU$10 Million, three times the value of the benefit obtained from the conduct or, of the value can’t be determined, 10% of the domestic annual turnover of the offending entity.”
Enhanced Enforcement Powers
The Australian Information Commissioner will receive additional enforcement powers under the Privacy Act, such as new information-sharing mechanisms, expanded assessment powers, infringement notice protocols, and establishing criminal penalties for non-compliance and multiple instances.
Implementation of the Online Privacy Code
This code will apply to social media providers, data brokerage services, and large online platforms with 2.5 million or more yearly end-users in Australia.
Those subject to the code will face more stringent obligations about collecting and using personal information.
If your business is subject to the code, you need to observe more stringent rules regarding personal information.
Furthermore, you may need to establish additional platforms to fulfil new obligations, such as the right of your customers to cease using their data.
For example, if you are an Australian mortgage broker and you have launched a lead generation campaign online, collecting personal information from possible customers, you need to make sure that you have the policies, processes, and platforms in place to entertain anyone who requests that their data be “forgotten” from your system.
What Can You Do?
The Online Privacy Bill is expected to be passed and become law next year.
If you think that your business will be affected by this legislation, here are the things that you need to do.
1. Review How Your Organisation Handles Personal Data
Schedule an executive session so you can revisit your policies on how your organisation collect, use, store, and dispose of the personal information of your customers and non-customers.
2. Appoint a Data Privacy Officer
Ideally, you should have someone in your team to take care of data privacy who needs to review the provisions of the Online Privacy Bill and check if your organisation complies.
One important update is a transparent process on how people can request the disposal of their personal information from your systems.
4. Review Your Digital Marketing Plan
You will be affected by the new law if your marketing strategies include collecting data from your potential customers.
Discuss how you can adjust your strategies and tactics to safeguard personal information while still hitting your marketing goals with your marketing officer.
WebBuzz Can Help
Change is inevitable, and businesses should adapt not only to survive but to thrive.
Whatever your industry, WebBuzz can help you with marketing campaigns that generate business while still following essential measures.
Call WebBuzz on 1300 41 00 81 or Download our FREE Insider’s Guide to Digital Marketing.