LawPath is in the SMH and The Age today with a big article on the new privacy laws. Not only is there loads of info on privacy but we also managed to mention International Ukulele Day and Love Your Litigation Lawyer Day. See below. If you want more info on what you need to do to comply with the new privacy laws or you want the only free 2014 compliant privacy policy template see https://secure.lawpath.com.au/smbs/templates/privacy_policy

Threat of $1.7m privacy fines serious

It seems every day or week of the year has been taken as a celebration of some description – from Play Your Ukulele Day to International No Diet Day.

This week was Privacy Awareness Week and the Australian privacy commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, took the opportunity to send very stern warnings to businesses that do not change their privacy practices to comply with the new privacy laws that take effect from March next year.

Your business would do well to take him seriously: he now has the power to issue fines of up to $1.7 million. The clear message is that all businesses in Australia must review their privacy policies this year.

The major things you need to know about the new privacy laws are:

Act now

The laws take effect in March 2014, but you should change your privacy policies and procedures well before then.

“APPS”

The principles arising from the privacy laws used to be called the National Privacy Principles (NPPs) but are have changed and are now the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).

Review privacy policies

The NPPs never mentioned a privacy policy, although many large companies already publish theirs. The APPs now specifically require a business to have a privacy policy and set out what must be included. Legally, a privacy policy is only required if you have an annual turnover of more than $3 million, but it is good to have a privacy policy anyway as customers expect it from all businesses these days.

Sending information overseas

If you are likely to send information overseas, then the new law requires that you state to which countries you are likely to send the information. This is particularly important if you use any cloud computing services, as many of the servers providing these services are located overseas.

Direct marketing

If you use direct marketing to find customers, then the APPs have changed the requirements around getting consent from people. Also, you will be required to tell people where you got their details from. Can your current customer relationship management (CRM) system do that? It’s time to check.

It is important to start reforming your privacy practices now, as the new rules will definitely see more companies penalised for data breaches. Otherwise, you may find that you have to celebrate August 31: International Love Litigating Lawyers Day.

 

 

 

 

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of LawPath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.