Ensuring that your company is privacy compliant may seem like the last thing on your list you want to do. However, under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (‘Privacy Act’) in Australia, having a privacy policy is legally required for many businesses.

You are required to have a privacy policy if:

  • Your company collects personal information online directly or indirectly from your customers;
  • You are hosting or using third party services, like Amazon, Facebook or Google ; or
  • Your business has an annual turnover of $3 million or more.

One sure-fire way of becoming privacy compliant is by hiring a privacy lawyer. A privacy lawyer works to fulfil a company’s legal obligations of effectively handling the personal information provided by individuals. Not only does a privacy lawyer make sure that a business is implementing the correct policies, they also assist in defending accusations against your company, and can even commence action against someone else.

Making a privacy policy

Implementing a well-drafted privacy policy can fulfil your legal obligations under the Privacy Act and the Australian Privacy Principles (‘APPS’). If you are operating a website online, it is highly recommended that you have a policy in place informing your customers how their personal information are being collected, monitored and analysed. A properly drafted privacy policy as well as appropriate security measures can also increase customer assurance that their details are being protected and used accordingly. A privacy lawyer is well versed in the importance of security and can provide expert legal advice on the best route forward.

For a comprehensive look at what is a privacy policy, take a look at our previous guide.

Defending and commencing privacy violation accusations and complaints

Someone’s credit information has been leaked and they accuse your company of distributing sensitive, private information. They’ve filed a lawsuit against you.

When there is a privacy dispute or security breach, privacy lawyers can advise you on how to respond, and defend you against these claims. Privacy breaches are renowned to have lasting financial damage, as your clients’ confidence in your ability to protect their personal information diminishes. A privacy lawyer can mitigate the chances of such breaches occurring. If your company has already suffered a breach, privacy lawyers can help you minimise its impact.

On the other hand, when you’ve had your private information misused, a privacy lawyer can also take action and ensure your issue is effectively resolved.

Expert Advice and Cross-Border Issues

Perhaps the most important role of a privacy lawyer is to give advice on current and upcoming privacy issues. This includes database management, mergers/acquisitions, and electronic verification. Privacy law is a relatively new area of law and is constantly changing. Your business may need to collect personal information from USA and process it through India. When data flows of personal information crosses sovereign borders, they are subject to various privacy legislations. It is vital that you hire a privacy lawyer to advise you on your rights and responsibilities.

Conclusion

Privacy law is still a newer area of law and can be difficult to understand and keep up with. Having professional resources from the onset can get you started on the right foot and save costs in the long run. However, these legal costs can be unpredictable and very expensive. LawPath offers fixed-price quotes to help you find the ideal privacy lawyer for your company’s intellectual property matters.

Hiring a privacy lawyer? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our lawyer marketplace to ensure you can deal with your company’s intellectual property matters effectively.

Diana Liu

Diana is a Legal Intern at LawPath working with the content team. With an interest in torts law and commercial law, she is currently completing a Bachelor of Laws as well as a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).