Government response to the Privacy Act Review Report
The Law Council was pleased to provide a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in response to its review of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) to provide comment that will inform the Government Response to the Privacy Act Review Report, released on 16 February 2023.
The Law Council is supportive, at least in principle, of many of the proposals in the Report. However, it calls for and recommends that additional details be provided to give the proposals more certainty.
The Law Council’s approach has been driven by the following considerations that it continues to support:
- a principles-based, technology-neutral and flexible approach to regulation of privacy and information related rights;
- interoperability and harmonisation where possible, including harmonisation with State-based regimes and international norms and standards; and
- certainty of legal requirements ensuring that standards set are clear and the scope and content of obligations imposed on Australian Privacy Principle (APP) entities can be complied with in practice.
The Law Council’s submission is in two parts. Part 1 sets out the Law Council’s key comments and positions on a range of key proposals and the accompanying consultation questions, including in respect of the small business exemption, individual rights, automated decision making, overseas data flows, a statutory tort for serious invasions of privacy and the notifiable data breaches scheme. Part 2 sets out additional comments in table form, referencing the proposals sequentially. Part 2 provides further rational and observations, as well as identifying contrasting views received by the Law Council.
The Law Council looks forward to reviewing the Government Response and engaging across Government and with the Department as these significant reforms progress, noting that continued broad consultation and transparency in relation to the progress of the reforms will be critical.