Submission to the Privacy Act Review Report consultation

Publication date:
31 March 2023
Resource type:
Submission

PIAC reiterates its support for reform of Australian privacy laws in this submission responding to the Report on the Review of the Privacy Act 1988. This Review, conducted by the Attorney General’s Department, has been underway since 2020 and considers the scope and effectiveness of the Privacy Act in protecting personal information and privacy in Australia. It occurs in the context of the evolving digital economy, the emergence of new technologies and the increasing amount of time spent by Australians online, with the resulting increase in collection of personal information.

The Review Report proposes changes to fundamental concepts within the Privacy Act – particularly the Act’s objects, definitions of personal information and consent, and how collection of personal information is regulated – to ensure these are fit for purpose in an age of digital transformation. PIAC has commented on several of these proposals, consistent with our previous submissions to the Discussion Paper and Issues Paper consultations. 

PIAC strongly supports the implementation of a direct right of action, to give individuals the option to apply directly to the courts for a breach of the Privacy Act. We also support the creation of a statutory tort for serious invasions of privacy. This would allow a person to take civil action against another person or organisation for invading their privacy in a wider range of circumstances (than the Privacy Act covers) and seek compensation for the harm caused. 

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