Privacy Act Changes come into effect 1 December

We all store information in our businesses.  For some this is kept manually (at a basic level think payroll  and employee information), for others it is kept on complicated databases and customer relationship management systems.  Regardless, as soon as we hold private information about people we are responsible, under the Privacy Act to protect and keep this information, well, private.

The Privacy Act 2000 brings our current privacy laws into the 21st century and in particular has focused on the management of electronic data.  Key changes that impact businesses are:

  • The requirement for mandatory reporting of any breach of the Privacy Act (i.e. if information you hold is inadvertently distributed to others who are not entitled to see it)
  • $10,000 fines for breaches of Privacy and up to $350,000 per person affected (that’s a lot!)
  • And breaches will be managed through a mediation process which means that more people will find it easier to make claims.

So what do you need to do?

  1. Check what data you hold (think team members, customers, contractors etc.)
  2. Check where that information is stored and how you keep it secure
  3. Check who has access to this data and do they really need access
  4. Make sure there is someone in your business who is responsible for Privacy and that they know their responsibilities and obligations

More information can be found here…


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