Sep 022014
 September 2, 2014  Posted by  Featured News, Non-U.S.

From the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner:

Privacy laws starting today in the ACT introduce a new set of Territory Privacy Principles (TPPs). The new Information Privacy Act 2014 (ACT)  gives the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) responsibility for investigating, resolving complaints, providing advice and conducting privacy assessments of ACT public sector agencies.

‘The OAIC welcomes the introduction of these new laws and principles that promote responsible and transparent handling of personal information by public sector agencies and contracted service providers,’ Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said.

Mr Pilgrim said that the first priority for ACT public sector agencies will be to make sure their privacy policies are up to date.

‘We will work with ACT public sector agencies to assist them to implement the new principles across government. We will be expecting agencies to take steps to update their privacy policies to ensure that they meet the requirements of the TPPs.’

ACT public sector agencies were previously covered by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), but the ACT government chose to introduce the ACT-specific TPPs when federal privacy laws changed in March 2014.

The TPPs are very similar to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), but have been written to apply specifically to ACT public sector agencies. The TPPs cover areas such as:

  • open and transparent management of personal information, including privacy policies
  • collection, and notification of collection, of personal information
  • use and disclosure of personal information
  • access and correction of personal information.

The Privacy Commissioner also said that the OAIC is committed to ensuring that ACT residents have all the information they need in order to understand their rights.

‘If someone has a privacy concern, they can call our Enquiries line on 1300 363 992, and we will be happy to answer questions or help them with their complaint.’

The OAIC website gives information about the legislation (including the OAIC’s role) for individuals, and about how to make a privacy complaint against an ACT public sector agency.

In preparation for the changes, the OAIC has also produced Privacy agency resource 3: Information Privacy Act 2014 — Checklist for ACT agencies, to help agencies assess their compliance with the new principles, and Privacy fact sheet 42: Australian Capital Territory Privacy Principles, which provides the principles in full.

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