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What is Privacy?

Privacy is sometimes referred to as the right of the individual to be left alone.  However, increasingly this right is under threat as a consequence of the increase in information technology, biometrics, digital rights and information technology.

Why should I be concerned?

The internet has enabled an enormous amount of personal information to be captured and accessed by anyone. Every day you read about some breach of people's privacy or an organisation having its website hacked.  The social networks are the biggest source of identity theft in the world.

Governments and corporations today are collecting ever increasing and detailed amounts of information on members of the general public. They use this information for a variety of purposes, everything from customer service to law enforcement considerations to marketing and advertising.  Privacy legislation protects your rights.

Organisations need to consider the marketing and commercial advantage to be able to reassure its customers, potential customers and stakeholders that it can protect the personal information it holds.  Accidental misuse, hacking or sharing of details can all result in huge financial penalties and loss of consumer confidence.  

Individuals seeking information about their privacy have a number of measures available to them, Accesssing Government Information tab above,  while Business' seeking information on behalf of their Clients can  take the following steps.
 

Why should I be concerned?

How do I protect my clients’ personal information?
 

There is no one quick answer. You need to do several things:

  1.  You need to examine the collections of personal information you hold to ensure the collection, storage, security, use, disclosure and disposal is carried out in accordance with the relevant Privacy legislation.
  2.  You need to ensure you have appropriate privacy policies and guidelines in place and appropriate Privacy Notices on the forms you use to collect personal information.
  3.  You need to ensure only those staff who need to, can access the personal information you hold and that records are kept as to where and when staff access customers personal information and for what reasons.
  4.  You need to make sure you and your staff are aware of your responsibilities under the relevant Privacy legislation.
  5.  You need to ensure you have procedures in place to deal with privacy complaints and/or requests for access by the people to whom the personal information relates.

 
Why Should I go to all this Trouble?
Because for every business it makes sound economic sense!

Many businesses these days are trying to find an edge in order to attract additional customers or retain their existing customers. People are very concerned about the security of their personal information and want to be assured that any company to which they provide such information will ensure it is protected.

You only have to do an Internet search to find examples of where people are concerned about their privacy or companies and government agencies have failed to protect personal information. The companies that take steps to protect their customers' personal information and can demonstrate that protection have a big commercial advantage over their competitors.

In addition, changes to the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 in March 2014 means:

  • the separate Government and Private Privacy Principles have been combined (the Australian Privacy Principles);
  • the Information Commissioner has new powers to seek civil penalties and conduct investigations into Government and Private organisations;
  • changes to credit reporting laws affecting credit agencies;
  • cross-border disclosure responsibilities;
  • requirements regarding the need for Privacy Policies;
  • changes affecting direct marketing; and
  • revised reporting requirements related to data breaches.

ABOUT

Supporting State and Local Government Agencies, Private Companies, Individuals and the Legal Fraternity, who need help protecting their Privacy or are trying to access information protected by Privacy Legislation.

Phillip Youngman has the experience to provide the advice you need.

CONTACT

CALL US
0425 372 262

EMAIL US
phillip@youngmanconsultancy.com.au

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