The Australian government is planning a complete overhaul of the Privacy Act. According to Attorney General Christian Porter and Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, the government is planning to increase penalties within the Privacy Act. But it will only happen later this year after the impending federal elections get over, ZDNet reports.
The proposed changes are bound to make things difficult for repeat offenders who could now face a maximum penalty of nearly AU$ 10 million or three times the value of any benefit obtained through the misuse of information; or 10 percent of a company’s annual Australian turnover.
It has also been proposed that the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) would now issue new notices that would amount to a fine of AU$63,000 for corporate bodies, and AU$12,600 for individuals for any privacy breach. The government is taking the issue very seriously and is determined to make the process of misuse of personal data a serious offense.
The proposed changes would allow Australians the freedom to request online platforms to stop using their data and strong provisions will be put in place if the person is a minor or deemed to be vulnerable.
According to Attorney General, Christian Porter, “Existing provisions and penalties for the misuse of personal data under the Privacy Act fall short of community expectations, particularly as a result of the explosion in major social media and online platforms that trade in personal information over the past decade.”
“This penalty and enforcement regime will be backed by legislative amendments which will result in a code for social media and online platforms which trade in personal information,” he added.
Porter further added that the proposed changes to the Privacy Act are like a natural progression to the series of the steps taken by the previous government. While the proposed changes will come up for consultation only after the federal elections, the legislation for Consumer Data Right (CDR) is facing a race against time to be passed by the parliament before current session comes to an end.