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Australian privacy law reform and review announced

06 February 2020 | Australia
Legal Briefings – By Julian Lincoln, Kaman Tsoi and Marine Giral

On 12 December 2019, the Australian Government announced its response to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) Digital Platform Inquiry. Despite the Inquiry’s name, only 1 of the 11 recommendations in the report about data practices is targeted at digital platforms. 

While we discuss the broader issues raised by the Government’s response to the Inquiry here, this article focuses specifically on the impacts for Australian privacy law. Those impacts include a set of proposed initial reforms for 2020, along with a more expansive review of privacy law to be completed in 2021.

Privacy - Key Points

Many of the proposed amendments would lead to greater alignment with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), however the ACCC does not recommend wholesale adoption of GDPR and differences remain.

Some of the ACCC recommendations and commentary echo recommendations by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in a 2008 report on Australian privacy law. These recommendations only received a limited Government response at the time.

In our publication we’ve provided a comparison of the ACCC recommendations with corresponding provisions under the GDPR and with the ARLC and Government positions in 2008, which might enable businesses across different sectors to predict what further changes are in store in the more expansive review of privacy law to be completed in 2021, and work towards compliance. 

Click here to download our publication.

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