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Health Information and Medical Research | Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

[minti_blockquote]Health information is regarded as one of the most sensitive types of personal information. For this reason, the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act) provides extra protections around its handling. For example, an organisation generally needs an individual’s consent before they can collect their health information. In addition, all organisations that provide a health service and hold health information (other than in an employee record) are covered by the Privacy Act, whether or not they are a small business.[/minti_blockquote]

[minti_blockquote]More than three quarters of a million Australians were the victims of identity theft in the past year, costing the average victim about $4,000, credit bureau Veda says.[/minti_blockquote]

[minti_blockquote]A FAMILY law judge was awarded $18,000 compensation after being forced to flee his home in fear because Telstra published his name, address and phone number in the White Pages.[/minti_blockquote]

Telstra fined, warned after new privacy breach | The Australian

[minti_blockquote]TELSTRA has been fined $10,200 and warned over privacy breaches after an information leak exposed almost 16,000 of its customers’ private data online.

In a joint investigation by the federal Privacy Commissioner and the communications watchdog, Telstra was found to have breached the Privacy Act by exposing online the data of some 15,775 Telstra customers, including 1257 silent line customers, when the telco giant failed to adequately protect the information.[/minti_blockquote]

Australia: Be prepared for the changes to the Privacy Act | Mondaq

[minti_blockquote]The Privacy Act regulates ways in which certain agencies and organisations collect, use and disclose personal information within Australia. Privacy law has been the subject of some significant recent reforms. The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Privacy Amendment Act) will see new privacy principles applying to both private sector organisations and government agencies, which will significantly affect the collection, handling and disclosure of personal information.[/minti_blockquote]

Changes to Australian Privacy Laws: What has happened and what you should do | Tresscox Lawyers

[minti_blockquote]Serious or repeated breaches of personal privacy can be prosecuted by the Commissioner in the Federal Court and Federal Magistrates Court. Corporations found in breach of privacy laws can face monetary penalties of up to $1.1 million and non-corporate entities can face monetary penalties of up to $220,000.

Section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 has been amended to increase the amount of a penalty unit from $110 to $170. This means that the maximum penalty amount will be $340,000 for individuals and $1.7 million for entities.

Recommendations

Although the majority of the reforms to the privacy laws will not commence until March 2014, organisations should use this transition period to revise and update their privacy policies. Procedures and contracts of entities handling personal information should also be reviewed promptly to ensure a seamless transition to, and compliance with, the new privacy laws.[/minti_blockquote]

Million Dollar Fines Set for Privacy Breaches | Sydney Morning Herald

[minti_blockquote]The Australian Privacy Commissioner will be able to issue million-dollar fines to government agencies and companies for serious and repeated privacy breaches under a new law.

The reforms, which Commonwealth Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has dubbed the most significant changes to privacy laws in more than 20 years, passed on Thursday and are expected to come into force in about 15 months. Ms Roxon introduced a discussion paper on mandatory reporting of breaches in October.[/minti_blockquote]

Google Fined $1.32 Million for Breach of Privacy | Corrs Chambers Westgarth

[minti_blockquote]A recent European Union Court decision signals “the right to be forgotten” is gaining momentum. The Court fined Google 900,000 Euros (A$1.32 million) and ordered links to outdated newspaper articles be removed from search results on the basis the links were a breach of privacy. The decision has ramifications for search engines, online publishers and media outlets in the EU, as well as for Australian organisations with EU operations. In Australia, the decision highlights the tension between the right of individuals to protect the privacy of their personal information and the realities of privacy in the digital era.[/minti_blockquote]

Privacy Law Reforms: Impacts on the Health Industry | HWL Ebsworth Lawyers

[minti_blockquote]The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) will bring the largest changes to the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) for over a decade.

Based on a major 2008 report by the Australian Law Reform Commission and passed on 27 November 2012, the new act will commence on 12 March 2014. The health industry is an intensive user of high volumes of personal and sensitive information. Health organisations will have a keen interest in these reforms.[/minti_blockquote]