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Privacy Awareness Week (OAIC)
From Sunday 13 May 2018
To Saturday 19 May 2018
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Welcome to Privacy Awareness Week

Portrait photo of Angelene Falk

2018 marks 30 years of the Australian Privacy Act 1988. Since then, there have been remarkable changes in the way personal information is put to use across the world. Utilising personal information to engage with businesses, government, and each other online is an everyday occurrence. At the same time, the public benefits of increased data analysis and data mobility to research, policy-making, and the Australian economy are being actively sought.

This has reinforced the vital importance of privacy, which is integral to building and maintaining people’s trust in both government agencies and businesses in their handling of personal information.

Privacy today is founded on the principles of transparency and accountability. It is about ensuring individuals can exercise choice and control and that the actions of organisations reflect the value of personal information to individual’s wellbeing and dignity.

To that end — 2018 is the year a number of regulatory developments were introduced in Australia that enhance privacy governance across the public and private sector. The Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme came into force in February, formalising a long-standing community expectation for organisations to notify individuals affected by data breaches that are likely to result in serious harm. In just under two months’ time, Australian Government agencies must comply with the Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code. Internationally, on 25 May the European Union’s (EU’s) General Data Protection Regulation takes effect for all Australian businesses operating in the EU.

These regulatory developments highlight the importance of exploring this year’s Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) theme, ‘from principles to practice’.

Throughout this week, we encourage Australian organisations to review and improve how they handle personal information to ensure they are transparent and accountable, in line with community expectations and legislative requirements. Building these principles into your internal practices supports greater public and consumer trust, and can ensure you are well positioned to navigate an increasingly data-rich environment.

PAW is also an opportunity for all of us to discuss and improve our individual privacy practices, to increase awareness about potential privacy risks and how to reduce them.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is also able to help with privacy questions. Call our enquiries line to discuss a privacy issue.

So this PAW, take stock of how you manage personal information. Read the resources on our website to find out how you can improve your privacy practices, or attend one of this week’s events.

The OAIC looks forward to engaging with you throughout the week and the year, as we continue our work to embed privacy principles into practice.

Angelene Falk
Acting Australian Information Commissioner
and Acting Privacy Commissioner