AUSTRALIA’S privacy laws, like those of the US and many other countries, are archaic, according a new report from privacy organisation Access.
A key part of the Access report was a look at the current state of privacy in Australia and the opportunities and challenges facing it.
Access senior legal officer, Catherine Lippin, said while the Privacy Act should be changed, it is a complex law and the process of getting it updated would be difficult and expensive.
“The key thing is that if you change the law, there are going to be legal challenges.
You’re going to have a lot of people coming to court,” Ms Lippins said.
The Privacy Act does not specify the exact rules for what information should be kept by a telecommunications provider, and it does not give specific guidelines for how privacy data is used.
The main concern is how information is collected and stored.
“There are some very clear guidelines in the Privacy Principles and what information is considered to be ‘private’,” Ms Lipsin said.
“But they’re not always followed.
There’s a lack of clarity around the different types of information that are private.”
Ms Lipps said while some privacy laws could be amended to address the challenges facing Australia, there was no way to know if any of those changes would make a difference.
Ms Lipsins said it was clear that the government was concerned about the public’s interest in privacy, but it was unclear what the level of privacy protection would be in the new legislation.
“What’s more important is how you deal with it in a way that is responsive to the needs of the people,” she said.
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