Review of the Privacy Act 1988
On 12 December 2019, the Attorney-General announced that the Australian Government would conduct a review of the Privacy Act 1988 to ensure privacy settings empower consumers, protect their data and best serve the Australian economy. The review was announced as part of the government's response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's Digital Platforms Inquiry.
We will draw on a range of sources for the review and invite submissions on matters for consideration. We will also meet with stakeholders on specific issues and consider research and reports on privacy issues.
We are currently considering submissions received in response to the issues paper.
Terms of reference
The review covers areas including:
- the scope and application of the Privacy Act
- whether the Privacy Act effectively protects personal information and provides a practical and proportionate framework for promoting good privacy practices
- whether individuals should have direct rights of action to enforce privacy obligations under the Privacy Act
- whether a statutory tort for serious invasions of privacy should be introduced into Australian law
- the impact of the notifiable data breach scheme and its effectiveness in meeting its objectives
- the effectiveness of enforcement powers and mechanisms under the Privacy Act and how they interact with other Commonwealth regulatory frameworks
- the desirability and feasibility of an independent certification scheme to monitor and demonstrate compliance with Australian privacy laws.
See the Review of the Privacy Act 1988 – terms of reference for further details.
The review will provide an opportunity for members of the public, business, non-profit organisations and public sector agencies to make submissions following the release of:
- an issues paper – which outlines the current law and seeks feedback on potential issues relevant to reform
- a discussion paper – which will be released in 2021, seeking more specific feedback on preliminary outcomes, including any possible options for reform.
We will also be meeting with stakeholders on specific issues, subject to COVID-19 restrictions.
The period for submissions on the issues paper has now closed.
There will be a further opportunity to provide feedback on an upcoming discussion paper (scheduled for release in 2021).
We cannot resolve individual disputes or provide advice on any potential privacy breaches.