Review of the Privacy Act 1988
On 16 February 2023, the Attorney-General publicly released the Privacy Act Review Report. The review of the Privacy Act (1988) has been completed.
The Privacy Act Review was undertaken following recommendations by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its 2019 Digital platforms inquiry – final report.
The Government released its response to the Privacy Act Review Report on 28 September 2023.
Terms of reference
The review covered 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 published an Issues Paper in October 2020 and sought feedback on potential issues relevant to reform.
The review published a Discussion Paper in October 2021 and sought feedback on possible options for reform. Submissions on the Discussion Paper closed on 10 January 2022.
The review also considered feedback obtained through roundtable discussions convened with stakeholders on specific issues. Attachment A to the Privacy Act Review Report provides further detail on the consultation undertaken.
We sought feedback to inform the Australian Government's response to the Privacy Act Review Report to ensure that any reforms the Australian Government implements are balanced and effective.
We have published submissions where respondents have consented to publication.