Australia's privacy regime - a work in progress

Adma-logo_2.jpgThe Association for data-driven marketing & advertising (ADMA) has welcomed some last-minute changes to the new privacy legislation approved by Parliament this week, but is disappointed that the opportunity to create a model privacy framework for the digital era has been missed.

Says Jodie Sangster, ADMA CEO: "This week Parliament approved key amendments to the new privacy legislation lobbied for by ADMA. Although ADMA is pleased that the immediate issues facing marketers and advertisers have been addressed, we remain concerned that the legislation is not designed to take Australia forward into the new data-driven digital economy.
"The Government, Opposition and parliamentary committees have produced a workable set of Australian Privacy Principles, including one for marketing, introducing positive credit reporting and updating the powers of the Privacy Commissioner. But these are all yesterday's issues. There are still important aspects relating to use of social media and online channels to be negotiated and we look forward to working with Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim on these next year.

"We hope to develop codes and guidelines for digital and online platforms that will promote  and enhance consumer protection and privacy whilst making privacy issues more manageable for business."

The key changes which ADMA lobbied for on behalf of the marketing/advertising industry and which were approved this week are:

  • removing the prohibition on direct marketing
  • reducing the requirement to include opt-out notices on all marketing communications
  • limiting the obligation to allow customers to engage under a pseudonym
  • re-configuring the requirement on transfer of data.

Sangster said that while this week's developments removed some of the uncertainty around changes to privacy laws, the Government's intentions for mandatory data breach notification and a civil right to privacy were still unknown.

Says Sangster: "Businesses have enough to deal with in ensuring they are complying with the new privacy law in 2013. It would be beneficial to allow businesses to deal with the latest privacy changes before imposing yet more laws."

Marketers and advertisers will be given 15 months to comply with the new law rather than the previously proposed nine months.

ADMA provides regular updates of the developments in privacy, data protection and other laws that are critical to marketers and advertisers. Follow Sangster and head of regulatory affairs David Simon on Twitter for updates: ~JS@ADMA and ~DS @ADMA.

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