Given the current privacy reform and cyber threat environment, the question we get asked a lot is – what are the privacy risks that should be assessed in our organisation and how do we prioritise these? Unfortunately this isn’t always a ‘one size fits all’ answer but there are some basic matters you can check as to whether your organisation is considering privacy risks proactively.Read More
The APPs require organisations to “take reasonable steps to implement practices, procedures and systems that ensure compliance with the APPs”. Putting your mind to privacy after a data breach or complaint is very much shutting the stable door after Phar Lap has bolted (good luck getting him back!)
Good privacy management starts with a good privacy culture in your organisation. Recommended steps to develop this include:Read More
With the cyber threat landscape significantly evolving, we are seeing companies – large and small – experience attacks. Recent high-profile attacks have shown that these breaches are alarming, targeting a range of sectors. With millions of Australians more concerned about their privacy than ever before, the federal government is making privacy a priority with the Attorney-General’s Department recently releasing 116 recommendations to amend the Privacy Act. The federal government has also made proposals to consider a new Cyber Security Act and strengthen existing laws around this space.Read More
The theme of this year’s Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) is “back to basics”. It’s fitting to consider some lessons arising from recent high-profile breaches affecting millions of Australians, and the consistent messages we’ve been hearing from the Australian Information Commissioner in the midst of those incidents.
Data breaches can happen to anyone. We know cyberattacks can be big business, and sophisticated criminal networks make a good living from these. And if your organisation has taken reasonable steps to avoid or mitigate such breaches, the fact you’ve encountered one will not, of itself, be held against you.Read More
We saw last year how low hackers are willing to stoop to shame companies into paying ransoms, including leaking sensitive information aimed at embarrassing individuals affected by data breaches. As a result we also saw prominent calls for ransom payments to be ‘banned’, to reduce the financial incentives for hackers to target Australians’ personal information.
We are now hearing the flipside to that argument, with AGL Energy warning that a government-imposed ban on companies paying cyber ransoms to hackers could cause “catastrophic damage”.Read More
The data breach that affected 9.8 million Australians and resulted in the personal information of 10,000 Optus customers being exposed on the dark web in September last year will be litigated in a class action lawsuit filed last Friday (21 April) in the Federal Court of Australia.Read More
Presumably inspired by the recently released “Honor Among Thieves”, a film based on table-top roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons, the Australian government invited representatives from the Reserve Bank, the AFP and regulators ASIC and APRA for a three-hour session of cybersecurity roleplay. Further exercises are expected to be conducted with major banks and financial services, and eventually with the aviation sector and other critical infrastructure areas.Read More
Shortly after the Government announced their ambition to make Australia a global leader in cyber security, Australia has been named the country with “the greatest progress and commitment toward creating a cyber defence environment” in MIT’s Cyber Defence Index of 2022/23.
However, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s latest notifiable data breaches report paints a different picture. The Commissioner reported a 26% increase in the number of total reported data breaches and a 41% increase in the number of reported data breaches arising from malicious or criminal attacks compared with the first half of 2022. Health service providers and the finance sector were the worst hit, together representing almost a third of reported data breaches.
In releasing the report, the Commissioner once again stressed the need for organisations to collect only the minimum amount of personal information required and deleting it when it is no longer needed. In the report the Commissioner has recommended a number of steps to address the kinds of issues featured in the second half of 2022, including:Read More
The Government has today released the Report of the Attorney General’s Department’s review of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). The Government is seeking feedback on the 116 proposals in the Report before deciding what further steps to take. Submissions on the report are due on 31 March 2023. With this timing, it’s possible that we will see the review finalised towards the end of the first half of 2023.
The report can be accessed here.
The proposals made in the Report centre around:Read More
As of yesterday, the Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Act 2022 (Privacy Enforcement Act) is now in effect after receiving Royal Assent on 12 December 2022.
As we have previously shared, the Privacy Enforcement Act increases the maximum penalties for serious or repeated privacy breaches. For body corporates/organisations this increases the penalty from the current $2.22 million to whichever is the greater of:Read More