Australia Privacy laws to face makeover to be relevant

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The Australia Law Reform Commission has published its findings of its two year review on the Privacy Act and all current privacy laws and practices in Australia and has recommended 295 changes should be made to current laws.

The report, For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice, was released this morning and found that the current laws were struggling to keep pace with modern technologies, social networking and many other services on the web.

Key recommendations from the report include regulating cross border data flows, drafting new regulation for people’s health information and how to manage the records, and educating children of ownership issues around personal information that is posted on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

The government is set to review the changes over the next 12 to 18 months in two phases. Phase One will see the government review on unified privacy provisions, protecting and maintaining health information and credit reporting reform – as well as educating children on privacy.

The second phase will focus on the recommendations, including any exemptions to the Privacy Act, and data breach notifications within government agencies and businesses.

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