Understanding privacy

Privacy relates to the management and protection of an individual’s personal information. The Privacy Act is the existing Commonwealth legislation which includes Australian Privacy Principles that regulate the standards, rights and obligations for the handling, holding, accessing and correction of personal information.

It is integral for businesses to comply with the mandatory requirements of the Australian Privacy Principles, and as businesses increasingly move online, there is even greater importance on protecting an individual’s privacy in an electronic environment.

In March 2014, the Australian Government released its Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), a set of principles governing how agencies and organisations (covered by the Privacy Act) should handle private information. The APP guidelines outline the mandatory requirements of the APPs, how the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) will interpret the APPs, and matters they may take into account when exercising functions and powers under the Privacy Act.

The OAIC has published a range of resources to help organisations adapt their practices to comply with the APPs. They are all available on the Australian Privacy Principles website

Among the most useful and relevant are: