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Privacy Awareness Week 2017

Monday 15 May to Friday 19 May 2017 is Privacy Awareness Week. With consumers being more conscious than ever before with where and how they hand over personal data, and what it’s used for, both consumers and businesses need to be accountable for their actions in relation to handling of such data.

According to Australian Information and Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, “the theme for Privacy Awareness Week is ‘trust and transparency’ which speaks to the importance of organisations handling personal information with care. Personal data can travel through numerous transactions, media and organisations — but it’s always personal — so it’s important that we take care at every step.”

From the consumer view point, privacy concerns especially when talking about eCommerce, can impact on decisions in regards to where we shop, what we download and what personal information we actually handover. Despite these concerns, 65% of consumers don’t always read the privacy policies of those businesses they are interacting with.

Businesses, upon receipt of consumer information, have a responsibility to keep consumer details safe. As a business owner you must:

  • Protect personal information from misuse, interference, loss, and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
  • Take reasonable steps to destroy or de-identify personal information when it’s no longer needed.

Personal information can include the below, but generally is considered to be any information where you can identify or reasonably identify the individual.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Medical records
  • Bank account details
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Where they work
  • Information about their opinions

To learn more about Australian community attitudes to privacy you can view the most recent survey results at the below video.

If you’re a business owner, and are not sure if your business operations comply with the Privacy Act, Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers can review and assist with drafting a handling process and privacy policy that fits your business.


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