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The State of Privacy Policies in Australia

Following the recent Asia Pacific Privacy Awareness Week held from 3 – 9 May this year, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has released an appraisal on the state of privacy policies in Australia. The OAIC evaluated the privacy policies of various international organisations, including finance, retail, government, and social and other media sectors.

The results provide some indication of where Australian businesses have room to improve on their existing privacy policies.

Satisfying Australian Privacy Principle 1
The most important consideration in drafting a privacy policy is to meet the requirements of Australian Privacy Principle 1 (APP 1). The essential requirements of APP 1 are that privacy policies are clearly expressed and up-to-date. The results of the OAIC assessment indicate that although all organisations had an accessible privacy policy, more than half did not conform to APP 1.

Some of the key areas of concern included failing to adequately outline:

  • how personal information could be accessed and corrected;
  • how privacy complaints can be made;
  • how personal information would be protected; and
  • whether personal information was likely to be sent overseas.

Tips for a Good Privacy Policy
The OAIC has published a guide to developing a privacy policy, which includes the following advice:

  • Tailor to your audience and keep language simple;
  • Avoid merely repeating the Australian Privacy Principles;
  • Focus on the important information; and
  • Consider having more than one policy.

For full details on the OAIC’s findings, see the full article here.

Please contact us if you’d like Pod Legal to prepare a Privacy Policy specifically for your business.