Privacy Awareness – Just How Compliant Are You?


In March 2014 the latest revisions to the Privacy Act came into being, offering some of the strongest protections Australia has witnessed in relation to privacy laws. This law is in place to protect the personal privacy of not only individuals, but small businesses, corporations, governments and agencies too.

Privacy Act Awareness

Privacy allows individuals to maintain their autonomy and individuality and also offers a degree of protection at the same time. While it’s part of everyday business to collect details of any number of individuals, it should also be part of everyday business to safeguard this information too.

Businesses rely on people. Whether those individuals are employees or clients, contractors or suppliers, those people trust you to look after the information you have about them. If you lose that trust they’re likely to go somewhere else, and your reputation is going to be badly tarnished.

So what should your legal obligations be? Let’s take a closer look.

Storing personal information

storage personal information
Keep personal documentation in a safe and secure place. If the documents are physical for example, then a locked cabinet is a good solution. Alternatively if the documentation is virtual and stored on file then password protection or encryption with carefully controlled access is best.Under the Privacy Awareness Law people have the right to access any data you have on them. Try to store information that’s easily retrievable so that you can access it quickly when someone needs it. Also take into consideration that people have the right to ask you to correct any information they believe is wrong.

Don’t ignore holding time

holding time
Be mindful that you don’t keep any personal information for longer than you need to. In other words for any longer than the purposes for which it was lawfully gathered.

Disposal of personal information

disposal of personal information
When personal documents are no longer needed, make sure all documentation is physically shredded or fully deleted off the system, if stored on file. It’s best to make sure that this is done by a designated person only.

Keep track of portable storage devices

usb storage
Because portable storage devices containing sensitive information can easily get lost, misplaced, or stolen, they should be registered and monitored closely.

Disclosing information on your website

disclosing personal information
If you collect personal information via your website, it’s good practice to tell users exactly how you collect the data, and what you intend to do with it. For this reason a well written privacy notice detailing all the relevant information is key.

 

So there you have it! The privacy of employees, individuals, and clients, should never be taken lightly, so if you’re in business you might want to ask yourself the question just how privacy compliant are we?

To find out more the Australian Government Privacy Act website has some great information and resources to help.

If you enjoyed learning more about the importance of proper handling, use and disposal of personal information whilst complying with the Privacy Act, Outsource Institute have an informative course where you can continue your path of self-discovery.

Here is this week’s recommendation:

BSB41715 | Certificate IV in Recordkeeping

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