The Australian Government’s response to the Attorney General’s Department (AGD) Privacy Act Review Report is a step in the right direction for ensuring privacy and security for people in the country — but there’s a long way to go.
As part of the ongoing review of the Privacy Act 1988, the AGD’s report proposes reforms for stronger privacy protections. According to the government, proposals with which the government “agrees” will be developed into legislation, for those with which it “agrees-in-principle” there will be further consultation with “entities” — opening up influence from an ambiguous group of stakeholders. However, for the proposals that the government “notes,” there is no clarity on next steps, leaving much needed reforms hanging in the balance.
As the government recognises in its response, the Privacy Act Review is one of the many ongoing processes to revamp the digital and data regulatory framework, which will have a direct impact on people’s privacy in Australia. Therefore, the AGD will develop a guide for alignment on these various pieces.
People across Australia have the right to privacy, and Access Now urges the Australian government to develop draft legislation for input from the public and experts on privacy-impacting obligations, and to reconcile the regulatory landscape by ensuring safeguards for privacy-preserving tools like encryption.