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Australia: Parliament passes Government Privacy Penalty Bill

The Australian Government announced, on 28 November 2022, that Parliament had approved the Government's Privacy Penalty Bill, namely the Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Bill 2022 ('the 2022 Bill'). In particular, the Government stated that the 2022 Bill significantly increases penalties for repeated or serious privacy breaches by companies which fail to take adequate care of customer data. Furthermore, the Government emphasised that the bill provides the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner ('OAIC') with greater powers to resolve privacy breaches and quickly share information about data breaches to help protect impacted customers.

Notably, the Government highlighted that the higher penalties and new powers will come into effect the day after the 2022 Bill receives royal assent ahead of an overhaul of the Privacy Act 1988 (No. 119, 1988) (as amended), following a comprehensive review by the Attorney General's Department which is now being finalised.

You can read the press release here and the 2022 Bill here

UPDATE (14 December 2022)

Privacy Penalty Bill comes into force 

The 2022 Bill received, on 12 December 2022, royal assent and therefore entered into effect the day after, namely 13 December 2022. 

You can view the status of the 2022 Bill here.