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MEDIA RELEASE

ACS welcomes new data breach notification rules

ACS WELCOMES NEW DATA BREACH NOTIFICATION RULES

 

MEDIA STATEMENT 

 

Australia, 8 February 2017: The ACS, the professional association for Australia’s ICT sector, welcomes the passage of the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 through the federal House of Representatives yesterday and congratulates MPs on this significant legislative milestone.

The ACS has for many years been a vocal advocate of regulation mandating data breach notification and strongly endorses the guiding purpose of the Bill: to allow individuals to take steps to protect themselves from a likely risk of serious harm resulting from a data breach.

For ICT professionals, the Bill is particularly relevant for three reasons. Firstly, it gives overdue recognition to the importance of data in the digital economy and the potential for serious harm where, through accident, malfeasance or cyber attack, a data breach occurs.

Secondly, the Bill further enshrines Australian Privacy Principle 11, which requires entities to take reasonable steps to secure personal information they hold. Finally, the legislation will effect a heightened focus within the public and private sectors in Australia on all aspects of cybersecurity.

ACS President Anthony Wong said, “As we transition to a digital economy, now more than ever the focus must be on ensuring Australia captures the opportunities of the information age, while protecting the rights of the individual. Once passed, this legislation will be a critical step forward in the elevation of data protection and cybersecurity issues on the C Suite agenda.

“In an era of Big Data, the protection and privacy of personal information must be a primary consideration in the planning and construction of large scale ICT systems, not an afterthought. Given the growing problem of cyber crime, the ACS strongly supports initiatives which demand both the public and private sectors act to prevent cyber threats and address their consequences.  

“Over and above the specific legal mechanisms of the new Act, the ACS believes it will give issues concerning data protection and cybersecurity a new level of transparency, lifting overall awareness of cyber safety, how to mitigate risk and ultimately providing better protection for individual citizens. While nothing is ever 100 per cent secure, the Act promises to give Australians who provide personal information to government and business greater confidence.

“To deliver on the promise of this new legislation it is critical to recognise that cybersecurity is a collective responsibility, relevant at all levels of an organisation. The ACS looks forward to working with government and industry on best practice approaches to ICT security systems and protocols and the education and training of ICT professionals to meet both the spirit and the letter of the new legislative requirements.”

-ENDS-

Further information

Sarah Jane Williams, Launch Group, 0409 362 675, sarahjane@launchgroup.com.au

Louise Proctor, Launch Group, 0452 574 244 louise@launchgroup.com.au

 

About the ACS

The ACS is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. Over 22,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit www.acs.org.au for more information.