Home Data ACS gives tick of approval to new data breach notification rules

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) has given the thumbs up to new regulations mandating data breach notification, with strong endorsement of the guiding purpose of the government’s Privacy Amendment Bill which will allow individuals to take steps to protect themselves from a likely risk of serious harm resulting from a data breach.

ACS president Anthony Wong reinforced the ACS’ many years as a vocal advocate of regulation mandating data breach notification and welcomed the passage of the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2016 through the House of Representatives.

The ACS says that 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.”

“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 cyber security issues on the C Suite agenda,” Wong says.

“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.”  

Wong also says that, 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 andultimately providing better protection for individual citizens”.

“While nothing is ever 100% 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.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

 

 

 

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