The EU legalisation is scheduled to take effect on 25 May and companies and institutions around the world are scrambling to be compliant with its stipulations.
Greens privacy spokesman Senator Jordon Steele-John said in a statement that the fact that privacy protections needed to be beefed up online was evidenced by the recent scandal over the leaking of Facebook data to the analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. The firm has now closed down but is believed to be operating under a different name.
Steele-John said: “Our privacy laws are woefully inadequate and the argument that Australians don’t care and are agreeing to sign away their privacy simply by engaging in online interactions is simply not good enough!"
“In March, the Senate opposed my motion calling for amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 to ensure individuals have rights of access, erasure and transfer of their personal data online," Steele-John said.
“I am heartened that the Senate has now back-flipped on their earlier position and supported, in principle, a move towards the European standard of online privacy protection and current world best practice.
“There is need for urgent review of privacy regulations in Australia, including the collection, storage, and use of personal information by government, corporations and other entities particularly with respect to its impact on the integrity of our democracy.”