Allens

Privacy & Data Protection

Our Privacy and data protection legal team regularly publishes articles and updates – the full list of publications appears below. If you'd like to be notified when we add new privacy publications to the site, please go to our subscription page sign up for email alerts or, alternatively, you can subscribe to our RSS feed.

Read about our experience in Privacy & Data Protection law.

Privacy & Data Protection Publications

  • Focus: Privacy Commissioner reports on Department of Immigration and Border Protection's data breach

    13 November 2014

    The Australian Privacy Commissioner has released a report into the Department of Immigration and Border Protection having breached the privacy of asylum seekers in February 2014. Partner Michael Pattison and Associate Priyanka Nair report on the Commissioner's findings and the lessons for all organisations on taking 'reasonable steps' to protect the personal information which they hold.

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  • Focus: ALRC Final Report: 'Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era'

    10 September 2014

    The Australian Law Reform Commission has released its long-anticipated final report on serious invasions of privacy. The report proposes that a new statutory cause of action be implemented in a new stand-alone Commonwealth Act. If adopted, the proposal would have far reaching ramifications for investigative journalism in Australia and could also raise the spectre of class actions being brought against companies that have deliberately or recklessly mishandled their customers' personal information. Partner Gavin Smith, and Lawyers William Coote and Brydon Wang assess the proposal and its consequences.

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  • Focus: Final piece of privacy reform jigsaw

    28 January 2014

    In important news for any Australian business that provides goods or services to individuals on deferred payment terms, the long-awaited Credit Reporting Privacy Code has been registered. Partner Michael Pattison and Senior Associate Matt Vitins report on the implications of the credit reporting reforms for businesses generally, and give an update on the status of the related Privacy Act reforms that are soon to take effect.

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  • Audio: Election impacts on privacy law

    9 October 2013

    The newly elected Abbott Government has announced a range of policies that will impact upon Australian companies across a number of sectors, with potential changes in the areas of tax, climate change, infrastructure, competition, workplace relations, foreign investment and privacy law. Partner Michael Pattison, from the Corporate group at Allens, speaks to BRR Media about the impact of the election results on the technology, media and telecommunications sector.

    Listen
  • Video: Data breach notification laws in limbo

    16 July 2013

    Legislation making it mandatory for businesses to report data breaches is in legal limbo. Allens Technology, Media and Telecommunications Sector Head Niranjan Arasaratnam speaks to BRR Media about the future of the legislation and what it will mean for businesses if the laws are passed.

    Watch
  • Audio: New privacy risks for off shore data disclosures

    21 February 2013

    About one-third of in-house counsel have named privacy reform as the major issue facing companies in 2013, according to a poll by law firm Allens. Partner Michael Pattison spoke to BRR Media about the reforms and new privacy risks for offshore data disclosures.

    Listen
  • Focus: Major privacy reforms passed

    30 November 2012

    The Federal Parliament has passed much anticipated reforms that will have a significant impact on the way companies and government agencies collect and deal with various forms of personal information. Partners Michael Pattison and Gavin Smith, Senior Associate Nathan Shepherd and Lawyers Amy Dobbin and Ishwar Singh report.

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  • Audio: New era in privacy as Privacy Act changes passed

    29 November 2012

    The Federal Parliament has today passed legislation to effect a major reform of privacy laws in Australia. Partners Michael Pattison and Gavin Smith spoke to BRR Media about the changes and how businesses should respond.

    Listen
  • Focus: The new cybercrime regime

    27 November 2012

    The Federal Government has introduced amendments to Australia's telecommunications regulatory regime that will facilitate Australia's accession to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. Partner Ian McGill, Senior Associate Valeska Bloch and Lawyer Matthew Tracey examine the impact of these amendments.

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  • Focus: Major changes to privacy law endorsed

    3 October 2012

    A Senate Committee has endorsed changes to privacy law that will have significant implications for most companies and federal agencies. Partners Michael Pattison, Gavin Smith, Senior Associate Nathan Shepherd and Lawyer Ishwar Singh report.

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  • Focus: More nations ease sanctions against Myanmar

    23 August 2012

    We recently reported on the easing of US sanctions against Myanmar. In this follow up article, we report on changes to the Australian, EU and Canadian sanctions against Myanmar. Allens Partner Anthony Patten, Linklaters Partner Satindar Dogra and Allens Law Graduate Laura Bellamy provide a brief overview of the changes to these sanctions regimes.

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  • Focus: Privacy Commissioner reports on Telstra data breaches

    9 July 2012

    The Australian Privacy Commissioner has released a report into Telstra having breached customer privacy in 2011. Partner Michael Pattison and Lawyer Margaret Walsh report on the Privacy Commissioner's findings, Telstra's response to the data breaches, and what the matter can teach us about taking 'reasonable steps' to comply with the national privacy regime.

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  • Client Update: Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Bill passed

    25 June 2012

    After a rocky journey, federal legislation providing a platform for the creation of an online register of electronic health records has been passed. Senior Associate Michael Morris and Lawyer Andy Gian report

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  • Focus: Why Australian companies should watch out for EU data protection reform

    7 June 2012

    Changes proposed to Europe's data protection regime, along with incoming Australian legislative reform, may pose challenges for Australian companies operating in Europe. Allens Partner Michael Pattison and Lawyer Nikki Macor and Linklaters Partner Julian Cunningham-Day and Senior Professional Support Lawyer Peter Church report

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  • Focus: Tougher Australian data protection regime

    28 May 2012

    Amendments to strengthen Australia's privacy regime will create new penalties, increased requirements for procedures and disclosure, and a revamped credit reporting system and will have significant implications for most companies and government agencies. Partner Michael Pattison, Senior Associate Nathan Shepherd and Lawyers Nikki Macor and Margaret Walsh report.

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  • Audio: Stronger privacy protections introduced

    24 May 2012

    The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012, which was introduced to Federal Parliament on 23 May, proposes some significant changes to privacy law in Australia. Partner Michael Pattison spoke to BRR Media about some of the changes affecting Australian businesses

    Listen
  • Audio: New guide on data breaches

    1 May 2012

    The Privacy Commissioner has released a new guide on how organisations should respond to data breaches. Partner Michael Pattison spoke to BRR Media on the guide's recommendations and what they mean for businesses

    Listen
  • Audio: E-health bill to stumble post Senate inquiry

    21 March 2012

    The Senate has released a report on its inquiry into the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Bill. Senior Associate Michael Morris spoke to BRR Media about the likely privacy implications of E-health records

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  • Audio: Megaupload lessons for cloud computing users

    1 February 2012

    The recent closure of the Megaupload site has raised some questions about the use of cloud computing services. Partner Niranjan Arasaratnam spoke to BRR Media about the implications of the case and what businesses using or looking to use cloud computing need to do to make sure their data is secure

    Listen
  • Focus: A newly determined Privacy Commissioner

    13 December 2011

    The Australian Privacy Commissioner has made its first determination in response to a complaint since 2004. Partner Michael Pattison and Lawyer Margaret Walsh report on this decision, where an organisation was required to pay damages, issue a written apology and provide privacy training to staff

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  • Focus: Privacy Commissioner's tough new approach to information leaks

    5 December 2011

    The Australian Privacy Commissioner has outlined strict new tactics to deal with companies that are careless with customer or user data. Partner Michael Pattison and Lawyer Luke O'Sullivan report

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  • Focus: Major Singapore data protection reforms proposed

    24 October 2011

    A proposed new consumer data protection regime will affect all Singapore business sectors, applying a uniform minimum data protection standard to every industry. Senior Associate Jeremy Chase and Lawyer Henry Fraser report.

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  • Focus: Government consults on new right to sue for invasion of privacy

    30 September 2011

    Individuals could soon gain the right to sue other individuals and companies over serious invasions of privacy if the Federal Government adopts recommendations in a long-awaited issues paper. The issues paper considers the introduction of a statutory cause of action for invasions of privacy and how to strike the right balance between an individual's right to privacy and other important public interests, such as freedom of expression. Partner Gavin Smith and Law Graduate Rowan Platt explain

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  • Focus: Senate reports on Australian Privacy Principles

    6 July 2011

    The Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee has released the first part of its report on its inquiry into the legislation giving effect to the new Australian Privacy Principles which, if implemented, may have significant implications for privacy compliance procedures. Partner Dean Carrigan, Special Counsel John Dieckmann, Senior Associate Nathan Shepherd and Lawyer Fiona MacDonald report

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  • Audio: Super-injunctions undermined by social media

    7 June 2011

    Recent events in the United Kingdom have seen super-injunctions being undermined by social media. Partner Miriam Stiel speaks to Boardroom Radio about super-injunctions in a social media world and the lessons Australian businesses can learn from the case

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  • Audio: Facebook data breach, lessons for business

    24 May 2011

    Facebook has been in the news recently about a privacy breach affecting its members. Senior Overseas Practitioner Gavin Smith discusses how this can happen and what businesses can do to prevent similar data breaches occurring in their organisations

    Listen
  • Focus: Exposure draft of Privacy Principles released

    28 June 2010

    The Australian Government has released an Exposure Draft of the Australian Privacy Principles that are proposed to replace the National Privacy Principles and the Information Privacy Principles. Special Counsel Karin Clark and Partner Michael Pattison look at the new principles and their impact on privacy compliance programs.

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  • Focus: Reforming privacy and health information

    9 November 2009

    The Federal Government has released the first stage of its response to the Australian Law Reform Commission's report on privacy law. Partner Catherine Parr, Special Counsel Karin Clark and Lawyer Jacqueline Goodall report on the implications for health service providers, and other bodies that handle health information

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  • Focus: Privacy law and credit reporting

    2 November 2009

    The Australian Government has released the first stage of its response to the Australian Law Reform Commission's report on privacy law. Partner Catherine Parr, Special Counsel Karin Clark and Lawyer Nicholas Tobias report on the credit reporting implications of the proposed reforms

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  • Client Update: Review of the Do Not Call Register

    27 October 2009

    The Federal Government has released a discussion paper calling for submissions ahead of its review of the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (Cth). Partner Michael Pattison and Lawyer Nicholas Tobias report

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  • Audio: Govt responds to privacy recommendations

    22 October 2009

    The Federal Government has released the first stage of its response to the Australian Law Reform Commission's report on Australia's privacy laws. Partner Catherine Parr speaks to Boardroom Radio about the key changes to privacy laws that will impact on both the private and public sector

    Listen
  • Client Update: Australian Government's response to ALRC privacy law report

    20 October 2009

    The Australian Government has released the first stage of its response to the ALRC's report on privacy law. Partner Catherine Parr, Special Counsel Karin Clark and Lawyer Jacqueline Goodall report

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  • Focus: Reforming privacy and health information

    3 November 2008

    The Australian Law Reform Commission has released a report that recommends changes to Australia's privacy laws. Partners Catherine Parr and Peter Jones, Special Counsel Karin Clark and Lawyer Francisca Hoffmann-Axthelm report on the implications for health service providers and other bodies that handle health information

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  • Focus: Privacy Commissioner's new guide on notification of data breaches

    11 September 2008

    The Federal Privacy Commissioner has released a guide for businesses, government agencies and non-government organisations on how to respond to data security breaches, including when affected individuals should be notified. Importantly, the guidelines recognise that it is not always desirable that the individuals concerned be told about the breach. Partner Michael Pattison and Special Counsel Karin Clark discuss the guide's recommendations

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  • Focus: Credit reporting and credit information

    19 August 2008

    The Australian Law Reform Commission has recommended changes to Australia' privacy laws that will have important implications for credit providers. Partners Catherine Parr and Peter Jones look at what will change

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  • Focus: The new Unified Privacy Principles

    18 August 2008

    The Australian Law Reform Commission has released a report into privacy law that recommends key changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and other privacy legislation. Partners Catherine Parr and Peter Jones look at what is proposed and how the proposed Unified Privacy Principles differ from the current regime

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  • Client Update: ALRC releases privacy law report

    11 August 2008

    After undertaking the largest community consultation program in its 33-year history, the Australian Law Reform Commission today released its report on privacy law. Partners Peter Jones and Catherine Parr, and Special Counsel Karin Clark report

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  • Focus: ALRC proposes overhaul of credit reporting rules

    29 October 2007

    Partner Catherine Parr, Special Counsel Karin Clark and Articled Clerk Kelly Griffiths report on proposals in the Australian Law Reform Commission's recent discussion paper for the reform of Australian privacy laws as they relate to credit reporting

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  • Focus: Review of Australian privacy law

    9 October 2007

    The Australian Law Reform Commission has recently released a discussion paper that proposes reforms of Australia's privacy laws as they relate to developing technologies and telecommunications. Partner Michael Pattison, Articled Clerk Jeremy Collins and Law Graduate Tim Cardiff report

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  • Focus: ACMA cracks down on spam

    7 August 2007

    The past two months has seen a crackdown by the Australian Communications and Media Authority on unsolicited electronic messages. Special Counsel Karin Clark and Lawyer Suzanne Komattu-Mathews report on the outcome of three recent decisions under the Spam Act 2003 (Cth)

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  • Focus: Jane Doe v ABC: a new privacy action?

    13 June 2007

    Judge Felicity Hampel in the Victorian County Court recently held that the general law now offers protection to 'private information' under both the equitable action of breach of confidence and a new tort of invasion of privacy. Special Counsel Karin Clark, Lawyer Maree Norton and Articled Clerk Adam Butt consider the extent this groundbreaking decision, if upheld, is likely to increase an individual's right to control the publication of 'private information' about themselves

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  • Focus: Telemarketing laws

    10 April 2007

    The creation of a Do Not Call Register scheme last year has major repercussions for the telemarketing industry and all businesses that use phone marketing techniques. Special Counsel Karin Clark, Lawyer Andrew Ailwood and Law Graduates Claire Bourke and Valeska Bloch outline the legislative components establishing the scheme and examine its implications

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  • Focus: Greater transparency in contracts between NSW Government and private sector

    4 April 2007

    In response to recommendations made by the Auditor-General and recent public concerns about the efficacy of certain contracts entered into by the NSW Government, the Freedom of Information Amendment (Open Government - Disclosure of Contracts) Act 2006 (NSW) came into force on 1 January 2007. The purpose of the Act is to promote greater transparency in all contractual dealings between NSW government agencies and the private sector. Partner Leighton O'Brien and Lawyer Joel Sturgeon report

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  • Focus: Strengthening Victorian workplace privacy: Victorian Law Reform Commission's final report

    8 November 2005

    The Victorian Law Reform Commission's workplace privacy final report, written in response to growing concern about the increased use of surveillance in the workplace, has been tabled in the Victorian Parliament. Lawyer Andrew Ailwood and Special Counsel Karin Clark outline the report's findings

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  • Focus: Health - The state of play in Privacy

    6 July 2005

    A number of the recommendations made in the Privacy Commissioner's review of the private sector provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 will impact on organisations or individuals in health-related fields and those accessing health-related services. Partners Catherine Parr, Peter Jones and Cameron Price and Articled Clerk Martin Hecht look at the main findings of the review.

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  • Focus: Privacy

    14 June 2005

    The Privacy Commissioner's report into the operation of the private sector provisions of the Privacy Act has been released. The AAR Privacy Team summarises the Report's recommendations in a number of key areas of relevance to AAR's clients

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  • Paper: Managing compliance in the global space - transborder data flow

    30 November 2004

    Partner Katherine Sainty and Law Graduate Andrew Ailwood discuss the increasing regulation of the transfer of data containing personal or sensitive information from an entity in one country to an entity in another jurisdiction

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  • Focus: Privacy

    22 October 2004

    Recent overseas court decisions point to the emergence of a new common law right to privacy. Articled Clerk Maree Norton, Special Counsel Karin Clark and Partner Katherine Sainty report on the potential implications for Australian organisations, particularly media organisations

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  • Focus: Privacy

    2 June 2004

    In a first for Australia, the Federal Court has granted an injunction to stop a breach of privacy law. Partner Ian McGill, Special Counsel Karin Clark and Articled Clerk Banjo McLachlan report on the implications for all businesses covered by the National Privacy Principles, including call centres, telemarketers and businesses with large customer databases

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  • Client Update: Privacy

    8 January 2004

    The Spam Act 2003 received royal assent on 12 December 2003 and its key operative provisions will come into force on 10 April 2004

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