The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department has released its long-awaited report on its review of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), which proposes widespread amendments to Australia’s flagship privacy legislation. Stakeholders have until 31 March 2023 to provide feedback to the government on the proposals.
The Australian Federal Government has passed major changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) in the form of the Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Bill 2022.
The Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Act 2022 received royal assent on 9 November and is now in force. Maximum penalties for contraventions of the CCA and ACL have significantly increased, effective immediately, exposing business to very substantial risk. The need for robust policies, systems and training to ensure compliance with the legislation has never been more important.
On 28 September 2022, the Government introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment (More Competition, Better Prices) Bill 2022. If passed, the Bill will: introduce a civil penalty regime prohibiting the use of and reliance on unfair contract terms in standard form contracts; increase the maximum penalties that may be awarded for breaches of the civil penalty provisions in Parts IV, IVBA, X and XICA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (and under the Australian Consumer Law to the greater of AUD 50 million, if the court can determine the value of the benefit obtained — three times the value of that benefit, if the court cannot determine the value of the benefit obtained — 30% of the body corporate’s adjusted turnover during the breach turnover period for the offence, act or omission, and increase the maximum civil penalty for breaches by telecommunications providers of the Competition Rule, to up to AUD 71 million plus AUD 3 million for every day that a contravention continues in the most serious cases.
On 25 July 2022, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner published Regulatory Guidance on the “Basic Online Safety Expectations”, which are provided for by Part 4 of the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth) and the Online Safety (Basic Online Safety Expectations) Determination 2022. This comes a day after eSafety became entitled to issue notices seeking information from a wide range of online service providers regarding their compliance with the expectations.