Standing up for Canberra

Another Parliamentary year passes without privacy alerts

Today Australians were on the brink of finally being given a basic privacy protection which they have waited three years for, but the Government has squibbed it yet again.

Labor proposed a bill that would make it mandatory to alert consumers when their private information had been breached in 2013, with bipartisan support.

Three years later the Government has finally bothered to put the same bill to Parliament, which also has bipartisan support.

It was due to be passed today, and now the Government has pulled it.

It has been 21 months since the Government agreed to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security’s recommendation to introduce a mandatory data breach notification scheme by the end of 2015.

The only reason this protection is not in place today is because the Turnbull Government couldn’t be bothered to pass it.

Responsibility for this delay sits squarely at the feet of this Government.

In the three years Australian consumers have been waiting for these privacy alerts, tens of thousands have had their personal information stolen, including in high-profile breaches of Kmart, Telstra and Catch of the Day.

The Turnbull Government’s procrastinating over privacy has left Australian consumers without the assurance that when their personal information is accessed without their authorisation, they will know about it.