CHANGES TO THE PRIVACY ACT 1988 (Cth): IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOLS

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A paper by Alistair Macpherson and Nina Brewer presented on 5 December 2013 to Educate Plus Queensland Professional Development on Changes to Privacy Laws and Implications for Schools.

From the Paper:

Privacy law is the law around the collection, storage and use of personal information about individuals by government agencies and businesses. It is governed by the Privacy Act 1988 (“Privacy Act”) and the National Privacy Principles. Many of you would be aware of the Act and have implemented Privacy Policies in compliance with it.

On 23 May 2012, legislation was introduced to Parliament proposing to amend the current Privacy Act 1988. This is the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (“Privacy Amendment Act”). It was passed by Parliament (with amendments) on 29 November 2012[1].  A total of 197 changes have been made to the existing Privacy Act.

The changes introduced by the new legislation will come into effect on 12 March 2014. There will be no transition period for these reforms. This means that up to and including 11 March 2014, existing Privacy laws will apply. From 12 March 2014, the new amended Privacy laws will apply. It therefore is very important for schools and businesses to prepare prior to this date by having their existing privacy policies and procedures reviewed to ensure that they have implemented correct processes and policies in order to comply with the incoming legislation.

The Paper then turns to, “What’s changed?” before examining implications for Schools focucing on:

  • New enrolments and current enrolments
  • Student records
  • Social media
  • Surveillance

For more information regarding the Changes to Privacy Laws and Implications for Schools

Please contact our Business Development Team or call us on (07) 3252 0011 to book an appointment with one of our specialist Education Lawyers today.


[1] Australian Government, Privacy Law Reform (2013) Office of the Australian Information Commissioner <http://www.oaic.gov.au/privacy/privacy-act/privacy-law-reform>.