Original media release 1/05/2023 from Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
Privacy regulators from across Australia have issued a joint statement to mark the start of Privacy Awareness Week 2023 (1 to 7 May).
For Privacy Awareness Week, privacy authorities from around Australia are joining together to call for people, organisations and agencies to get ‘back to basics’ and ensure they have covered the privacy fundamentals.
Things have changed a great deal in the last few decades. Since the first Australian Privacy Commissioner was appointed in 1989, the information and technology landscape has become significantly more complicated, and new technologies require us to move with the times – in business, as government agencies, in regulation and legislation, and as individuals.
Organisations and agencies now collect, use and disclose huge amounts of personal information. The practices to keep it safe, and to use it responsibly, need to keep pace.
Our engagement in the online environment presents extraordinary opportunities as well as challenges. But in all this growth and change we can’t lose sight of the basics.
Privacy Awareness Week is about the simple steps we can all put in place to protect personal information.
Organisations and agencies should only collect personal information that is necessary for carrying out their functions and activities and take reasonable steps to secure it. Once the information is no longer needed for any enduring legitimate purpose, it should be securely destroyed or permanently deidentified. Carrying information that is not needed creates additional risk, especially in the event of a data breach.
For individuals, we can all take simple steps to make sure we don’t share personal information without good reason when accessing services or products, protect our accounts using multi-factor authentication and strong passphrases, and wipe data from old accounts and devices.
Australia’s privacy authorities will continue to work together to uphold privacy protections and promote awareness of the responsibilities of organisations and government agencies and the rights of individuals.
Australian Information Commissioner and Privacy Commissioner
Privacy Commissioner, Queensland
Information Commissioner, Queensland
Information Commissioner, Victoria
Director, State Records of South Australia
Privacy Commissioner, New South Wales
Information Commissioner, Northern Territory