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Carly Kind

Australian Privacy Commissioner

Privacy is an extremely important value to the Australian community. 

When it comes to the digital environment, most Australians want more power over their personal information. But in recent years, many of us have begun to feel that access to and use of our data is increasingly out of our control. 

The digital economy offers huge opportunities to individuals and businesses. The use of personal data to deliver services, connect individuals, and enable us to share and learn can deliver benefits to the private and public sectors. Data-driven technologies have the potential to improve the delivery of government services and strengthen public accountability.

However, too often these important public benefits come at the cost of our personal privacy.  Invasive data-gathering practices, poor security protocols, and unfair terms and conditions deprive individuals of their agency and put organisations at risk of data breaches and privacy complaints. New technologies expand collection and use of personal information without appropriately weighing the potential intrusions into individual and collective privacy, or providing adequate safeguards for data security. 

Promising advances and innovations need to be tempered with responsible practices. Strong privacy practices are good for everyone: for consumers, who feel more confident participating in the digital economy; for businesses, which can boldly innovate knowing that guardrails are in place to protect customers; and for government, which can realise the benefits of new technologies with the trust of its citizens. 

What you can do

Everyone has a role to play in supporting and upholding good privacy practices.

As individuals, we can all do our bit by being engaged and attentive when it comes to the protection of our personal information.

However, the biggest onus is on businesses and other organisations that hold data to make the right decisions to adequately protect and respect it, and not collect or keep what is not needed. 

Organisations’ responsibilities extend to ensure that third parties they work with or contract to also adopt strong privacy practices.

With the Australian government having committed to updating the Privacy Act to meet the challenges of the digital era, the coming years will require businesses and organisations to take additional steps to ensure their privacy practices are fit for purpose. 

Now is the time for all actors in the digital ecosystem to power up their privacy. 

Doing so will be good for individuals, and good for business.

This Privacy Awareness Week I am calling on organisations to get on the front foot, and help us all power up privacy by enhancing transparency, accountability and security. 

Now is the time for all of us to reboot our outdated approaches and meet the challenges of the new data age head on.

Carly Kind
Australian Privacy Commissioner

More PAW resources

In addition to exploring the Privacy Awareness Week information on our website, you may like to also check out some of the state-based information and resources at the links below.

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Sign up your organisation today as a supporter of Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) 2024 to help show your commitment to best practice in privacy. Supporters will get access to our toolkit, and can opt to be listed on the website. Join us and help to power up privacy!

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