Australian Privacy Act Cheat Sheet

Privacy Act and the cyber thief - Shutterstock

Could a breach of your customers’ data cheat you out of credibility and cost you thousands of dollars in fines? The two most important privacy issues you need to understand in Australia are:

  1. How to protect the privacy of your customers’ data
  2. How to secure your computer systems and software

Protecting Privacy is More than Publishing a Policy

Introduction from Shauna: My fellow writer, Penny West, has been researching Privacy Policies with me. She discovered that most of the Australian government cases are around issues of personal data not being properly protected. I urge your to not only prepare a data privacy policy, but to follow the steps to protect the data you collect from your customers. Back to Penny’s article.

Your customers need to know their personal information and bank details are secure.
Publishing a clear Privacy Policy on your website builds confidence and trust. Find easy-to-understand information directly from the government on Australian Privacy Laws at:

Perth Australia with winter flowers in foreground

Information Security Checklist

The Privacy Act governs how businesses GATHER, STORE, USE and DISCLOSE the “PERSONAL INFORMATION” that they collect. It is great to have a privacy policy that complies with the law. You need to go beyond that and implement a security strategy that ensures faultless compliance. We recommend that your strategy should address these issues:

  1. Are your computer operating systems, browsers and anti-virus protections up-to-date?
  2. Do you have a risk management plan in case of a security breach where your customers’ details are accessed?
  3. If you have an e-commerce site do you have a valid https:// padlock icon?
  4. Do you retain sensitive information which requires a special level of security, such as customer credit card numbers and bank account details?
Penny West at Kings Park in Perth Western Australia

Going Beyond the Privacy Policy

Ensure your customers’ are confident with the privacy policy you publish. Follow through on the promises in your privacy policy:


  • Carefully consider which staff have access to your customers’ data
  • Train your staff where to store data and how to secure data
  • Avoid copying customer data to laptops or transportable storage devices, unless necessary

Relax with the peace of mind that you’ve covered your compliance obligations under the Australian Privacy Act. Protect your customers’ data by implementing good information security practices.

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