Oz data privacy landscape called into question

Australian Bankers Association (ABA) says data already protected without disclosure laws

When it comes to privacy, bank customers in Australia are left to choose between garbage, trash or junk.

That is how Gartner’s vice president of research, Rich Mogull, describes the data privacy landscape there.

A strong advocate of the introduction of disclosure laws which force banks to notify customers of a security breach, Mogull says the Australian government needs to act by implementing legislation that includes penalties to ensure compliance. Without these laws, Mogull says, customers cannot make an informed decision when seeking a provider.

He says breaches are occurring in Australia but it is impossible to get meaningful statistical data that could provide some insight into security.

Mogull’s comments, delivered at Gartner’s IT security summit in Sydney last week, are part of a broader push for changes to the Privacy Act currently being reviewed by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). The ALRC is releasing a discussion paper next month recommending the introduction of security breach disclosure laws with the final report to be delivered to the federal Attorney General Philip Ruddock, in March, 2008. The recommendation has the support of the federal Privacy Commissioner, Karen Curtis.

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