Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ozz ices data protection laws

In a controversial move that has dissapointed the Australian security community, Australia will not follow the lead of the US by introducing stiffer data protection laws to safeguard sensitive information held by companies despite compelling recent evidence of a thriving black market trade in the personal data of Australians. According to information obtained from the office of the Attorney General, no new laws will be considered in Australia to force companies to disclose details of a breach of data security that could expose personal information to either the general or criminal populations.

In December, the US state of New York will bring into force strict new laws governing data security breaches. The laws will directly force state-based and interstate companies to disclose virtually all data breaches, no matter how small the companies deem the risk to consumers - and will usurp current California breach notification laws as a national benchmark. However, despite two high-profile cases that have seen thousands of Australians forced to replace personal items ranging from credit cards to passports, Attorney General Philip Ruddock is maintaining the existing Privacy Act, which carries no criminal sanctions, is strong enough to compel companies to keep their data safe from theft.

Despite the obvious loophole that allows Australian companies to legally hide their exposure to data theft, Curtis says companies should do the right thing and come clean to customers in the event they are compromised.

Yeah, right I've heard that one before...

CATEGORIES : 1legal, 1australia, 1data privacy, 1laws
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