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Friday, August 17, 2007

Data security breaches a hidden problem in Australia

The Gartner IT Security Summit in Sydney this week was told that data security breaches are occurring regularly in Australia, and maybe more widespread than the well publicised incidents elsewhere in the world. The only difference here is that they are hidden from the public.

It's timely therefore that Senator Stott Despoja's Privacy (Data Security Breach Notification) Amendment Bill 2007, has hit the Senate (you can find the text and the explanatory memorandum under Bills introduced by Private Members).

This article (thanks to PogoWasRight for the lead) provides a summary and some additional background.

The Bill would require any Federal agency or private sector body subject to the Privacy Act, to notify the person concerned of any breach. There is nothing in the Bill that requires consideration of the type of breach and would seem to apply regardless of whether the disclosure is trivial or significant, and without regard to the prospect of harm. There will be criticisms of the breadth of this.

Unclear yet whether the Government - which controls the numbers and determines what legislation gets considered - is interested in advancing this issue with or without amendment.

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