Parliament has passed the Government’s privacy penalty bill

a building with a sign on top of it

Companies that do not take proper care of customer data will face extensive fines, now that the Albanese Government has passed legislation significantly increasing penalties for repeated or serious privacy breaches. This is a major step in protecting consumers and their right to secure information online.

The previous government initiated a Privacy Act Review in 2020, which they left incomplete; and promised to impose harsher penalties yet never followed through on their word.

With the multiple data breaches last year, the Albanese Labor government has acted decisively, They have introduced comprehensive legislation with large penalties to send a clear message that companies must step up their security measures and safeguard customer data.

The Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Bill 2022 increases the maximum penalties for serious or repeated privacy breaches from the current $2.22 million penalty to whichever is the greater of:

  • $50 million.
  • three times the value of any benefit obtained through the misuse of information; or
  • 30 percent of a company’s adjusted turnover in the relevant period.

The new Bill is empowering the Australian Information Commissioner with a more effective means to rectify and assess any potential privacy breaches. Furthermore, it also enables faster sharing of data breach information to ensure that customers are better protected from malicious activities.

Recent major privacy violations have demonstrated that existing protections are outdated and not enough. With these new regulations, companies can no longer consider data breach fines as a simple cost of doing business.

The higher penalties and new powers will come into effect the day after it receives Royal Assent ahead of an overhaul of the Privacy Act following a comprehensive review by the Attorney-General’s Department which is now being finalized.


Stay up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity news. Enter your information below to subscribe to our newsletter.

Relevant Articles

Don’t Run From Cyber Challenges, 

Run Over Them.

Secoura is AI-Powered Cyber Defense solution for Visibility, Threat Detection and Autonomous Response.