Australia's privacy authorities to forge closer ties

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 17 April, 2019

Australia's privacy authorities to forge closer ties

Australia's privacy authorities have commenced a new joint initiative aimed at further improving cooperation between authorities on complaint handling and enforcement.

Members of Privacy Authorities Australia — which include the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and privacy representatives from all states and territories — are seeking to enhance inter-jurisdictional collaboration to improve each member's ability to resolve complex privacy issues.

The new initiative will involve ongoing work to improve coordination and engagement between authorities in regard to complaint handling, investigations and enforcement.

This work will focus on reducing complexity for individuals wishing to make privacy complaints that cross jurisdictional boundaries, as well as the provision of mutual assistance during privacy investigations.

All members also plan to work to foster close working relationships between authorities at the officer level in an attempt to facilitate knowledge sharing.

PAA's members have agreed on five principles for cooperation to guide work on the initiative: 1) focus on the best outcome for the complainant, 2) foster a collaborative and collegiate working approach, 3) ensure mutual recognition of jurisdictional independence, individual roles, legislative mandate and responsibilities, 4) avoid surprises, and 5) share knowledge and resources wherever possible and practical.

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