Data privacy day in Victoria on 28 January 2013

January 29, 2013 |

On 22 January 2013 the Victorian Privacy Commissioner announced 28 January 2013 as Data Privacy Day.

In a press release, Data Privacy Day, January 28 2013 Respecting Privacy, Safeguarding Data and Enabling Trust, the Privacy Commissioner stated:

Data Privacy Day is held on January 28th every year. This international effort to empower people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint serves to remind people that the protection of privacy and data is everyone’s priority. As a Data Privacy Day Champion, Privacy Victoria is reminding people that the privacy of personal information is important and it should be respected.
Acting Victorian Privacy Commissioner Dr Anthony Bendall says, “In our online world, data flows freely from person to person, and between people and government and other organisations. Information about people has to travel and be shared electronically for a healthy society and economy, and for healthy relationships between people, governments and business. But this information also needs to be protected so that the people who need to see and use the information are the only ones who see and use it.”
You have privacy responsibilities
“All of us – from home computer users to government organisations and the largest businesses – need to be aware of the personal and private data others have entrusted to us and remain vigilant and proactive about protecting it.”
“Protecting your own privacy is just as important as protecting the privacy of your family and friends, your clients and customers. Your data is just as valuable as your health and your finances. Just as you look after your health and your finances, it is important that you take steps to look after your personal information. Our information booklet on How to safeguard your personal information contains some helpful advice and simple steps that you can take to protect your personal information online and offline,” advises Dr Bendall.
“If you respect your own privacy, you are more likely to safeguard the privacy (and the data) of your family and friends, colleagues, customers and clients. This enables healthy, trusting relationships which balance the free flow of information with protecting the privacy of personal information everywhere,” says Dr Bendall.
Victorian government organisations and local councils
When collecting, using and handling personal information, Victorian government organisations and local councils need to comply with the Victorian Information Privacy Act 2000. This law requires these agencies to collect and handle personal information in accordance with ten enforceable privacy principles. Some private sector organisations contracting with government to provide public services (i.e. contracted service providers) are also covered.
Need more information?
Privacy Victoria’s website contains a range of information for these organisations as well as the community more generally. A community information brochure is available to help you understand your privacy rights.
Private sector
Personal information is the lifeblood of many businesses. This is because a large number of business transactions rely on the use of customers’ personal information. When a business collects and uses personal information, it should protect and respect its customers’ privacy. Respecting privacy helps develop customer trust – ‘good privacy is good business’.
A business may also have to comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth). The Privacy Act sets out rules about information handling, including how businesses may collect, use, store and disclose personal information. To find out if a business needs to comply, see Does my business need to comply?
Health information
Health information in Victoria is covered by the Victorian Health Records Act 2001.
Got a privacy problem?
Members of the public or organisations (whether subject to the Act or not) can seek information or guidance from Privacy Victoria about whether their issue relates to privacy under the Victorian Information Privacy Act. If it does not, Privacy Victoria staff will endeavour to refer the enquirer to a range of other organisations or bodies which may be relevant

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