Privacy: Small business has one month to comply

Privacy: Small business has one month to comply

By Mark Chillingworth

The privacy amnesty covering small business comes to an end on December 21, 2002. Small businesses across the country were given an extra year to comply with Privacy Act.

Australian small businesses were given an extra year to comply with the new Privacy Act, which came into force in December 2001. A spokesperson from Federal Privacy Commissioner, Malcolm Compton's office explained that small businesses were given the extra year as they don't have the resources of large companies or local branch offices.

The Federal Privacy Commissioner has reported that 2002 has seen a "number" of small businesses voluntarily comply with the Act. Small businesses can opt into the Act even if they do not reach the $3 million annual turn over measure.

Complying with the Privacy Act means small businesses will have to tell people that they collect personal information and what is done with it; information is only to be used in ways expected; personal information will only be passed on when people are told; people can see the information that is held on them and the information must be kept safe. The Federal Privacy Commissioner said small businesses will need to review their handling of personal information in light of the amnesty ending.

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