Most of us are extremely sensitive about the collection and use of information related to our health and health-related treatment.
Konekt take very seriously the need to provide clients and customers with confidence that their personal information will be handled according to Australian regulatory laws.
On 12 March 2014, Australian privacy laws will change. The changes mean that private-sector organisations and Australian Government agencies covered by the privacy laws will need to be more transparent about how a client’s personal information is handled.
A set of new harmonised privacy principles (called Australian Privacy Principles – APP’s) that regulate the handling of personal information replace the National Privacy Principles (NPP’s) that currently apply to businesses and the Information Privacy Principles (IPP’s) that currently apply to government agencies (Office of Australian Information Commission – OAIC).
For private sector organisations, the new APPs will include changes such as those outlined below:
- Tighter controls on the use of personal information for direct marketing (with a distinction being drawn between the use of information collected from the individual and information collected from third parties);
- The extension of privacy protections to unsolicited information (including a requirement to destroy or de-identify this information unless the organisation would have been permitted to collect it under the new APPs); and
Under the new privacy laws, the Privacy Commissioner will have new powers to resolve privacy complaints and investigations, including the ability to impose a penalty of up to $1.7 million for a serious breach of the law.
Konekt are well ahead in the process of preparing for the changes. Our information technology team conducts regular systems penetration testing and audits, taking immediate and appropriate remedial action as necessary. This process assists Konekt in helping to ensure that adequate systems and controls are in place governing the storage and security of health information. With legal assistance, Konekt have also committed to undertake an internal audit of all relevant policies, procedures and documentation to ensure compliance with the privacy principles and changes to Australian privacy laws.