Australia's on-again, off-again debate about data breach notification laws is on again, courtesy of a report into financial system regulation, at least until the government cans the idea (again).
Register readers will recall that a Privacy Alerts bill was proposed by the previous government before the 2013 election, then delayed, re-introduced in March, and abandoned in June by the current government.
Now, the federal government's Financial System Inquiry has issued an interim report (PDF) that recommends the government re-examine the issue.
the report states “Access to growing amounts of customer information
and new ways of using it have the potential to improve efficiency and
competition, and present opportunities to empower consumers. However,
evidence indicates these trends heighten privacy and data security
To cover these risks, the report unequivocally backs
“mandatory data breach notifications to affected individuals and the
Australian Government agency with relevant responsibility under privacy
At the same time, the report seems to take issue with
current attitudes to cloud computing – particularly in relation to
offshore storage of Australian data. The Australian Prudential
Regulatory Authority, it says, should be advised of “continuing industry
support for a principles-based approach to setting cloud computing
requirements”, and the government should review record keeping rules
that currently inhibit “cross-border information flows”.
identities are also highlighted in the report, with the government urged
to pursue “a national strategy for promoting trusted digital
The FSI is seeking comment on the interim report until 26 August 2014, and has until November 2014 to issue its final report.