ADMA Announces New Privacy Laws

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Big Changes on the Horizon for  Data-Driven Marketers

ADMA has announced that the new Australian Privacy law  passed by Parliament on Thursday is due to come into effect on 24 March 2013.

The law will introduce changes to how marketers and advertisers can collect, use, hold and disclose customer information and other personal information relating to prospects and individuals.

Due to ongoing lobbying by ADMA and ADMA member companies, the Government made some last minute changes to the new law before it was passed to reduce the impact of the legislation on marketers and advertisers. In particular, the Government:

  • - Removed the statement that DM is prohibited and replaced with a new statement that clarifies that DM is permitted within certain parameters.
  • - Reduced the requirement to include opt-out notices in all marketing communications.
  • - Limited the need to offer customers the ability to engage under a pseudonym.
  • - Reconfigured the requirements on overseas transfer of data.
  • - Extended the period of time that companies will be given to comply from 9 months to 15 months. (Starting 24 March 2013)

Although ADMA is pleased that the immediate issues facing marketers and advertisers were addressed, it considers that, in general, the law is out-of-touch and out-of-date and will become an increasing hindrance as we continue to move to a data-driven digital economy.

Also, there are still concerns with how the law will be interpreted and enforced. The remaining concerns include:

  • - The new definition of ‘personal information’ could result in the Privacy Act now applying to information that is currently not considered ‘personal’. For example, certain information collected through cookies and types of Big Data.
  • - The new rules require marketing communications to include an opt-out notice (including to existing customers) in all cases where the marketer has used data collected from a third party.
  • - This could include, for example, where a marketer has appended data to a customer database; extracted customer information from a social media site; or used behavioural data from a third party site.
  • - Fines of up to $1.1m apply and it remains unclear whether this is calculated on a per ‘incident’ or per ‘record’ basis.

ADMA will be drafting guidelines for marketers and advertisers to clarify the new law and assist with compliance and will also produce a webinar series and education course to assist businesses interpret the provisions and how they apply to traditional channels, online, social media and mobile.

For more information please visit WWW.ADMA.COM.AU

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