Mandatory Breach Notification Laws

2 min read

Over the past two months we have written articles outlining the risk of cyber-breach to businesses. There can be significant direct and third-party costs as a result of a breach, along with the need to quickly access expert professional help after a breach. Along with this there is new legislation for mandatory breach reporting, which is the subject of this months article.

Mandatory Breach Notification Laws

Effective 22nd February 2018 organisations will be legally obliged to disclose data breaches, but how will these new laws impact your business?

Will my business have to comply with these laws? The law applies to organisations that have responsibilities under the Privacy Act, including

  • Australian Government agencies
  • Businesses and not-for-profit organisations with an annual turnover of more than $3 million.

The law will also apply to certain types of businesses with an annual turnover of less than $3,000,000 and are applicable to the following business segments

  • Private sector health services providers (including alternative medicine practices, gyms and weight loss clinics)
  • Child care centres, private schools and private tertiary educational institutions.
  • Businesses that sell or purchase personal information along with credit reporting bodies
  • Individuals who handle personal information for a living, including those who handle credit reporting information, tax file numbers and health records are also covered under the new data breach notification scheme.

What is a data breach?

A data breach is defined as an instance where –

  • there has been unauthorised access, or unauthorised disclosure of, personal information concerning one or more individuals
  • there is a likely risk of serious harm the affected individuals as a result of the unauthorised access or unauthorised disclosure.
  • information is lost in circumstances that are likely to give rise to unauthorised access or unauthorised disclosure.

What is Compulsory Notification?

In the event of a data breach, an organisation has a duty of notification to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the affected individuals of an eligible data breach “as soon as practicable after the entity is aware that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been an eligible data breach.”

Notification is considered compulsory unless notification impacts upon a law enforcement investigation or was determined by the regulator to be contrary to public interest.

What sort of Penalties may apply?

Under the new laws, where an organisation has committed “serious or repeated non-compliance with mandatory notification requirements”, they may face fines of up to $360,000 for individuals and $1.8 million for organisations.

A significant data breach to an organisation can be financially crippling, costs could range from business interruption, ransom payments, incident response, third party claims and legal costs, to customer notification expenses and data reconstitution.

SME Business Claims Example – Professional Services Firm

A company’s server and client records were locked by Ransomware software. The company was unable to have the files released unless they paid a ransom of $50,000 to the hackers.

In addition to the Ransom, the business suffered losses of $150,000 including income whilst the files were locked and the server was down, consultant’s costs to advise on the handling of the matter and negotiation of the ransom, and costs to restore the network, as the hackers refused to release the files despite the company complying with the Ransom request.

Fortunately the affected business had placed a Cyber Liability policy to respond to the attack.

So, even if your business falls outside the scope of the legislation, the potential costs and need to quickly access expert advice are reason enough to consider your options. If you want to find out more contact Nathan Corrigan at Insurance House, (02) 8913 9137 or nathan.corrigan@ihgroup.com.au.

Loading

Loading

Picture of Authored By<br>PBLTeam

Authored By
PBLTeam

Director Lawyer, PBL Law Group

Find what you need
Share this Article

Book a 15-Min Consultation​

Rated 5-Star By Our Clients

Jye Hall
Anita Bradley has been an absolute dream to deal with. Anita's conveyancing skills and knowledge knows absolutely no boundaries along with her effective communication skills which has made selling and buying a completely stress free exchange for us. We recommend PBL Law to everyone looking for outstanding service. We will definitely be returning clients.
Kushlan Aluwihare
PBL Law Group were fantastic. Anita from PBL worked with us closely during our property search and made the exchange and settlement process smooth and stress free. Highly recommended.
Gail Whitford
PBL handled my late mothers estate, they were very obliging and patient with any and all questions that we had, thank you to David , Sharon and the other staff that we dealt with, everyone was so easy to talk to and friendly .David came to the home where my Mother was living and helped her to get her will in order, Sharon helped us through the process of executing her wishes when the time came even doing a house call which was so much easier, thank you all so much
S M
I have experienced an excellent service from PBL (especially from Anita) during the sale of my recent property on Central Coast, and during the purchase of our current property in Sydney. Throughout many challengers, especially with the sale, Anita presented her very professional and knowledgeable conveyancer, positively solving all obstacles. "Above and Beyond" Award going to Anita!!! :-)
Amanda Reitzin
The five-star reviews are well-deserved. I needed a motion and a bylaw drawn up for urgent repairs of my strata unit and the AGM was in two weeks' time. My solicitor was friendly, efficient, knew what documents to ask for, and had all the paperwork prepared well within the timeframe. She also took the time to run through all the legalese and the different possible scenarios with me to make sure I understood. I am so glad to have found this firm and I will not hesitate to use their services again in future if the need arises.
Ricky Cooper
Anita is amazing! So attentive, approachable and communicates everything every step of the way. I have now bought and sold property with Anita and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Ron Thomsen
Our Commercial Property conveyancing was handled very professionally. Anita’s experience and responsiveness was an asset in this transaction.
Trace M
I am so grateful for Anita Bradley from PBL Law Group helped me with this property settlement, she has went above beyond to ensure I understand everything because of our deafness. I will recommended Anita or their team. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for us.
Tricia Wheatstone
For almost 18 months I have been a client of Alex Ilkin. Alex is very knowledgeable and professional and has consistently provided me with thorough, honest and well set out advice, including steering my case through appeal proceedings. He always worked for my best interests with integrity and compassion. I recommend Alex and his team at PBL.

Latest insights & Practical Guides

Speak to us Now or Request a Consultation.

We will call you within 24 hours.

How Can Our Expert Lawyers Help?

Strata Law

Property and strata disputes, building defects claims, setting up new Owners Corporations and more…

Construction & Building Law

Construction and building disputes, building defects, delays and claims, debt recovery and more…

International Estate Planning

Cross-border estate planning, international wills and trusts, tax-efficient wealth transfer strategies and more…

Commercial & Business Law

Starting and scaling your business, banking and business financing, bankruptcy and insolvency and more…

Planning & Environment Law

Environment and planning regulation, land and environment court disputes, sub-divisions and more…

Wills & Estates

Creating, updating and contesting wills, estate planning and administration, probate applications and more…

Thank You For Your Request.

We’ve received your consultation request and will contact you within the next 24 hours (excluding weekends).

Jye Hall
Anita Bradley has been an absolute dream to deal with. Anita's conveyancing skills and knowledge knows absolutely no boundaries along with her effective communication skills which has made selling and buying a completely stress free exchange for us. We recommend PBL Law to everyone looking for outstanding service. We will definitely be returning clients.
Kushlan Aluwihare
PBL Law Group were fantastic. Anita from PBL worked with us closely during our property search and made the exchange and settlement process smooth and stress free. Highly recommended.
Gail Whitford
PBL handled my late mothers estate, they were very obliging and patient with any and all questions that we had, thank you to David , Sharon and the other staff that we dealt with, everyone was so easy to talk to and friendly .David came to the home where my Mother was living and helped her to get her will in order, Sharon helped us through the process of executing her wishes when the time came even doing a house call which was so much easier, thank you all so much
S M
I have experienced an excellent service from PBL (especially from Anita) during the sale of my recent property on Central Coast, and during the purchase of our current property in Sydney. Throughout many challengers, especially with the sale, Anita presented her very professional and knowledgeable conveyancer, positively solving all obstacles. "Above and Beyond" Award going to Anita!!! :-)
Amanda Reitzin
The five-star reviews are well-deserved. I needed a motion and a bylaw drawn up for urgent repairs of my strata unit and the AGM was in two weeks' time. My solicitor was friendly, efficient, knew what documents to ask for, and had all the paperwork prepared well within the timeframe. She also took the time to run through all the legalese and the different possible scenarios with me to make sure I understood. I am so glad to have found this firm and I will not hesitate to use their services again in future if the need arises.
Ricky Cooper
Anita is amazing! So attentive, approachable and communicates everything every step of the way. I have now bought and sold property with Anita and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Ron Thomsen
Our Commercial Property conveyancing was handled very professionally. Anita’s experience and responsiveness was an asset in this transaction.
Trace M
I am so grateful for Anita Bradley from PBL Law Group helped me with this property settlement, she has went above beyond to ensure I understand everything because of our deafness. I will recommended Anita or their team. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for us.
Tricia Wheatstone
For almost 18 months I have been a client of Alex Ilkin. Alex is very knowledgeable and professional and has consistently provided me with thorough, honest and well set out advice, including steering my case through appeal proceedings. He always worked for my best interests with integrity and compassion. I recommend Alex and his team at PBL.