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Privacy Law and Policy Reporter

Privacy Law and Policy Reporter (PLPR)
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Greenleaf, Graham --- "70 per cent of companies support privacy laws -- Price Waterhouse Survey" [1997] PrivLawPRpr 27; (1997) 4(2) Privacy Law & Policy Reporter 21

70 per cent of companies support privacy laws — Price Waterhouse Survey

Price Waterhouse’s second survey into the privacy practices of Australian business adds an important new element to the debate over the Federal Governments abandonment of its plans for private sector privacy laws.

The survey, based on responses from 130 of the largest companies in Australia, includes among its major findings that:

Price Waterhouse comments, in its foreword to the survey:

Information privacy is becoming one of the most important issues facing Australian business today. As both the public and consumer advocacy groups are growing increasingly sensitive to the perceived misuse of their personal information, Australian business needs to address this issue as a matter of necessity. The increased levels of technology, both in terms of information storage and handling, also raise concerns about the use of personal information. Another important issue is the rapid pace with which we are moving towards an electronic society. Electronic commerce and the use of the Internet are the ways of the future for Australian business. However, organisations need to gain consumer confidence in their practices before the use of this technology will be embraced by the community.

The privacy debate is gaining even greater momentum given the Australian Federal Governments moves to withdraw their plans to legislate in the private sector. This has placed the emphasis back on Australian organisations to address this issue. However, there are now moves by both the Victorian and NSW State Governments to introduce legislation in the private sector. This raises a number of issues in trying to maintain consistency in our privacy laws across the country.

The Price Waterhouse Privacy Survey 1997 is published in full below.

Graham Greenleaf, General Editor.

Further information can be obtained from Stephen Woolley, Partner, Information Systems Risk Management, Price Waterhouse, tel (03) 9666 6307.

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