An introduction to privacy law for smaller businesses

 Privacy is constantly in the news – often associated with new technology or major computer systems (hence ‘chips’ J ).  And now there are controls over commercial electronic messaging (‘Spam’) which seem to overlap with privacy laws. 

Q. How do these laws affect smaller businesses?

A. Should not be a major problem, and there is a low risk of penalties, but businesses should be aware…

Privacy Act 1988

 More information:

Privacy issues

Hot topics include: Health records; Smartcards and RFID; Workplace monitoring; Credit reporting; Debt collection; Tenancy blacklists; CCTV and Mobile phone cameras; Spent convictions; Biometric identification; Genetics and DNA; Telephone interception; Data-matching, and much, much more. (see

These issues still have to be managed, even if Privacy laws don’t strictly apply ….  They may not affect you now, but they are not going away!

Spam Act 2003

 By comparison with the Privacy Act, the Spam Act seems draconian, BUT …. 

 More information: to ‘Spam’ pages 

And as a consumer … 

We are all individuals as well as in business – as such we have the same rights as our customers under both the Privacy and Spam Acts to complain if other organizations breach our privacy.  Government agencies are also subject to privacy laws – federal or state (see  and

© Pacific Privacy October 2004

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