Privacy / Security

Consent and the Privacy Act in the Big Data era

09th Feb `14, 09:49 PM in Privacy / Security

One of the biggest challenges privacy regulators face is the onset of ‘Big Data’ — the hoovering up…

BDMS
Guest Contributor
 

One of the biggest challenges privacy regulators face is the onset of ‘Big Data’ — the hoovering up of large unstructured datasets for analysis at insanely affordable prices.

In amending Australia’s Privacy Act, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has studied this trend in detail.

But after discussing the Act with a panel of experts for our best practice report, its hard to see how organisations embarking on such data capture exercises are going to find it easy to comply.

As I briefly touched on in the close of yesterday’s blog post on how the Privacy Act treats offshore cloud computing, a key theme of the amendments is a strengthening of requirements around user consent.

The amended Act requires the express, informed consent of a user at the point personal information is collected, with clear communication on the intended purpose for collecting the information.

The amendments also introduce the concept of keeping consent relevant.

“Obtaining consent for a service ten years ago for everything you might want to do with the data today might not cover a new process, for say the outsourcing of a call centre to the Philippines,” noted Mark Vincent, partner at ShelstonIP and co-author of our forthcoming report. “You may need to revisit that consent.”

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