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Privacy Bill: Extension of Select Committee report date

November 22, 2018


Partners Jania Baigent, Sally McKechnie, Karen Ngan

The Select Committee has extended its report back date on the Privacy Bill 2018 by four months. The report was expected to be released on 22 November, but this has now been extended to 13 March next year.

The Justice Committee called for submissions from the public, receiving a total of 177 submissions by the closing date of 24 May. Notably, the Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, made a submission highlighting the need for the Bill to be refreshed to address current issues of concern, given that the draft Bill was based on a set of Law Commission recommendations that are now seven years old. Although the Privacy Commissioner has made a substantive submission on the Bill, Mr Edwards has indicated he is not expecting all of his suggested changes to be adopted. It does seem certain however that mandatory breach reporting will be introduced.

Select Committees usually have six months to report to the House on proposed legislation, although reporting dates may be extended if the committee requires more time to consider the bill. The reason for the extension on the Privacy Bill has not been publicised.  

With this four-month delay, the Bill is likely to be introduced mid next year

Now is the time to start preparing for mandatory reporting of notifiable privacy breaches. Developing a data breach policy and guidelines for your organisation, and ensuring your staff understand, and follow, best practice in handling personal information would be a good place to start. 

Please contact one of our team of experts if you need help preparing for the upcoming privacy reforms.