The Australian state of New South Wales has taken the initiative to become the country’s first state to implement stricter laws over data breaches. The legal authorities have increased the penalties for data leaks and hacks. They will be penalizing companies, individuals, and other parties harming the integrity of the business in the country.
The increase in penalties will be effective with the new Privacy Legislation Amendment (Enforcement and Other Measures) Bill 2022. NSW will mandate notification schemes over data leaks and cyberattacks to protect and mitigate the attacks on its citizens’ data.
“The Privacy and Personal Information Protection Amendment Bill 2022, introduced by the NSW Government into Parliament, would create new standards of accountability and transparency for government bodies and introduce a mandatory notification of data breach scheme in NSW,” said Attorney General Mark Speakman.
Speakman assured that the citizens of NSW, who offer their data to government agencies, should be protected at all costs. Since the government uses this data to provide better services to the citizens, it is necessary for authorities and companies associated with NSW to offer better data protection services.
Strengthened data privacy laws
Australia has been the subject of recent hacking attempts and was continuously exploited by hackers, including the Medibank hack, wherein a data leak exposed the data of around 9.7 million current and former customers and some of their authorized representatives. With several attacks happening simultaneously in the country, the government has taken the responsibility to mitigate and proactively protect and respect the personal information of its citizens. New South Wales is the first state to follow through on this new initiative.
Once the law is passed, it will provide consistency for the public sector and citizens alike. Since the government will be involved in the use and implementation of data in the state, the authorities will have easy access in case of any emergency, data leak, or cyber attack. Moreover, agencies participating in the exchange and use of data in the state would be required to “satisfy several data management requirements .
The NSW Government has also made investments to initiate the new laws and regulations that will protect the data of the people of NSW. These can include making efforts to lessen the damage brought on by a data breach, keeping an internal data breach incident register, and having a publicly available data breach policy. The funding is reported to be around $315 million to establish better and more comprehensive data protection tools, services, and cyber security systems.