Submission: Inquiry into the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012

The Consumer Action Law Centre (Consumer Action) welcomes the opportunity to comment on Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012.

Our submission concerns the changes relating to credit reporting and discusses three key topics:

  • Serious Credit Infringements: We are strongly of the view that the Bill’s proposed amendment to the definition of Serious Credit Infringement at proposed section 6(1) will not address the serious problems that this definition creates. We recommend that Government reconsider the joint proposal prepared by Veda Advantage and consumer advocates.
  • Requests to correct information: We are pleased that the process for handling consumer requests for correction of information (in proposed section 20U) has been amended to remove the two-step complaint process which was in the previous exposure draft. However, we note that the procedure in proposed section 20U still does not meet the standard recommended by the Australian Law Reform Commission in For Your Information and accepted by the Government.
  • Complaint handling: We strongly support the intent behind the complaint handling process at proposed section 23B, but we are concerned that the obligation may ultimately be counter-productive and have recommended an amendment.

We have also argued that any approach to listing hardship variations should be designed to ensure consumers are not discouraged from approaching their lenders and requesting hardship variations when needed.

To read our full submission, please click:   Inquiry into the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012.

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