The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) recently submitted to the Department of Home Affairs’ National Security Action Plan Discussion Paper. As the leading voice for communications consumers in Australia, ACCAN continues to monitor a range of data rights and privacy issues. ACCAN responded to questions 14 and 15 in the discussion paper which inquired about how to foster consumer trust in data security.

Question 14 in the discussion paper asked whether there is sufficient public information about data security. ACCAN noted that government data security information for consumers is spread across several websites and recommended the Federal Government further invest in quality, accessible education resources to be housed in a single, well-publicised location.

Question 15 in the discussion paper inquired about what accountability measures are required to foster public trust in the event of data breaches. We recommended that to minimise the harm of data breaches businesses and governments that handle data should implement pro-consumer defaults regarding data collection and privacy by design to minimise the data at risk in the event of data breaches. Furthermore, the Federal Government should prioritise introducing stringent consumer protections and communicate the obligations of businesses and governments that handle personal data to consumers. Accompanying meaningful security protections, we also recommend that more is done to communicate enforcement actions when they are taken, to inform both consumers and businesses that insufficient data protections are not acceptable.

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