Meet Australia's new Attorney-General

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Meet Australia's new Attorney-General

Expected to revisit data breach notification.

Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott late yesterday unveiled his line-up of cabinet ministers for the new Coalition government, with long-running Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis retaining his position.

Joining Brandis representing IT in various portfolios across Cabinet were Malcolm Turnbull as Communications Minister, Mathias Cormann as Finance Minister, Michael Ronaldson as Special Minister of State, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlance, and creator of the hurriedly withdrawn default internet filter policy Paul Fletcher as parliamentary secretary for Communications. 

As Attorney-General, Brandis will be tasked with guiding the Government through new changes to the Privacy Act 2012, which will come into effect in March 2014

Changes to the 24-year-old Act include 13 new privacy principles which cover both private and public sectors, called Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). The APPs replace the existing Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) for the public sector and National Privacy Principles (NPPs) which apply to the private sector.

The Coalition, led by Brandis, is also expected to study the case for a mandatory data breach notification scheme. A bill was proposed under the former government but failed to be heard on the last day of Senate sitting before the federal election.

The Coalition has not expressed support for the bill in its current form, but is understood to believe in the concept of mandatory data breach notifications in principle. It is expected to study the case for such a scheme to accompany the introduction of the new privacy reforms.

Copyright © SC Magazine, Australia

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