What Are You Doing About Privacy Awareness Week?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has declared this week to be Privacy Awareness Week. Well, the’ve actually joined with the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) in order to promote the importance of privacy and to offer advice on how you can protect your own privacy.

Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) is all about encouraging organisations to “review and improve how they handle personal information to ensure they are transparent and accountable” according to Angelene Falk, the Acting Australian Information Commissioner and and Acting Privacy Commissioner.

As well as a webinar, on How to prepare your agency’s Privacy Management Plan that’s running tomorrow, there are other sessions being run by the OAIC, although you’ll need to be in Melbourne or Sydney as they aren’t running events in other cities.

According to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN), in 2016 they received 46,957 reports of technology-related crime, half of these related to scams or fraud. ACORN estimates the cost of identity crime in Australia at $2.2 billion.

Matthew Brazier, the ANZ Regional Director for security firm CyberArk said “Privacy isn’t just about how firms are allowed to use personal information, it’s also about how well they protect it. And with the level of cybercrime consistently rising, year after year, how sensitive individual data is treated in all the various places it resides – within public and private bodies alike – is a matter of ongoing and increasing concern”.

The recent revelations about Cambridge Analytica and subsequent reviews of how data from Facebook and other social media entities is accessed and used gives this year’s PAW an extra sense of importance.

Do events like this help you? There are so many issues today’s information professionals need to keep track of that it can be hard to know what’s important and what’s just noise. And I wonder if there are more effective ways for the OAIC to support businesses through complex matters like this. What do you think?

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