find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
New laws to allow greater dispute of bad credit ratings

New laws to allow greater dispute of bad credit ratings

The Gillard Government’s planned changes to Australia’s privacy laws will give people more power to challenge bad credit ratings.

Making it easier for individuals to access and correct their credit-reporting information is just one of the aims of a major legislative reform to the Privacy Act announced by Attorney-General Nicola Roxon on 2 May.

“There have been big changes to the way we access finance since 1990 when the existing credit-reporting provisions came into effect,” said Roxon.

“Many consumers have expressed their frustration at not being able to understand their credit rating.”

Under the new laws the collection of credit-reporting information about children will be prohibited and organisations will have a clear obligation to substantiate, or show their evidence to justify, disputed credit listings.

Nixon said she expects the credit industry will benefit, as the changes will provide businesses with a more accurate picture of a person’s credit situation.

Reforms will be achieved through amendments to the Privacy Act 1988, which will be introduced in the Parliament in the winter.

These changes represent the culmination of an extensive consultation process and will implement the Government’s response to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) report.

Clearer and tighter regulation of the use of personal information for direct marketing will be legislated for, as well as the tightening of rules on sending personal information outside Australia.

The reforms announcement coincides with Privacy Awareness Week.

Reforms give Privacy Commissioner teeth

Under the new laws, Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim will have enhanced investigative and enforcement powers.

Complaints about credit-reporting information will be made directly to the Privacy Commissioner, removing the requirement to complain to the organisation first.

Alternative dispute resolution will also be employed to deal more efficiently with complaints.

In a speech at Henry Davis York’s Sydney office in September last year, Pilgrim welcomed moves to give him more power to enforce privacy laws in an increasingly digital world.

"Additional powers for the Privacy Commissioner will provide added credibility for enforcement of privacy law, reinforce the significance of privacy compliance and give everyone an even greater incentive to take privacy more seriously," he said.

"Privacy is about what we think, what we believe and value, what we want and what we want to do. It is also about having the greatest ability to control who gets to know these things about us. But it can't be an absolute in the society in which we live ‑ and in that sense, privacy law reform is about trying to find the balance."

The proposed reforms do not deal with the controversial suggestion by the ALRC to establish a legal right to privacy.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

New laws to allow greater dispute of bad credit ratings
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Diversity
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...