2024 Proposed Privacy Reforms

At Critical Success Solutions (CSS), we are committed to fostering a culture of transparency and privacy within the aged care sector. In our continued efforts to support aged care providers, we want to update you on recent developments and emphasise the importance of privacy management.

At Critical Success Solutions (CSS), we are committed to fostering a culture of transparency and privacy within the aged care sector. In our continued efforts to support aged care providers, we want to update you on recent developments and emphasise the importance of privacy management.

Recent Cases of Concern

It is essential to stay vigilant in the face of evolving challenges. One recent case involved a residential aged care service experiencing a data breach during remote working sessions during a COVID outbreak last year. The absence of proper breach management systems and plan as well as no designated Privacy Officer who the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner could contact, left the service vulnerable. Consumers and the workforce affected are now seeking compensation for the loss of their details. This incident underscores the critical need for proactive measures to protect sensitive information.

Insights from OAIC

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) highlights the various ways data breaches can occur, especially when workers are working remotely. Having a comprehensive response plan is crucial to containing breaches and managing responses effectively. Under the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme, notification to the OAIC and affected individuals is mandatory when personal information is compromised and likely to result in serious harm.

Key Questions for Consideration

To ensure preparedness in the face of potential data breaches, aged care providers should ask critical questions, including:

  • Are workers aware of the organisational data breach response plan and arrangements, especially when working from home?
  • Do workers know how to report an actual or suspected data breach which is likely to result in serious harm to an individual whose personal information is involved? Examples include when a family member/visitor overhears or sees confidential personal information on an unlocked computer screen or notes, or when their phone/laptop is stolen/lost?
  • Does the response team have the capacity to address incidents quickly under new working arrangements?
  • Has the data breach response plan been tested through simulated exercises involving remote work scenarios?

New Privacy Legislation in 2024

The Government has agreed with proposals to reform privacy laws. This article from Russell Kennedy Lawyers outlines the key reforms which include:

  • Security and destruction of personal information.
  • Personal information use in substantially automated decision-making.
  • Enforcement.

Training Sessions

CSS conducted several education sessions last year, addressing crucial aspects of privacy management (as well as whistleblower protections) in aged care. We highly encourage individuals and organisations to contact us to participate in our training sessions to ensure they are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of the aged care environment. Our CSS Privacy Officer Training covers:

  • Recap the difference between privacy, confidentiality and disclosure. Recap the Australian Privacy Principles.
  • Describe Privacy Officer roles and responsibilities.
  • List the eight steps in the Privacy Action Plan for health practices/services.
  • Outline a development of a Privacy Management Plan.
  • Understand the legislative framework around privacy.
  • Working with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
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