Greens take aim at government over data breach notification

Legislation implementing a mandatory data breach notification scheme yet to be unveiled

Greens Senator Scott Ludlam is demanding answers from the government over legislation implementing a mandatory data breach notification regime.

The Greens senator has given notice that he will today move a motion that “calls on the Government to make a statement to the Senate on 3 December 2015 explaining why such legislation has not been introduced, and clarifying the Government’s intentions”.

The government previously indicated it would pass legislation implementing a data breach notification scheme this year.

That commitment was part of its response to the inquiry into data retention held by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security.

“The government agrees to introduce a mandatory data breach notification scheme by the end of 2015, and will consult on draft legislation,” stated a response to the PJCIS report issued in March on behalf of Attorney-General George Brandis and then-communications minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Later it watered down that commitment to introducing into parliament legislation to create such a scheme.

The ABC reported this afternoon that an exposure draft of the legislation will be released today.

Today is the last sitting day of parliament.

Ludlam’s motion:

To move—That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Senate had begun debate on mandatory data breach notification legislation prior to the 2013 election,
(ii) the Attorney-General (Senator Brandis) committed to introduce data breach notification laws before the end of 2015 during the debate over the national data retention scheme,
(iii) the Attorney-General again committed to introduce such laws to the Parliament before the end of 2015 in an answer to a question without notice on 13 October 2015, and
(iv) contrary to these commitments, the bill has not been introduced; and
(b) calls on the Government to make a statement to the Senate on 3 December 2015 explaining why such legislation has not been introduced, and clarifying the Government’s intentions.

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