Victoria drafts e-comm, data protection laws

The Victorian government yesterday detailed draft legislation that would provide legal standards for e-commerce and data protection.

Minister for Information Technology and Multimedia, Alan Stockdale, released the exposure drafts of the Data Protection Bill and E-commerce Framework Bill at a privacy conference.

Stockdale said the bills would encourage self-regulation, but a state Privacy Commissioner would be appointed to maintain consistency across national data protection issues.

If passed, the bills would establish a default legislative scheme to promote the development of voluntary privacy codes for the Privacy Commissioner to approve.

Stockdale said global surveys had shown one of the main inhibitors to online trading was a lack of consumer confidence in data security.

"The Data Protection Bill will protect the privacy of personal information handled by Victorian organisations and personal information handled in Victoria by business, government and other organisations," Stockdale said.

However, he took the opportunity to lobby for similar federal laws"If the commonwealth decides to introduce suitable legislation, our state will offer its full support. Indeed, the Victorian legislation could be seen as a starting point for the creation of national legislation," he said.

The bills are due to be introduced to Victorian Parliament next year and are available at http://www.stockdale.vic.gov.au, http://www.mmv.gov.au or http://www.information.vic.gov.au.

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