Victoria to introduce data protection legislation

Victoria will take the lead in protecting consumer transactions over the Internet with the introduction later this year of a data protection legislation.

Announced yesterday by Alan Stockdale, Victorian treasurer and minister for Multimedia, a draft copy of the Data Protection Bill and Electronic Commerce Framework Bill will be released for public comment on July 1.

According to Stockdale, the Data Protection Bill will "provide legislative basis for data protection covering private and public sectors in Victoria" and the Electronic Framework Bill will deal with electronic signature recognition.

Stockdale said although "industry self-regulation was preferable to government regulation", the legislation would provide legal protection for consumers purchasing on the Internet, until now non-exist in Australia.

"Data protection legislation would establish a very basic legal principle - that personal information should only be used for the purpose for which its collection was authorised," Stockdale said.

According to Stockdale, other Australian states are dealing with the issue of data protection and Victoria's legislation will be finalised in close association with the federal and state governments.

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