What Australia's new privacy laws mean for small businesses

March 20th, 2014


 Do you know what the new privacy laws entail?


Last week, the new Australian Privacy Principles (APP) laws finally came into effect, radically changing the way companies obtain, use and manage consumer data.

The new legislation will have a range of implications for both large and small businesses, with severe penalties in store for those who step out of line. Therefore, it pays to know the exact ins and outs of the new law and some of the key points to remember now and into the future.

Who exactly does it apply to?

The good news for most small business owners is that there is a very good chance their company won't actually be subject to the new rules. Only commercial organisations that have an annual turnover of at least $3 million are required to abide by the laws, which can cut a fair deal of small business out of the equation.

However, if your business does make this amount of revenue every year, it will be wise to read on!

You need to have a privacy policy in place

If your business didn't have a privacy policy before, now's the time to implement one.

The main thrust of the new Principles is to protect the consumer from unfair use of their personal information. Companies are therefore now required to have a customer-facing privacy policy that is easy to access and understand, so consumers know exactly what is being done with their information.

You need to be honest

Perhaps the type of business that will be most affected by the changes will be those that rely a lot on direct marketing techniques, such as telemarketing.

One of the new requirements is that if asked by a customer, your businesses must disclose where and how it got their contact information from. It will therefore become a priority to assess your lead generation tactics and make sure you're only obtaining information from fair sources.

You need to be aware of the possible penalties

If your small business breaches the new laws, the possible penalties could effectively put it out of pocket.

In the worst case scenario, a business can be fined up to $1.7 million for breaking the law - so make sure you read up in detail on what's required!

If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].