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The ALRC recommendations for Cross Border Transfers - November 2008

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The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Report 108: For Your Information: Australian Privacy Law and Practice sets out proposed ‘Unified Privacy Principles’ for reforming Australia’s privacy law.

Unified Privacy Principle 11 (UPP 11) attempts to combine the ‘accountability’ approach to cross-border privacy protection (similar in part to the approach taken in Japan, New Zealand and Canada) with elements of the existing, more traditional ‘adequacy’ approach (similar in part to the approach taken in the EU).

In Weak protection for offshore data - the ALRC recommendations for Cross Border Transfers, Chris Connolly examines the ALRC proposal in detail, and raises significant concerns about both the drafting and the likely impact of the proposal. There are fears that UPP 11 is so weak that all of the privacy protections contained in the other ten UPPs will be thrown away the minute data moves offshore. The proposed UPP 11 requires significant re-drafting so that the accountability principle is properly implemented, and steps must be taken to limit the broad exemptions contained in the proposal.

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