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Privacy Compliance Manual

The Privacy Compliance Manual (updated to November 2019) supersedes the Privacy Compliance Manual which was first published in 2001 and updated in 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. It contains some substantial changes which were required by the introduction of the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) and the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 (Cth). This most recent version of the Manual contains updates to align it with changes to schools’ technological and other systems, and changes to domestic and international privacy law (potentially applicable to some schools). It also provides updated guidance on when and how to seek consent for the use of photographs and videos of students, as well as amendments to improve the Manual generally.

In particular, it now contains a section on how to respond in the case of data breaches and eligible data breaches under the notifiable data breaches scheme. It is essential for schools to be aware there are substantial penalties for serious or repeated interferences with privacy and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has the power to seek enforceable undertakings. This is quite apart from the reputational damage that a school may suffer if the privacy of an individual is breached. The notifiable data breaches scheme obligations under the Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 (Cth) commenced on 22 February 2018.

The purpose of the Manual is to provide assistance and guidance to non-government schools corresponding with the new requirements they must observe in relation to the preservation of an individual’s privacy. A SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE REQUIREMENTS THAT SCHOOLS MUST MEET IS CONTAINED IN SECTION 5 AND ANNEXURE 1 OF THE MANUAL.

The preparation of this Manual has been funded by the Associations of Independent Schools and Catholic Education Commissions or equivalent in each Australian State and Territory. The previous Manual should be discarded to ensure that only the current Manual is used.

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