First, it was Optus, and now it’s Medicare. Haven’t data breaches become front of mind for the Australian population in recent months?
For many, many years, marketers have told businesses that collecting customer data is the most important of marketing strategies. Of course, this makes sense. Getting return business from an existing customer is vastly more efficient than finding a new one.
However, the recent breaches have raised a red flag on the importance of understanding data obligations. Some of the questions businesses are now asking are:
• What information are we holding on our customers?
• Should we be holding that information, and do we need it? For example, does your business need the customer’s full date of birth?
• Are our systems robust enough to provide data protection?
If the Privacy Act 1988 covers your business, there are obligations and principles associated with the collection and use of customer data you should understand.
To find out if the Privacy Act covers your business, go to the Office of the Information Commissioner website
The Office of the Information Commissioner also provides tips for protecting customer data.