Media release: Privacy Awareness Week Official Launch 2018 - 14 May 2018

On 14 May 2018, Privacy Awareness Week was officially launched by the Hon Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Privacy Commissioner Philip Green.

Media and public interest in access to, and use of, personal data has increased over recent weeks and months, with high profile cases such as Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. Further, the mandatory notifiable data breach scheme commenced on 22 February 2018 for Australian Government agencies, certain private sector organisations, health providers and others.

This year’s PAW theme ‘Value personal information – it’s worth protecting’ encourages individuals to value personal data, and both the public sector and the wider community to build a culture that respects and protects personal data whenever it is collected, stored and shared.

The Hon Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney General said, “Just as companies and governments need to be transparent and accountable, when collecting and handling people’s personal information, individuals need to be aware of their privacy rights and obligations”

“People should feel comfortable asking government agencies ‘why do you need my personal information, and why do you need so much of it?’ Individuals should take an interest in knowing just what they are consenting to when you tick the box when agreeing to a company or agencies terms and conditions, including whether they might be consenting to that agency sharing their personal information with third parties”

“I’d ask governments, organisations and individuals to value privacy and peoples’ personal information instead of merely viewing it as a commodity.”

“I’d like to say that privacy is even more relevant in the digital age than it has been in the past, and I encourage governments and companies, alongside individuals to value personal information and privacy – it is more than a commodity.”

Queensland’s Privacy Commissioner Philip Green said, “Legislation isn’t a fix-all when it comes to protecting your personal data – ultimately it requires a little effort from everyone to protect personal information that is collected, stored or shared daily.”

“The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OIC) has received 63 data breach notifications during the first six weeks of the mandatory notifiable data breach scheme, which only commenced on 22 February 2018 – protecting privacy is a key concern.”

“Knowledge is power and with a greater understanding of privacy rights and responsibilities we are more capable of protecting and respecting personal information.”

“This PAW, I encourage everyone to learn more about how they can protect their own personal information or the personal information of others, including by attending our workshops this week at the Brisbane Square Library on Digital Self-Defence and Privacy”, Mr Green said.

Other speakers at the official launch were Professor David Lacey, University of the Sunshine Coast and Managing Director of IDCARE, and Mr Paul McCarney, CEO, Data Republic.

Professor Lacey spoke on his recent research on privacy and identity breaches across Australia, in particular Queensland and provided advice on best practice for managing personal data, including how to respond if you are the target of a scam.  1 in every 1000 Queenslanders 15 and over engaged IDCARE’s community support service during 2017. Affected Queensland residents lost on average $14,282 due to an incident. Queenslanders were most impacted by telephone scams.

Mr Paul McCarney spoke on the application of privacy principles in the digital age, and the use of personal data determining its value and worth. He also advocated for privacy by design in enabling the protection of personal information.

Video of the launch will be available at in the coming weeks.

The Office of the Information Commissioner has released a suite of resources, including a quiz, tip sheets and posters, to help raise awareness of privacy rights and responsibilities.

Privacy Awareness Week is being held in Queensland from 14 to 20 May 2018.

Privacy Awareness Week is an initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities forum to raise awareness across the community and government about privacy protections, rights and responsibilities. Events are occurring across Queensland, Australia and the Pacific.

For further information and to access the range of resources visit:

For further information on IDCARE and the Identity & Cyber Security Community Aftermath Report visit:

Media contact: Steve Haigh, Manager Training and Stakeholder Relations
Phone: 3234 7373