A recent Australian Financial Review report highlighted proposed reforms to Australia's Privacy Act, which is still ongoing and under review by the Attorney-General's Department. The article focused on possible impacts for the major retail businesses in Australia, including Woolworths, Coles and Wesfarmers, due to changes that would allow individuals to opt out of targeted advertising.
The article notes the Attorney-General's Department has also proposed giving Australians an "unqualified right to opt out of receiving targeted advertising" and a similar right to prevent their personal information being used for direct marketing. Those proposals have drawn the ire of many big businesses and lobbying groups.
In its submission on the Privacy Act review, the article notes, Woolworths warned that such a change would significantly impact its customer loyalty program and asked that these programs be exempted from any severe targeting restrictions. "We believe that an unqualified right to object to personalisation or targeting sits at odds with customer loyalty membership schemes, which are voluntary, opt in, have no barriers to exit (or entry) and are, by their very nature, designed to tailor an Everyday Reward member's experience and reward their engagement with the brand through experiences including targeted advertising," Woolworths said.
This article serves as an example of the healthy debate that is happening across the IAPP member network in the ANZ region with respect to the proposed law reforms. Our KnowledgeNet chapters have recently held several sessions, panels and informal coffee meet-ups that allow our members to network with their colleagues and talk through these often complex topics.
This important topic and many others will also be on the agenda at the upcoming IAPP ANZ Summit, being held in Sydney, Australia, 28-29 Nov. Keynote addresses from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand, as well as representatives from the private and public sectors, will inform and inspire further debate, no doubt.
Registration for the ANZ Summit has been open for a number of weeks now and there has been strong support from those keen to join the event and catch up with their privacy colleagues from across the region. I would encourage members and interested participants to register promptly.
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