Privacy 101 - Back to Basics (Privacy today)

Things have changed a great deal since the first Australian Privacy Commissioner was appointed in 1989.

Our phones are no longer connected to our walls, with cords stretched into bedrooms for teenagers to chat privately with friends. They are in our pockets and on our wrists, recording some of our most precious memories and private moments.

The internet, since its 1983 launch, has grown from a niche interest to a massive conduit of information, where what we share and do – and our data – is commodified.

All organisations can now collect, use and disclose huge amounts of personal information. The practices to keep it safe, and the ethics to use it responsibly, have in some cases failed to keep pace. Our deep engagement in the online environment presents extraordinary opportunities as well as challenges.

But in all this growth and change we can’t lose sight of the basics. Privacy must be protected. Businesses need to do this. Government agencies need to do this. And there is a lot that we each can do to help keep our own personal information safe.

This Privacy Awareness Week (PAW), we are once again putting a spotlight on privacy and the importance of protecting personal information.

PAW 2023 will run from 1-7 May and, through this year’s theme of ‘Back to Basics’, we invite you to take a visual trip back in time, where you might discover the advice you need today.

Take a look at our ‘Privacy 101’ top tips, or test your skills with our quick quiz. There is useful advice for everyone to apply, and also guidelines for business and government.

Privacy Awareness Week (PAW) is an annual event to raise awareness of privacy issues and the importance of protecting personal information.

Will you be a privacy champion?

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner runs PAW in conjunction with state and territory privacy regulators and the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities forum.

Want to know more about protecting personal information? Take a look at our ‘Privacy 101’ tips using the tabs below, or test your skills with our quick quizzes. There is useful advice for everyone to apply, and also guidelines for business and government.

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